19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Wednesday, August 12, 1914: Our new preacher was down here this morning to make a business call. He came in this automobile.
My heart slumped down to my very feet this morning or so it felt when I learned that Ruthie had received a letter from the ticket agent stating that the excursion to Niagara Fall next Monday was not going. Any way our crowd decided that we would go, and so I began to get relieved.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Wow, I’m surprised that the minister has a car. This is the first time in the diary that an automobile has been mentioned within the context of day-to-day activities–though obviously automobiles were still rare enough to be worthy of mentioning .
Previously cars were always viewed as a novelty. For example, on May 30, 1912 Grandma wrote:
Memorial Day: Carrie and I went up to McEwensville this morning. This afternoon we went over to Watsontown accompanied by another girl friend. We had the pleasure of getting an automobile ride. It was the first time I was ever in one and consequently never had experienced a ride.
Grandma, her sister Ruth, and several others were planning to visit Niagara Falls. In the early 20th century, there were special excursion trains that took people directly to tourist spots. Apparently too few people booked the Niagara Falls trip, so the excursion train was canceled. It sounds as if they were now planning to just take regularly scheduled trains to Niagara Falls.