New Smyrna Beach, Florida to Greensboro, North Carolina & Return
July 17, 1912 to September 3, 1912
Preface to the Diary
The following preface was written by Richard F. Newell, to accompany his transcription of the diary kept by his grandmother, Annie E. Kendall Newell (1863-1953), on an automobile trip in 1912 from Florida to Greensboro, N.C. and back. His transcription is used as the basis for this electronic version, however, it was checked against the original diary, and corrections were made in typographical or editing errors. The diary was presented to the GHM Archvies in 2001 by Ricki Chichester, the great-granddaughter of Annie Newell.
“The following is a log kept by my grandmother, Annie Newell who with my grandfather William H. Newell and two sons, Vic and Willie (V. A. Newell and W. J. Newell, my father), made a trip from New Smyrna Beach, Florida to Greensboro, North Carolina in their 1912 Packard touring car. Richard F. Newell, Jacksonville, Florida“
[Note: The original typed transcript by Richard Newell was digitized and edited by Lewis D. Dorman IV, a UNC Greensboro history student intern in 2001. Further editing was undertaken in 2002 by GHM Archives volunteer Dick Claycomb.]
The Newell Family
The William H. Newell family moved to Orange City, in central Florida around 1886. This was about a year after William and Annie’s marriage in Greensboro, N.C., and some months after their first child, Floyd, was born there. William (1859-1946) was a native of Oswego, New York, moving to Greensboro around 1871 with his family (Almer G. & Theda Newell). By 1879 William was managing a grocery in Greensboro, and six years later married Greensboro native Annie E. Kendall. After living in Orange City for a few years, around 1890 they moved to New Smyrna Beach, in northeast Florida. William opened a livery business, and some time later he and Annie opened the Newell House Hotel at nearby Coronado Beach. It was also in New Smyrna Beach that their four other children were born: William J. (1890), Elsie (1892), Victor (1896), and Edith (1901). New Smyrna was incorporated in 1903, and William served as one of the town’s early mayors, and also was on the City Commission. As far as is known, prior to their 1912 automobile trip they had not returned to Greensboro since they left sixteen years before. The following newspaper clipping describes the adventure they had embarked on.
New Smyrna to Greensboro, N.C. in Auto
For some time Mayor W. H. Newell has been planning to visit his old home in Greensboro, N.C., and last Wednesday morning he and Mrs. Newell and their two sons, Willie and Victor, started overland in their E. M. F. automobile. They will go by way of Jacksonville, Macon, and Atlanta, and will stop a few days at the latter place. Mayor Newell is well supplied with advertising literature of New Smyrna and will miss no opportunity to advertise our city either going or coming. They expect to spend about six weeks in Greensboro, which is the former home of both Mr. and Mrs. Newell. Their friends with them a safe journey and a pleasant visit.
[From news clipping in Newell Family Papers, Mss.Coll. #155, GHM Archives]
St. Augustine, Florida
Wednesday, July 17th 1912
Left New Smyrna 9:45 this morning, passed through Daytona and Ormond. Ate our lunch at a place called Mound Grove, one of the most picturesque spots I have seen in the state. The road runs along the canal for some distance and is bordered by a row of immense date palms. In crossing a creek at a lumber camp we were stuck in the middle of it and had to be pulled out by a pair of mules. The man at the camp instructed us to go straight ahead, every thing all right or we would not have attempted it without first testing it. Fortunately he had a pair of mules close by and we were soon on our way again. Road very rough. Had two blowouts. Reached St. Augustine at 5:45 P.M. Stopped at Bunting House, fare none to good, mosquitoes bad.
Thursday, July 18th
Left St. Augustine 8:15 this morning. A few miles out from city punctured a tire on new shell road causing some delay but fine road from there into Jacksonville, crossed on ferry over branch of St. Johns river, passing through South Jacksonville, crossed ferry into Jacksonville reaching there at 12:30. Stopped at Waverly House. met a number of people from Smyrna who came in on an excursion train. Stores all closed, half holiday Friday the 19th. Mosquitoes almost ate us up.
Saturday, July 20th 1912
Left Jacksonville 1l A.M., good road about 12 miles, then we overtook a man in a runabout stuck in the mud, a drummer named Russell. The boys took off their shoes and helped pry him out and then cut branches off the trees and filled in so that we came through safely but it was all mud and water. The boys would wade ahead and then follow with the machine. Reached this place at 4:40 P.M. They tell us the road is impassable for several miles and here we are for the present.
July 22, 1912
Left Baldwin yesterday. First we went out to Deep Creek and viewed the situation. Met a man who told us he would take us across for five dollars. As it was threatening to rain we thought it best to go before it did, lest we be compelled to stay longer. Baldwin is not an ideal place to spend the summer as there is not much to be seen but mud holes and hogs. The fare at the Mc Rae House was very good. left at one o’clock. A man with three yoke of oxen met us at creek, pulled us safely through and we thought our troubles were over as they told us the road was fairly good beyond, but guess they do not know what good roads are. It is either mud, water or sand. We tried to follow the National Highway. Everything went fairly well until about five o’clock when it got worse and worse untill we found ourselves stalled in the midst of a swamp. The engine refused to work and there we were. Will and Willie tramped around and tried to find a way out and as night was coming on something had to be done and that quickly. By this time the engine had cooled down and worked all right and by pushing we got out of the bog, went a few yards and saw another ahead of us. there was nothing to do but turn and go back and hunt another road, which we soon found. reached Olustee at 6:40 P.M., found lodging with a Mrs. Veeder. Good beds but had to force the food down, everything seemed clean but poorly cooked. However, first class prices were charged, $4.20 for the night.
July 23, 1912
Arrived at this place 6:00 P.M. Passed through Watertown, beautiful place. Lake City quite nice. Bought lunch at bakery at Live Oak and came on to bridge at Suwannee River and ate our lunch there. Part of the road very rough, part of it fine. Stopping for the night at the Crescent Hotel, poor accomodation.
Supper at a cafe, very good. have been out to moving pictures. Valdosta quite pretty but would not like to live here.
July 24, 1912
Arrived at this place at about six o’clock yesterday afternoon. Left Valdosta about 8:00 A.M. yesterday. Good roads most of the way. Passed some very pretty country, cotton and corn plantations. Almost every town has a confederate monument in the middle of the town. Passed through Tifton, Ashburn, Cordele and a number of small towns. Made 123 miles yesterday, best time we have made yet. This is an old town and we are stopping at an old house, The Perry Hotel. Very warm, not a breath of air stirring. For breakfast we had the weakest coffee I have ever drank and condensed milk diluted untill it looked like chalky water, the rest of the meal was very good. They told us last night that the fare was the best in the state.
Thursday, July 25, 1912
Arrived here 6:30 P.M. yesterday. The best day we have had yet, 128 miles. Reached Macon 9:30 A.M., inquired for mail but received nothing. Much disappointed. Passed through a beautiful farming country between Perry and Macon and fine suburban homes on both sides of Macon. At Forsyth we ate dinner. Passed through a number of pretty towns, saw several large factories. The country gets prettier all the way to Atlanta. We are at the Williams Hotel. Went downtown last night to see the sights. Hunted the P.O. but much to our surprise we received nothing but two copies of the Breeze. We are so anxious to hear from home. We then went to moving pictures and came back to the hotel tired out. We will look around a little this morning and then get on our way again.
Just back from exploring the city, went to P.O., got letter and card from Elsie. Went up in the 16th story of the Candler building, fine building, all marble walls, floors and stairs. Back to hotel, getting ready to leave. Saw auto just in from Jacksonville going to New Jersey.
July 26th, 1912
Left Atlanta at ten o’clock this morning. Reached this place at seven o’clock to night, eight by their time. Had a pleasant trip, road was rather rough but we made 98 miles today. Stopped at a little store and bought some crackers and sausages and ate our lunch by the side of the road. Had lots of fun, saw some pretty country but not so pretty as yesterday. The peach trees all along the way are loaded down with fruit. This is a small town, the county seat, ten miles from any railroad. The hotel (Central Hotel) only had vacant room so the boys are over there and we are in a cottage across the street. There are several girls at the hotel and they have got Willie at the piano. We had the finest meal tonight that we have had since we left home and a long time before. Fried chicken, potatoes, apples, tomatoes, hot biscuit, Choc. Ice cream, iced tea and a lot of other things beside.
Getting ready to start, the girls are hanging around Willie and he is flirting and taking pictures. The house is run by farmers named Purcell. They were crowded so we had a room across the street at Mrs. McCarty’s. This has been the most pleasant place we have stopped yet.
July 27, 1912
Arrived here about six o’clock last night. Had a fine trip yesterday. Left Carnesville about 7:30 yesterday morning. Passed through some beautiful country, saw some quite pretty towns and lots of cotton factories, crossed several old fashioned covered bridges. Stopped at Anderson, S.C. to get a check cashed. Will had to do a lot of talking to get it cashed but finally succeeded. We bought a lunch and found a shady spot a few miles further on and sat down by the road side and ate it. We are having a great time, Willie and Victor especially. We have passed so many teams, the drivers asleep. Victor blows that whistle and we have to laugh to see them jump. Yesterday we saw a young man walking down the middle of the road, his head down in a deep study. Victor blew the horn, he gave one jump and jumped clear out of the road. I don’t know if he will ever get over the scare or not. We passed a car at a small place (in the garage) from Jacksonville, broken down and laid up for repairs. We are fortunate so far, have not had even a puncture since we left Jaxville. We hardly recognize this place, it has grown to be quite a city. I recognized the old hotel where we boarded. We went to moving pictures last night, “The Coming Of Columbus”, it was certainty fine. When we came out they gave us a ticket worth five cents at another show so we went there. These boys are certainly having a great time. We are stopping with a Mrs. Flynn, had a nice supper and a good bed. Rate one dollar per day.
Arrived at Concord at 6:30 last night. Passed cotton sills all day. At Converse, S.C. large mills run by water, a beautiful place.Gaffney another large mill town. Yesterday Victor; had his first glimpse of mountains, today we came through some of them. The scenery fine. Passed King’s Mountain and ate our lunch a few miles this side where we had a fine view. Crossed the Catawba River on a ferry, a very fine concrete bridge is being built there to cost $57,500. Passed through Charlotte and on to this place. We overtook a young couple in a car just before we got to Newell Station broken down. We stopped to see if we could help. He said “Well, I have a puncture and my tire is all chewed up. We were so busy talking I did not notice the puncture untill it was all chewed up so that I can’t put it back on” and then they both looked guilty and blushed so that we had to laugh. We have been down town and have seen Bob Riner. He was certainly surprised. We are rooming just across the street from Guy Bost’s father’s hope.
July 29, 1912
Arrived at this place yesterday at about half past three. took then all by surprise. They thought we would arrive about Thursday. We came to Ollies as we suspected that Myron was out of town which he is. Our stay in Concord was not as pleasant as it might have been. The bed bugs nearly ate us up and the fare was so poorly cooked we could scarcely eat it. Bob Riner came with us as far as Salisbury. We came through Thomasville, had a fine dinner there. Part of the road from Concord was fine and part was the roughest we have struck. Mrs. Smith was over to see us and last night Jess Hodgin was here. Kate is in Asheville but expected home tuesday. Myron, Mary and the kids are at Piedmont Springs, expected home this week.
July 30th, 1912
No letter from home yet. Called up Charlie yesterday and talked with him for a while. Will and the boys after having the photographer take our picture just as we were when we arrived washed up the car and went up town. Found that Myron and family had arrived. In the afternoon we all went for a ride, came around by Myrons. Had a glimpse of Charlie and Lizzie on the street. Myron and Mary and the children came over last night. We are all going to Myrons for supper to night.
No news from home yet. Went for a ride yesterday out by Green Hill Cemetery and on to Guilford Battle ground. Ollie seemed to enjoy it so much. Went over to Myron’s for supper. Spent a pleasant evening except for Willie who is feeling so blue. We went to see Dr. Reeves. He examined him thoroughly, told him he was all run down and needed building up and when his eye got better and him stronger he would have to have his tonsils removed and his nose treated.
Received letters from Floyd yesterday, says all well at home. Wharton phoned over that Willie was sick from the effects of medicine and wanted Victor to come after him. We all got in the car and went after him but met Wharton with him in their car. He felt pretty bad all day yesterday. I went in to see Charlie and talked with him for a while, did a little shopping and came back. In the afternoon went to Gibsonville, about 18 miles over a fine road. Ollie does seem to enjoy the rides so much. Last night we played Flinch, the first time I have played for many years.
The nights are nice and cool, slept like a log last night and every night. Willie is feeling a little better. We went to the Dr. twice yesterday. Played croquet with the boys yesterday, later we all went to Guilford College. Last night Victor went to moving picture with Gilbert. Kate and Jest came over here and we all played. Bob, Jess, Kate and Will played cards. Ollie Willie and I played Flinch. Florence went to bed. No letter yesterday.
Received letter yesterday from Floyd and one from Elsie. Went up town in the morning, did some shopping. Came back after dinner, sewed a little, played Flinch. Then we all got in the car except Will who had one of his headaches. Went over and got Kate and Blanche and went to Highpoint. Left here at six o’clock, came back about 8:30. Found Jess Hodgin at the next house phoning to find if we had returned. He thought we had gone for a short ride and broken down. It seems Myron’s car breaks down every time they take Ollie out. We had a fine ride, came home, wend to moving pictures. Will’s headache was better and he and Bob went with us, The Pictures were not very good.
Cold, could not go to church this morning, had nothing to wear except thin dresses. Rained last night, a cold rain. Yesterday received letter from Mrs. Griffin full of home news. In the afternoon went with Mary out to the country club where Myron is a member. Wharton took her in their car and Ollie with us in ours. It is a fine place, beautifully furnished and well kept. We had a nice ride but it turned so cold I had to put on my sweater when we came home. Kate was over and spent the evening again. The sun has come out this P.M., perhaps we may go out somewhere if it is not too cold.
No mail this morning. Weather continues quite cool. The boys took the car out a little while yesterday and broke a spring so I guess we can’t go for a ride today. Went to Centenary Church last night, heard a very good sermon.
Stayed at home all day untill late in afternoon. We went for a ride. Myron very sick last night so he and Mary left for Mt. Vernon today.
Went to Winston-Salem today but broke a spring and had to wait to have it mended. Visited the old Moravian Cemetery. It is certainly beautiful. Some of the Grave stones are so old that the inscriptions are illegible. Saw one dated as far back as 1705. Ollie was sick all the way coming home. When we reached home she had one of her bad spells. Had to have a doctor. She is resting now under the influence of opiates. No mail from home, card from Mrs. Wanless.
Went to Ida Hudson’s yesterday for dinner, Will, Victor and I. Willie would not go because he had to wear his dark glasses for the afternoon. Bob wanted to go to Highpoint on business so went up there again. Took Ida with us. Had a fine time. I had no idea Highpoint was such a large town. They manufacture so many different things, furniture factories, a number of them, plate glass, mirrors, street cars, coffins, cotton mills and I don’t know what else. We visited the cotton mills, saw them card the cotton, spin it and weave the cloth. They also have a knitting mill there but we did not know it untill we came back. Found Ollie much better when we came home. The Methodist minister called while we were away last night. Mrs. Hunter called, also Mrs. Merritt. No mail from home yet, a card from Mrs. Berry. Willie’s eye does not seem to improve at all.
August 11th, Sunday
Just returned from First Baptist Church, heard a fine sermon. Text “What is man that thou art mindful of him?”. Fine music, handsome church. Friday afternoon we went for a short ride out Ash[e]boro Street. Letter from Elsie saying F.A., Edith and the preacher had all been sick. Saturday went out to look for an old house where I lived when I was only ten years old. Found the place but the house had been torn away and a new one built. The old row of cedars still there and a part of the shop, the only things left by which to recognize the place. Met a man there who remembered my father. Went by the old church where I was baptized, recognized the old road and the hills and the fine trees through which I went to school. Came back, went to the park and the moving pictures.
Monday August 12th
Yesterday we went to the yearly meeting of the Friends Church at Guilford College. Heard a very fine sermon. Last night went to the First Presbyterian Church and heard the very finest discourse on Jeraboam who made Israel to sin.
August 14th, 1912
Received three letters from Floyd yesterday. Victor and his father worked on the car nearly all day, gave it a thorough cleaning. Went out to the park last night, came home, played Flinch untill ten minutes of twelve o’clock.
Stayed home all day. Will not feeling well. Kate and Jess came over to spend the evening. Myron came back from Mt. Vernon, did not have asthma at all while away.
Will feeling a little better today. Received a letter from Elsie. Went over to Kate’s to night for supper, all four of us and Ollie’s family too. Had a fine supper then played Flinch and ate sherbet and cake. Certainly had a fine time. Don’t think I ever laughed so hard. Kate had prepared a regular feast. We have just come home, 11:30. Bought a peck of Damson plums today, am going to make preserves tomorrow.
Sunday, August 18th
Thursday night we went out to the country club awhile with Myron, Mary, Wharton and a drummer in their car and Ollie and Florence in ours. Friday Jess and Kate invited us to go out to his mothers. We had to leave the children home. Jess, Kate, Blanche, Ollie, Will and I went. Had a fine country dinner. The old lady has a lovely home. We went to a spring where the water is cold as ice water and saw an old time spring house where the milk and butter is kept. Dug some calamus, ate watermelon and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. They live only a mile or perhaps two. from the old gold mine. We came back through it and picked up a few rocks. Came home and punctured a tire as we came in town and there we lost the last of the Jacksonville air. That was the second puncture we have had since leaving there. Saturday, stayed home all day, had an early supper, then went out for a ride past John Young’s dairy and nurseries. Fine road. We passed an old negro, asked him where the road led. He said “You take the left hand road it go to Troxler’s mill, a little further you take the right hand road it go to Stuart’s mill”. We were as wise as before we asked him. I suppose the road must stay right there.
August 19th, 1912
Went for a ride yesterday afternoon. Breakfast was so late that I did not have time to dress and walk up town to church and as Will or Victor neither wanted to go, I stayed at home too. Charlie called up after dinner and said perhaps he would come over but he did not. we waited till late, then went for a ride. Went to the cemetery, looked for father’s grave again but failed to find it. Last night we went to West Market Church.
Heard a very fine sermon. Subject “Man’s sin and his redemption”.
Went to the doctor’s office with Willie, so many were there ahead of us, had to come back and go again at two o’clock. He worked on Willie’s throat for an hour, said it was a very bad case but he stood it fine. But when we came home he was completely prostrated. He lay down awhile, then got up and went out on the porch and seemed all right. Ollie and I went over to Mrs. Smith’s and Delia came over here. When we came home Willie was not feeling so well, tried to swallow a little milk and then went to bed. Feeling better this morning.
Wednesday, August 21st
Went to call on Mrs. Numbs yesterday evening. Later went to Kate’s to play Flinch. She had invited us and also Mrs. Hier. The evening was very warm, the warmest since we have been here which only made us enjoy the delicious peach cream and lady fingers all the more. This afternoon we expect to take a trip to Reidsville.
Took our trip to Reidsville, Ollie went with us, also Myron and Kate and a young lady who is visiting them, Miss Kate Hughes. Had a fine trip, but Reidsville is not a very attractive place from any point of view. In the business portion it is dirty, no side walks worthy of the name, smelling of tobacco of which it is full. the residence portion is rather pretty, some very handsome dwellings and nice walks. We passed through many tobacco farms, corn also, but the corn is literally parched and ruined by the drowth. The dust was something dreadful. Came home about 8 o’clock. Ollie stood the trip fine, was able to sit up and play Flinch untill eleven.
August 23rd, 1912
Yesterday Mary invited us all to go out to the battle ground and eat supper. We left here at 6:00 o’clock, three cars, Burton, Wharton and Dick in one, Myron, Mary, Kate Hughes, Gilbert and sister in another. Will, Ollie, Florence, Victor, Weiland and myself in ours. Willie would not go. He could not eat and did not want to go and look at all the good things we would have and not be able to eat any. He went over to Kate’s and stayed while we were gone. We had a fine time. Came home as far as Myrons, waited, and they did not come. We went back to look for them . Met them when we were almost there. They had a puncture. We let them come ahead and we followed. On the way back we overtook Frank Jennings and his father walking into town. Frank had had a load of convicts, bringing them in and the truck broke down. His father being uneasy had walked out to meet him and was nearly fagged out. We stopped took them in and came home. Called up Myron to tell them we were here. Gilbert said they were just about to go back to look for us.
Ollie and Florence both feeling badly yesterday but were able to go riding in the afternoon. We went over and took Mrs. Smith with us. Last night Kate, Jess and Miss Annie Hodgin came over, going to take them for a ride this afternoon.
Went riding with Kate and Miss Annie Hodgin Saturday afternoon. Sunday morning went to the Friends Church with Florence. In the afternoon Bob insisted on going to Tabernacle Camp meeting. We went out there but were too late for the service. He said it was only eight miles but the speedometer registered 12.3. Last night it rained and we stayed at home.
Stayed home all day, washed, mended, ironed and packed up. Yesterday Mary and Kate Hughes were over awhile twice. Had a hard thunderstorm last night, cool this morning. All ready to start home.
Charlotte, North Carolina
August 28th, 1912
Arrived here last night about 7:30. Left Greensboro at ten o’clock, went by Kate’s to say goodbye to them, then to Myron’s store, to Hagan’s to see about a package to be sent by express, then to Bob’s store and to Ida Hudson’s, so that it was 10:30 before we were really on our way. We were pretty well packed in with our grips, lunch, watermelon, box of canned fruit, rocks, Etc. Ida Hudson had a jar of pickled peaches which she had put up expressly for us. Passed through Jamestown, Highpoint 11:30, Thomasville. Just out of Thomasville had a blowout in shade of tree in front of a house just as clock struck twelve. Old tire. Changed tires and was on the road again in just ten minutes. At 12:30 another blowout just six miles further on. The very hottest place we could find. We climbed a fence and found a shady place, ate our lunch and watermelon before proceeding to change tires. I had just come outside the fence and climbed a bank to wait while they were fixing the tire when along came a ferocious looking bull, walked right up to where we had eaten our lunch. His head was chained to his foot but I was glad to be on the other side of the fence. It was 2:30 P.M. before we were on the road again. Passed through main street of Lexington. Pretty old fashioned homes, large cotton mill, good road. 3:20 – passed car with puncture, two men and two ladies. Warned us of rough road ahead and we found it hilly and rocky. Saw mountains in distance. 4:00 P.M. crossed toll bridge over Yadkin River, good road. 4:15 reached Salisbury, large town. China Grove, cotton mill covered all over with vines, could see them weaving as we passed by. Landis Cotton Mills, Kan[n]apolis, the same. 5:30 Reached Concord, saw Bob a few minutes. They told us there had been a big washout beyond and it was doubtful we could get through, the highway, but in some way we got off the highway and struck another road leading into Charlotte. Found it rather rough but shorter than the highway and missed the washout and the mud. We were pretty tired and ready for supper. They told us at the garage that the hotel across the street was the leading hotel in the city. Well, I think the bed bugs will head it off soon. could not sleep for them last night. We strolled around the streets a while and went to moving pictures. Victor saw his girl, Miss Moore before we had been in the city ten minutes but she was to leave the city at 5:30 this morning.
Columbia, South Carolina
August 29th, 1912
Arrived at this place at 7:30 P.M. yesterday. Left Charlotte at 11:15 yesterday. Just outside the city passed a large cotton mill surrounded by beautiful grounds with fine hedge. Nine miles out, fine scenery. Hilly, beautiful country, Passed Pineville eleven miles from Charlotte. Passed the monument of James K. Polk, a pyramid of stone erected at his birthplace. A little further on saw a group of trees spelling the word HAM. Fifteen miles of Mc Adam road. Sixteen miles from Charlotte crossed state line into South Carolina. Ten miles further country very hilly, immense rocks. About eight miles from Lancaster passed the birthplace of Andrew Jackson. Reached Lancaster at 1:50 P.M., 40 miles from Charlotte. Very hungry. Met by a policeman by the name of Pardue who seeing our car was from Florida came up and made himself known to us. Said he was in New Smyrna last winter, knew the McCulloughs there. Ate dinner at the Olympic Cafe. The whole state is greatly exited over the state election. One of the candidates for governor lives in Lancaster. When we came out from dinner found quite a crowd gathered around the car. Not quite as excited over it as over the election. Passed Elgin, Pleasant Hill, Heath Springs, Oakhurst, Kershaw, oil mill and fertilizer plant. Just after we passed Kershaw we saw the first cotton picking. Had been passing big cotton and corn plantations all the way. Passed stations Westville, Clyburn, DeKalb. Cotton Gin run by water. Near Kirkland passed a large old fashioned building with five large chimneys with beautiful grounds. One mile further another immense building with hedges all around on a high hill, long winding drives all through the grounds. 38 miles from Lancaster reached Camden. On entering the town passed a large building with large grounds like a school or an asylum of some kind. A fine old town, old fashioned and quaint. Leaving, we asked two Negroes the way to Columbia and they almost got into a scrap over who should tell us. A few miles further we passed over a large iron bridge over Wateree River. Just after passing Lugoff Station got off the road, went about 3/4 mile. Passed Haney Station. Going into Columbia, getting dark. Had to stop and light up [re. head lamps]. Stopped at the Colwell Hotel. Remembering our experience at Charlotte we took the trouble to look at the beds before taking the rooms. It was a good thing we did as we tried three different rooms before we found one without bugs. Went out to a cafe for our meals but not very good. Went to moving pictures. Found great improvement in the city since I was last here. Main Street was brilliantly lighted, I suppose because of the election. There seems to have been some fraud and great excitement prevails. Boys and men paraded the streets and yelled untill a late hour. We have to wait here untill 12 o’clock for a tire which was supposed to have been here this morning. There is a car here from Orlando, a lady with three little boys.
August 30th, 1912
Reached this place last night at 8:15, seventy-nine miles from Columbia. Left there at 1:15 P.M. yesterday. Crossed long bridge over Congaree River, a wide shallow river having three branches. Brookland, a small suburb just across river. We drove around the city a little before leaving. The state capitol is beautiful. Visited an old fashioned church. Trinity, very pretty, ten miles from Columbia. Passed a stone quarry where they were grinding rock for the Mc Adam roads. Eleven miles, cotton mills. Twelve miles, Lexington, a cotton town. Country high and flat, 26 miles. Washout in road, had to go around 2 1/2 miles, came back on road. Leesville, small town, Batesburg, small town but very pretty. Large cotton oil mills. Four P.M. had a blowout, changed tires, delayed about ten minutes. Later another blowout, just in front of a very well-to-do farmers house. Delayed about 1/2 hour. Nearing Aiken, S.C. The country gets hilly. Aiken, the prettiest little town. We have seen beautiful homes and fine yards surrounded by hedges. Wide streets with little parks in the center, 66 miles. Warrenville, cotton mills. Drove several miles along Savannah River, a long high bank just on the other side. Country very pretty. Langley, large cotton mills. Crossed the river into Augusta. Hunted a garage. There they sent us to the Dixon Hotel but it was full. They sent us to the Roberts House, it was full too (of bugs). Gave us a room with three beds which looked all right. Victor went to bed, slept like a log. Will went to bed but jumped up soon to say there are bugs. I was sitting up and soon found they were after me. I began to examine the chair which was cane and found they were in that too. I took a pillow off the third bed, did not see any on it, laid down on the floor but they soon found me ,there. The floor got pretty hard so I got up and lay across the bed on top of the spread and after 2:30 managed to get some sleep. We took our meals at the Royal Cafe, very good. Having the tubes vulcanized this morning so are getting a late start from here.
Arrived at Statesboro, Ga. yesterday at 7:00 P.M. Left Augusta at 11:45 A.M. Had good clay road to Waynesboro. Several miles from Augusta passed a beautiful place, large white house, fine grounds surrounded by hedge called Circular Court. Passed station called Mc Beans. Waynesboro 32 miles, cotton town. Asked a fine looking man on the street to direct us to a restaurant. He sent us to one run by a Greek. When we got there we saw a Negro sitting at the table. We turned away and started off, a man across the street saw us and directed us to a boarding house. We ate dinner and were soon on our way. Passed Perkins, Lawton, then Millen and Scarboro. About two miles further broke a spring, a very rough place in the road. Went on to Rocky Ford, found a blacksmith shop (a poor one). The man tried to make a clip to hold the spring. We stayed there from four o’clock untill 6:30. Very warm. Started on our way again. The clip soon slipped off. Will and Vic got out and hunted a block and fixed it up so that we got into Statesboro. Just after leaving Rocky Ford passed through a toll gate and crossed a long bridge over Oguchee River. Stopped last night at Statesboro. Had the nicest rooms and meals since leaving Greensboro. Got a new spring and started on our way. Leaving at 8:25 A.M. Passed Brooklet, Stilson, and Blichton, 31 miles, crossed through another toll gate and over another bridge across the Oguchee River. Long swampy place with five small bridges beside the one that crossed the river. Eden Station, a stretch of swampy country and then 16 miles of good road into Savannah which we reached about 11:30 to-day. Saw an ocean liner just leaving the city. Went to a garage, had the car looked over, got gasoline and then to a cafe and got dinner, leaving there at one o’clock. Good meal. A little way out of the city saw a great big sign stretched across the road saying “Oguchee Whitehouse”, When we got there it was a very small negro cabin painted white. Beautiful road for several miles then long marshy place, but road high and dry, bridge at each end and then woods again. Crossed Oguchee River again, rough road 16 miles, passed auto stuck in a mud hole. Looked as if they had been trying to pry it out but left it standing crosswise in the road. We could just barely pass. Some time after a little negro boy as black as they are wade through a stick at the car and made for the scrub. Victor stopped the car and Will started after the boy and soon caught him and dragged him out of the scrub. He did a little yelling and a great deal of begging. Victor took the pistol and said, “boy I believe I’ll shoot you full of holes”. “Oh! please don’t, I pay you”. Will asked him his name and he told him.[little Nassau, Negro about ten years old.] Asked where his father was “He gone”. Where’s your mother? “She live down the road”. “I ought to shoot you full of holes”. “Oh! please don’t, I pay you”. Have you any money? “Yes sir, at home” Well I aught to shoot you. “Oh please don’t. I ruther pay you.” Have you any money? “Yes sir at home.” “Well I rather shoot you.” “Oh mister please I neve do it no more.” “Well I going to beat you. Victor get me a good stick, one that won’t break while I hold the boy”. Victor began looking around for a stick and the boy said “Right over yonder you can find a better one”. Then I had to laugh. I said boy you must want a whipping don’t you? “Yes ma’am, I never do it no more”. Will took him on the running board and told him if he tried to jump he would shoot him. Took him on to his mother, told her about what he had done. She said, “I gwine to beat him! I half kill him”. We went on and found we had just entered a negro settlement. For miles we did not see a white person at all. Just negro cabins all along for 30 miles. We passed a very old cemetery (Midway) surrounded by a brick wall. Passed Reedmans Grove, Duncan, and Eulonia. Arrived at Darien at 6:30 P.M. An odd looking town. We will spend the night here. Very, comfortable hotel, good supper. Did not see a soul on the streets but negroes but there were crowds of them.
On ferry leaving Darien at 8:00 A.M. Mrs. Quartes, proprieter of the hotel told the history of the town. Old historic place built by Oglethorpe, burned down during the Civil War. All burned but one house which still stands. Has been rebuilt since the war but no very nice buildings. You can see some of the old ruins yet. A part of the old tree where Oglethorpe camped still stands. We passed under it as we came into town. We are on a flat boat towed by a small gasoline boat run by a coal black negro, crossing the Altamaha River, a five mile stretch of creeks and marshes something like the North Indian River except the water is red. Beautiful flowers blooming all through the marsh, a few small trees. 8:30 Engine stopped, boat began to drift but soon started again. Two little negroes in the tug kept us entertained with their tussling, the older teasing the young one. The little one finally got the other one down in the bottom of the boat. 8:50 Engine stopped again but soon started. Have passed through channel cut by Oglethorpe, landing in sight. Just passed through gate for automobiles only having landed on old rice plantation. Rough road, narrow causeway. On the ferry one hour and fifteen minutes.
September 2nd, 1912
Somewhere on the road between Owens ferry on Satilla River and King’s ferry on the St. Mary’s River. Yesterday, after crossing long causeway across old rice plantation with the old flood gates on either side all along the way, passed a small negro settlement, crossed a long marsh much like the one in front of New Smyrna. Passed large lumber mill, turpentine still or large naval stores company. Reached Brunswick at 10:30 A.M. Stopped at garage, got oil and gasoline, left 10:55. Brunswick quite a large place but not pretty, large quantities of lumber and cotton shipped from there. Saw large schooner standing at the warf. Fine old cemetery. Saw rattlesnake crossing road, just as we passed it struck at the wheel. Brookman Post Office, another lumber mill, a long stretch of flat woods, lots of cattle. Struck some very rough road 27 miles from Brunswick. Came to deep water, could not cross. There our troubles began. Had to turn around and go back 1 ½ miles, take another road 32 miles. After going over rough road and deep sand we came to a small house, no one at home but a crippled man. We inquired of him and were told that there was a deep creek ahead of us and that we would need a pair of mules to pull us through but there would be no one there untill late in the afternoon. He advised us to go around by Waynesville and escape the deep water. We took his advice and by wandering around through pine woods, deep sand etc., inquiring all along the way whenever we chanced to see some one, and getting off the road now and then, we finally got through and back on the road to Owen’s ferry. Was much amused at one poor old colored woman who when she heard the car coming ran out and looked up and down the road in the most frightened way. We stopped and asked her if we were on the right road, she said, “Yes sir, yes sir, but I got some little children down the road, please sir watch out for them”. We told her that we would not run over them so she seemed satisfied. The branches of the trees which were very thick formed a perfect arch . The road was very dark with just a patch of light at either end. The opening did not look much larger than a good sized dinner plate. Looked very much like a tunnel. Passed another turpentine Mill, a long rice plantation called Maryfield. Reached Owen’s ferry at 4:40 P.M. Very hot. Crossed Satilla River on lighter towed by negroes in a small row boat. River narrow but very deep and black. 5:45, Broke down just in front of farm house but no one at home and will not be for a couple of days so the old colored man servant told us. He said there was another farm house down the road owned by an old colored couple. We were compelled to accept their hospitality for the night as it was getting dark when we found we could go no further. They are well to do negroes and clean. We might have been in worse quarters. We are six or seven miles from a railway station. The people are kind, doing all in there power for our comfort. Will and Victor are taking the car apart to see what is to be done. I am at the house, have washed and ironed a few things, handkerchiefs and collars and a skirt for myself. Doing some fancy work and being entertained by the songs of the cotton pickers.
Sitting on a crosstie waiting to flag down a train to take us to Jacksonville. Left the farm house at 4:00 P.M. in a wagon driven by an old colored man, about five miles through pine woods. A poor old horse and weather sultry, could not drive faster than a walk. When we reached here they told us the train would not be here for an hour and a half so we are sitting on the crossties waiting. This being only a flag station. Will and Victor took the car to pieces and took out the broken parts and are going to Jacksonville to get new parts and I am going home and thus ends the 27th anniversary of our marriage.
Well, our adventures if we might call them so did not quite end on the crossties yesterday. We went to a pretty little cottage and asked for some water. The people very kindly ask us in to sit on there porch. When supper time came we were just too hot to eat but I suspect the people thought we were dead broke (which was almost true) or too stingy to pay. Anyway the lady, Mrs. Patterson sent me out a tray containing a glass of ice cold lemonade and ,two large slices of cake and a piece of lemon pie. Lemonade sounded good to us all just then. I drank the lemonade ate the pie and one piece of cake and gave the other one to Victor. Will asked for a glass too. They brought out a pitcher full and glasses. They drank and then the people did not want to take any pay, but Will paid anyway. The train came in due time, we flagged it down, got aboard and reached here too late to catch the East coast train. Stopped at the Virginia Hotel, nice place. Will started out to hunt what he wanted for the car, walked 14 blocks and found everything closed up. He had told Victor and I to go out and get supper, but we did got want it bad enough to go after it but when Will came back he was hungry and insisted on our going. So I had to get up and dress. 11:30 P.M, We were just leaving the B 8 B Cafe after eating a very good supper. The night was very warm. We could not sleep untill after midnight but rested fairly well this morning.