Mom’s 1934 Road Trip – Part 1

Taking a break from Grandpa’s Diaries for a week to share one of Mom’s.

Harriet Duncan and her best friend, Frances Duffy, took a road trip in 1934.    Mom was 19 and Fran would have been about the same age.  I’m amazed that these two Illinois girls would set off by themselves for a long road trip to places they had never seen over mountains they had never experienced.  This is a transcript of Mom’s diary with photos they took.

Photo of old car taken on trip 1934

Sat. nite, Sept. 29, 1934
     Frances and I started from De Kalb at five o’clock.  Ate supper at the Wee Inn.  Stopped at Elburn to get sweater and camera.  It rained from Aurora to Joliet and from then on it drizzled.  We are taking turns driving, changing every hour.  Missed a route sign in Kankakee but found it OK.  Got mixed in our directions and took route 24 the wrong way at Crescent City.  Went 50 miles out of our way.  Got griped so we stopped at Watseka at tourist cabin at 10:15.

photo of frances duffey 1934

Sunday Sept. 30, 1934
     Got up at 6:45.  Cooked our breakfast and were on our way at 7:30.  Stopped at Seymour, Ind. for chicken dinners.  Went over the Ohio River on a new bridge and into Louisville, Kentucky.  Stopped at Cave City, Lone Oak Cabins.  Had a cute cabin with electricity, gas stove, gas heater, running water.  Went out to Mammoth Cave but it was so dark and spooky we decided to wait until morning to go through.  Went to cabin and ate, and wrote letters and cards.

photo of tourist cabin in 1930s

Monday, October 1
     Got up at 5:45.  Ate and went to Mammoth Cave.  Went through it with a party of people from Georgia and Ohio.  Left Cave City at 10:30.  Ate chicken dinners at Bowling Green, Ky.  Went to Nashville, Tenn. through the Centennial Park.  Saw the Parthenon.  Planned to stop at Sam Davis’ home but missed it.  Came over one of the smaller in the chain of Cumberland Mts.  Stopped at Jasper at tourist cabin.  Stopped driving at 6:15.  Fixed chicken and noodles, beans, bread and butter, coffee, peaches, and cookies. Went to bed at 10:30.

photo of old car on mountain road

Tuesday, Oct. 2
     Left Jasper at 8 o’clock and drove to Chattanooga.  Drove up Signal Scenic Hwy and then saw National Cemetery.  Ate an early dinner – swiss steak.  Drove as far as possible on Look-Out Mt and walked to the top.  Drove out a way on Missionary Ridge overlooking the town.  Drove along the Walden Ridge toKnoxville. Tried to find cabin there but were sent to Smoky Mountain Lodge.  Have a three room cabin.  Fixed our supper, wrote some letters and then to bed.

photo of Harriet duncan and scenery

Wed. Oct. 3
     Left at 8 o’clock and finished the Smoky Mt Scenic Loop at Knoxville.  Stopped at a small town to change oil.  I got locked in the can.  Frances finally heard me yelling and pounding and helped me get out.  Stopped in Knoxville and bought bread and left it on the counter.  Discovered we had forgotten it when we started to make sandwiches.  Stopped at Newport for chicken dinner.  Drove through Pisgah Forest to Asheville, N.C.  Stopped at Foster cabins in Asheville.  Have a log cabin with kitchenette.  Fixed our supper, ate and did the dishes.  They have hot showers here so we took one and got cleaned up.  Went to Asheville to Imperial Theatre.  Saw Norma Shearer, Charles Laughton, Maureen O’Sulloivan, and Fredric March in “The Barretts of Wimpole Street.”  Came home and built a fire to warm up the cabin.  Wrote some letters and going to bed at 11 o’clock.

photo of scenic postcards sent 1934

[to be continued in the next post…]

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1 Response to Mom’s 1934 Road Trip – Part 1

  1. Pingback: Those Long Yellow Links « That Long Yellow Line

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