19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Friday evening, August 21, 1914: Back again to you dear book and ready to tell you what all I have been doing.
Monday, August 17, 1914: My mind was so filled with thoughts of the coming trip that I could not sleep sound last night. I was up before three this morning. We left here about five. Pa took Alma and me to town. Ruth came with Rachel. We left before they did. I was in such awful anxiety for fear they would not get there, for then it would be no go. We crossed the Susquehanna in a row-boat and got to the station in time for the train.
We changed cars at Williamsport. There were so many in the station getting tickets. We had to wait quite awhile before we could get ours. When we entered the train all the seats were taken. We were sent back in a Pullman. I thought it was simply grand; and wanted to stay there all day, however we had to move when we arrived at Corning. Arrived in Niagara after six. Was long enough to leave the cars.
We proceeded at once to the Temperance Hotel. We were on the fifth floor. It seemed rather monotonous climbing all those stairs. We washed and dressed and then went down to supper. It was the first time I had ever eaten in a hotel. Guess I didn’t commit any serious mistakes. From my place in bed I can look out over the lighted city.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
When Grandma got home on the 21st, she wrote an entry for each day of the trip. Over the next several days, I’ll share the trip description on the appropriate day. I guess that I’m technically jumping ahead by posting this entry—but this is how Grandma organized the diary.
Wow, what an adventure for Grandma, her sister Ruth, their cousin Alma Derr, and their friend Rachel Oakes. . . from crossing the Susquehanna River at dawn in a row boat (The first bridge across the river at Watsontown was not built until 1927.) . . . to riding in a Pullman sleeping car for part of the trip. . . to eating in a hotel restaurant for the first time. . . to looking out on a city lit with (probably electric) lights!