Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The 1919 Diary of Ypsilanti High School Teacher Carrie Hardy

Part of a year-long weekly serialization of Ypsilanti high school math teacher Carrie Hardy's diary.

You may recall that Carrie was writing report cards and preparing for the close of the school year. She also was worried about her brother Rob, and took a break with a little trip to Belle Isle in Detroit.

June 21 Sat. Bad day all round. Felt sad and depressed all day. Went down town and did a little shopping. Also prepared to go to Detroit.

June 22 Sun. Up early and drove to Detroit. May, the children + I drove to Belle Isle by way of the Blvd. Rob not very well. Catherine did not pass in school.

June 23 Mon. With Mrs. Curtis, May, the children & Gladys drove to the East side. Gladys & Catherine to visit a friend. May, Robert & I went for Rob after work. Car fine. Rob better.

June 24 Tues. Came home this morning. Hate to leave Rob. Bro't some croqueting home to do for May. Feel "bum." Two letters from Lillian. Miss Laird over.

June 25 Wed. Washed and ironed. Crocheted. In evening my car would not start. Went down to Nye Motor Sales Co. and bargained for an Overland for Rob. No letter from Lillian.

June 26 Thurs. Paid $500 Liberty Bonds for Rob's Overland. Hear from Lillian nearly every day. Took Rob's Overland done to him. He was very much pleased. Cried. He drove on the B'lv'd.

June 27 Fri. Rob took the car out of the barn alone & drove out to his work with all of us in. I drove back. Helped May with her work + went for Rob in evening. He drove us all home.

June 28 Sat. Came home this morning. Am trying to clean the house. Miss Carr from Williamston called. A good visit. Took bath. Went downtown for groceries.

June 29 Sun. Went to church. After dinner Miss Scultes and I drove to Ann Arbor, then to Willis. Catherine Webb and Miss Carr called in evening. Catherine is to attend summer Normal.

Thanks for reading; tune in next Tuesday for the next series!


jml said...

She certainly gets around - far more than I would have guessed in 1919. What Blvd is she taking to Detroit - Michigan Ave?

Lisele said...

Is an Overland a car? Did she buy her brother a car? What a good sis!

jml said...

Yes, an Overland was a car. The Overland was first produced in 1903 by the Standard Wheel Co., a bicycle manufacturer in Terre Haute. Overland was bought by John North Willys, and he formed the Willys Overland Co. In 1919, the MSRP of the 1919 Overland Model 90 touring car was $850 so, at $500, the car Carrie bought may have been used.

Willys (prounounced will-eez - learned that today!) built the Overland in Toledo. The sold well well (second to Ford in the teens, third to Ford and Chevy in the 20's) but had financial trouble in the 20's, saved by Walter Chrysler. It went bankrupt in the 30's, but revived during WWII when it produced the Willys MB, better known as the Jeep.

Here's the Ypsilanti content: in 1953, the Kaiser company bought Willys and moved production of the Kaiser car from Willow Run to the Willys complex in Toledo (putting my grandfather out of work). American Motors bought Kaiser-Jeep in 1970, and Chrysler bought American Motors in 1985 - Chrysler was once again in charge of Willys.

Lisele said...

Thanks, that was really interesting.

Dusty D said...

jml: Hm, to my knowledge Michigan Ave was never referred to as a blvd...but Grand Blvd. in Detroit, regarded as "the city's chief adornment" till the Depression, goes to Belle Isle...mebbe that one?


Dusty D said...

jml: neat info on the Overland; interesting! Thank you!

jml said...

Of course, Grand Blvd. makes sense. Michigan Ave. straight into Detroit, then a tour around the outskirts of Detroit (!) on Grand Blvd. to gawk at the brand new large homes, with Belle Isle at the end of the tour.