An 8,000 Mile Trip by Rail in 1905-1906: Cornelius and Mary Abby Rogers's Trip to the West Coast and Back to Vermont 6 November 1905 - 16 April 1906
By 1905, Cornelius and Mary Abby Tenney Rogers were used to travelling and each had made other trips - many to Boston, to the greater New York City area and to Springfield, Massachusetts, as well as one to Iowa and St. Louis - but this is the illustrated story of one extraordinary journey which took almost six months and covered many varied kinds of terrain and experience. The tour took in the Plains and Prairies, the Rockies, Puget Sound and the shores of the Pacific, wide rivers bridged by long spans, and a warm winter in California. The enterprising, Democrat, New England farmer and his talented, Republican, wife who 'shopped with glee wherever she went', were seeing their country just as the frontier was closing, aware of the expropriation of tribal lands and noticing some new patterns of immigration, but before the major social and economic changes that came with the rapid industrialization after 1900. They chose to travel and to stay with relatives, friends and former acquaintances, thus managing costs and gaining local guides and insights in both cities and on farms - eager to see sights but also willing to cultivate the garden, pick fruit or olives, chop wood and file saws, and wash or iron with and for their friends, and curious enough to try the medicines of a Chinese herbalist and the food of oriental cooks. Well-documented in Mary Abby's diaries, postcards, photographs, brochures and souvenirs, the adventure - and the attitude to life that it represented - became a collective family memory. It is presented here by their great-grandson.