Take an Archives Staycation

Orville Wright (driving), Katharine Wright, and Harriet Silliman in the "St. Louis" automobile purchased by Charles Webbert through the Wright Cycle Company, 1903. (photo ms1_28_7_5)
Orville, Katharine Wright, and Harriet Silliman in a “St. Louis” automobile 1903. (ms1_28_7_5)

While many of us will not be taking a vacation this summer due to the Pandemic, you can still take a virtual “road trip” of our collections visiting locations throughout the United States and world. Believe it our not, many of our collections include photographs, diaries, letters, travel pamphlets, maps, tickets, schedules, and other items from residents of the Miami Valley who traveled on family vacations, business trips, research expeditions, or for military service.

Wednesday, July 1, 1857. We started at 7:00 for New York. We went through Columbus, Crestline, Pittsburgh, and reached Altoona before daylight. We rode across the Allegheny River in an omnibus, in the dark. Our fare from Dayton to New York about $19.00. -Milton Wright

The Wright family, beginning with Bishop Milton Wright, traveled extensively by foot, wagon, train, boat, and automobile throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Bishop’s diaries, starting with a trip to the Northwest Territory in 1857, describe his travels along with those of his children. The siblings, Wilbur, Orville, and Katharine, made several trips to Europe between 1907-1910 and spent time in France, England, Germany, and Italy. The photographs of these trips, showing the locales they visited and those they met, can be viewed and searched online.

Of course, you can’t have summer vacation without the family road trip! Remember those long days crammed into the minivan asking “are we there yet?” every few minutes? In the summer of 1921, the McCarthy family left Dayton for the west coast. The family photo album documents the 6 month trip from Ohio to California with images of camping, famous landmarks, the open road, and, of course, car trouble.

Finally, if you do get to take a road trip this summer and would like some activities to keep the young travelers occupied for a while, look no further than our Special Collections & Archives Fun and Educational Activities topic guide. The guide offers a variety of word searches and coloring sheets that can be downloaded and printed.

If you want to explore our collections further, you can view the SC&A web site or browse our digital collections on CORE Scholar. Have a great summer and safe travels!

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