Just a Few of my Cherished Pieces:
Click on the picture below to get a brief description
I have a passion for ship travel diaries mainly because I have a huge passion for the Titanic. I was fortunate enough to be on one of two ships in 2012 which sailed over the Titanic for her 100 year memorial cruise. Amazing to say the least. This diary is also a trip diary & it is from 1908. It was kept by Dr. Hurley of Boston, who sailed on board 2 White Star Line ships, the Cymric & the Canopic. The diary is full of great travel entries including his time on the ships & all through Europe.
West Coast diaries are very rare indeed; especially diaries written by a young woman in 1874 who boards a steamer, sails to San Francisco from Fitchburg Mass. and takes a rare journey all through the states of Nevada, Utah, California (and more); & on horseback no less. The photo seen here is a hotel she staid at in San Diego. There is talk of Indians, cowboys, trail rides, ranches & everything you'd want out of a Wild West story including her time on board the steamer. She was one brave soul.
There are 4 diaries in this group & all of them belonged to Elizabeth Britton, governess for the John Rogers Maxwell Jr. family; a very wealthy family. John married Lydia Biddle Clothier & they had 4 children. They were so rich that in the 1910 census their house was estimated at $100,000 & they had 7 servants. The diaries date from 1913-1927. Some are trip diaries as the family loved to travel abroad, taking their governess with them of course. Great "behind the scenes" story.
Louisa was born in 1845 to a very wealthy family. Her grandfather was president of the NY Gas Co. & his house in NY was one of the 1st ones with gas lighting. Louisa’s life was none other than incredible & yet so heartbreaking. In the span of just a few years Louisa looses her grandparents, her sister & brother-in-law to tuberculosis & then her father & mother. She was left alone to care for her sister’s 2 little children. This scrapbook is FULL of her amazing life & traveling adventures.
Her name is Opal Morton Christensen & she was a professional dancer during the early 1900s. Her parents were Vaudeville entertainers, James & “Billie” (Dearest”) Morton, later divorced. As a dancer, “Nondas” (stage name) had work, but never steady, never enough, especially after her parents divorced & her step-father died. She and her mother were just about destitute, especially with the great depression coming on. Her archive has diaries, letters, stage photos and even her tapestry ballet bag.
This 1853 handwritten diary belonged to A. W. Chimmo & tells of his journey while on board the ship H.M.S. Bulldog. It's full of exciting adventures traveling to exotic ports; including incredible drawings showing views seen from the deck of the ship & also from his cabin window. Several of them can be viewed on my web site homepage in the slide show. I also have his journal with handwritten letters from his travels and his bronze bull dog paper weight & letter opener from his desk on the ship.
I have over 300 letters spanning 20 years from 1921-1941. They are written by a young man by the name of Kinert who is writing to his mother while attending the Cornish School of Music, Drama, & Dance in Seattle WA. The letters go into great detail concerning his life at the school but not only that, Kinert writes about his deepest struggles, his regrets & his desires to become an artist. Inspired by the famous artist Rockwell Kent, many of Kinert’s drawings are included with these letters.
As a native of NY this young wealthy woman wrote an extensive 220 page diary describing her summer trip with her family to Niagara Falls & the Chicago World’s fair in 1893. It is also full of ephemera & photos from the fair plus her hand drawn & painted sketches. While at the fair she gives a detailed account including but not limited to: Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, the first & largest Ferris wheel, the moving side walk, the Midway Plaisance, the incredible "white" buildings & grounds & more.
This is the diary of a young man, John, whose wife & 1st born child died while she was giving birth. The diary was written only 3 months after their death & is incredibly deep & full of emotion, as he holds nothing back. John’s entries are so profound & he’s absolutely a genius when it comes to placing his thoughts down on paper. To write while in the depths of despair & to hold nothing back, well, that’s a rare diary indeed. I’ve been blogging entries from his diary for the last several month