Wednesday, February 17, 2010
A Year Away from Westvale
In August of 1924, my Great Aunt Marion traveled by train and the Great Lakes Transit to a small frontier town on the Canadian border in northern Washington state.
I'm lucky to have the diary she kept of her year-long journey from Syracuse, across the northern Great Lakes; then a car tour through Yellowstone Park, to Omak, Washington, where she lived with a family and taught school until June of 1925. From there, she continued on her journey, visiting Seattle, then on to San Francisco, then to Los Angeles, where she rode the glass bottom boat to Catalina Island. The diary is filled with visits with Parsons cousins, luncheons held in her honor, and her perceptions of the countryside, the places, and the people.
She returned to Syracuse and in 1926 opened the doors for the first year of classes at Cherry Road School. That first year children attended school in a refurbished chicken coop at the edge of her father's cherry orchard while the school we know today as Cherry Road School was being built.
As part of the book, now in progress, I'll share excerpts of Miss Parsons journey away from and back home, in her own words.