Mrs. Florence Burlingame Taylor, of Cleveland, has planned a camping motor trip for herself and children commencing August 3 or 4 that will cover several weeks. Mrs. Taylor, who was a former Saltsburg girl and school teacher, has consented to furnish The Press letters for publication of her trip. Her itinerary includes Marietta, Ohio; Parkersburg, Charleston, Bluefield, W. Va.; Wytheville, Va.; Bristol, Tenn.; and on to Knoxville where they are to meet her sister and her four children, coming by auto from Austin, Texas. They are to have two blissful weeks together in the Smoky mountains, forty miles east of Knoxville. She expects to return home by way of Lexington, Ky., Cincinnati, Ohio, zigzagging a bit to take in interesting points in Ohio.
August 6, 1933 - Motor Travel Sketches - #1 Note - The first installment of a motor trip by Mrs. Florence B. Taylor, Cleveland, Ohio, follows, and her Saltsburg friends will journey with her, in mind, as she and her family travel from place to place. *** Marietta, Ohio - August 6, 1933
My dear Saltsburg friends: Here beginneth the story of the "Great Adventure," written as I sit on the runningboard of this blessed invention of the modern age - the auto. [1929 Dodge, MEY] The children are asleep inside. We are in a tourist camp de luxe in the Fair grounds on the outskirts of Marietta, Ohio. There is a community kitchen, shower baths, and a children's playground. This letter is written, not for those who have been over this trail, nor for the critics, but only for those who like to read of places they cannot see; who will bear patiently with the writer, who lays no claim to literary art. Let me introduce my fellow-adventurers: Estelle, aged 12, Virgil, Jr., 7, and Charles, 6. We left Cleveland with but one pang - that we had to have Daddy behind - in a dull, hot office. The "Great Adventure" did not have a very auspicious beginning. In the first place, we started out about three hours later than planned. When you pack, for the first time, everything for camping needs, from camp cot to can opener, you just don't run on schedule. We hadn't gone twenty-five miles until I discovered that our tarpaulin cover, that was to serve as my shelter from rain at night, was missing. (That's a woman's packing for you.) That was a blow to our economy plan. We immediately launched a recovery program by going back four miles to the nearest town; then we joined the NRS - No recovery, alas!
Our route led through Canton. We paused for a few moments at McKinley's beautiful monument, a large, circular, white granite structure, set on a hill. The landscape setting is unusually beautiful - long, terraced pools, so arranged as to suggest a cross-hilted sword, symbolizing the cross of the martyr, and the sword of a President in time of war. The interior of the tomb is grey Tennessee marble; the sarcophagi, containing the bodies of the President and Mrs. McKinley, are of single blocks of dark green granite from Vermont, resting upon a base of black granite quarried at Berlin, Wisc. The inscription, cut in marble, just below the dome, seems peculiarly fitting at the present time, with the rumblings of war, and President Roosevelt's peace victories: "Let us ever remember that our interest is in concord, not conflict, and that our real eminence rests in the victories of peace, not those of war." In the wall opposite the entrance are two small inscriptions, often overlooked by the public, which tug at a parent's heartstrings:
Katherine McKinley - Daughter of Wm. and Ida McKinley - Aged 4 years, 6 months
Ida May McKinley - Daughter of Wm. and Ida McKinley - Aged 2 years, 2 months
I can understand now the sweetly sad face of Ida Saxton McKinley in all her photographs. ***
I must send this letter, with apologies - as I must drive on to Charleston today. I promise you a real letter next week, telling of the beauties and things of historic interest in Marietta, Ohio - a volume in itself. Hastily -
Sincerely yours, Florence B. Taylor
Next - Motor Travel Sketches #2