Lot 218 of 435:
Travel and camping diary w/20 small b&w photographs, 1915  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$450
$500 - $800

Travel and camping diary with 20 small black and white photographs, 1915

Lahayne, Elmer

Laporte, Indiana




43 pp. String bound typed diary, with 20 small original b&w photographs pasted in throughout. 20x13 cm (7¾x5"), paper wrappers.

Detailed 43 page dairy by Elmer Lahayne, detailing the camping trip that he, Donald Henry, and Arthur Miller took from LaPorte, Indiana to San Francisco, California in April 1915. He tells of the towns he and his friends visited such as Mitchell, South Dakota wherein they visited the Corn Palace; Kearney, Nebraska where they worked at the Watson farm that had the largest barn in the world. He includes some newspaper clippings; one from a paper from Tampa, Florida where he later settled, an original poem he wrote, etc. A spellbinding travel journal, being an exciting, first person account of a camping trip from 1915, complete with photographs of all 3 men, tenting, cooking, in the mud, riding horses on a ranch, working at different jobs as they ran out of money, etc. 

A few sample entries: 

"April 23, On Mississippi Basin. Soil black and rich, road very rough. First trouble on the machine, time 20 minutes, sparker off. First view of Mississippi at 9:50 A.M. Fulton 9:53. Big bridge over the Mississippi and crossed at 9:55 A.M. We are "Hawkeyes" now. Took Lyons for Clinton "Junk" town, wondered if all towns West were like it. Found we had not yet hit Clinton. Arrived in Clinton, 11 A.M. Beautiful town with big business center Large "up-to-date" department stores. No mail/letters, except for Miller, went good - we all enjoyed it - (to see him smiling). Left on wrong road at 4:45 P.M., beautiful homes on Lincoln Highway road leaving the city. Arrived at DeWitt 5:40 P.M. 18 miles from Clinton. Roads very dusty. First time necessary to use goggles since Aurora. We are now 2,311 miles to San Francisco. (They are averaging about 30 miles a day at the most). Stopped at farm house for water and eggs and camped in farmer's field. Flies thicker than Indiana mosquitoes in August. On April 23rd, today, we have driven 325 miles to date. April, 24th, Stanwood 9:18 A.M. Cedar Rapids 31 miles. Mechanicsville 9:40, pretty little town in hills, can see many miles. Killed engine for 20 mins. Lisbon 10:37 - This town has worse roads yet. Mt. Vernon 10:45, Prettiest little town in Iowa, built on hill sides. "The town of schools and churches" -colleges here. Many pretty homes here and population 1600."

"Marion 11:30 A.M. -  Cedar Rapids 12:35. This is a big live town, a beautiful residence town and everything going full blast, best town so far! High buildings and big business center. Main street on a slope. Military band met us on arrival. Hunted 18 miles for a camping ground and had to go back 7 miles to place near Marion on creek. "Camp Boxwell". April 26th, 1915. Dressed and left at 8:30. One mile and new tires punctured, fixed - 1/2 mile again blowout. "Ford" passed and stopped: - "Hello Laporte" - 3 ladies, 2 men and 2 children. Found them to be from Elkhart, they learned we were from LaPorte at the Boxwell farm. Left Cedar Rapids at 3 P.M. to River to River Road. Passed through "Dutch Colonies". 6 in all about one mile apart from each other. "Amana" then "High Amana - South Amana - West Amana - Low Amana and South West Amana." Most interesting place yet. Houses were low and square of Terra Cotta, brick or unpainted lapp siding. No buildings were painted. Lattice work on all the houses where green vines covered the sides. Yards and trees cut and kept neat and clean. Long barns at one side where all cattle of a settlement were kept in one. High seated wagons with four seats (open) on which settlers road from one town to another. Men wore wide rimmed black hats (soft) the women all sunbonnets. Settlements all within a radius of 5 miles lying in the rolling hills. Would be "Holland" except there are not windmills. Settlers all a "solid bunch" "Dutch" through and through."

At the end of the 43 pages, not one of them has made it to California. Attorney Donald J. Henry stopped, stayed and got married in Twin Falls, Idaho, and remained there until approximately 1930, when he, his wife and two children returned to LaPorte and took up residence in the old family home at  455 Pine Lake Avenue. Elmer Lahayne eventually settled in Tampa, Florida. And it appears that Arthur Miller returned to LaPorte Indiana and died in 1949.

Lot Amendments

Some wear and foxing to outer wrappers, some chips to edges; general light wear, toning and foxing to interior; overall about very good.

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