J.M. Swain’s 1916 car route

 
 

This is the car route that Jethro Swain took in 1916 with his wife Alice (Pard) as they traveled from their home in La Jolla, CA, north to Chico, then east to Milan, MI.


Click here for 2009 paintings of the 1916 trip.


Click here for J.M. Swain’s 1916 diary. The entries from the trip dates are below.

Leg 1: Includes stops in Oceanside, Santa Ana, Lebec, Bakersfield, Delano, Fresno, Merced, Sacramento, Chico, Susanville, Carson City, Ely and Salt Lake City

Leg 2: Includes stops in Fort Bridger, WY, Grand Encampment, WY, Fort Collins, CO, Boulder, Mount Evans, CO, Colby, KS, Tipton, KS, Kansas City, MO, Marshalltown, IA, Cedar Rapids, Rochelle, IL, Hammond, IN and Milan, MI

Friday, Sep 1, 1916 Overnight @ new Salt Lake Hotel, 2 rooms 2.25, 3 suppers 70 cts. Had car looked over @ Ford Garage. Wired La Jolla & identification expect answer tomorrow AM. Wrote sister Mertie.

Saturday, Sep 2, 1916 Still @ new Salt Lake Hotel. Cost of tires & gas awful. Rec'd $50.00 from La Jolla. 8 gal gas @ 2.80, groceries expenses in Salt Lake about 30.00 cash. Run out to Parleys Canyon & camped, 17 miles. 1576 total miles.

Sunday, Sep 3, 1916 Heading for Cheyenne. Out from Salt Lake 9AM, gas @ Evanston 2.90, into Wyoming @ 2PM. Engine oil 20 cts, bread, sugar 35 cts. 5PM in camp OK @ Old Fort Bridger, 122 miles. 1698 total miles.

Monday, Sep 4, 1916 Visited Old Fort Bridger, Gov't post in 1843. Off @ 9:30, oil cost 85 cts per gal @ Lyman. 7 gals @ 27 cts, 2.60, bread 20 cts. Made Point of Rocks 115 miles in camp @ 4:30PM. 1813 total miles.

Tuesday, Sep 5, 1916 For Cheyenne or bust. Grub @ Pt of Rocks, 35 cts. Blow out in PM. Camped @ Rawlins, 90 miles, Gas cost 2.25, rained fierce tonight. 1903 total miles.

Wednesday, Sep 6, 1916 Rawlins Wyoming, all hands drying out after the pour down last night. 1PM, off for grand encampment, arrived and camped @ 5PM, auto expenses 1.45. Bread, meat & matches 50 cts. Run 63 miles. 1966 total miles.

Thursday Sep 7, 1916 8AM, out from Grand Encampment where we camped overnight. Bought 4 gal gas 1.40, crackers 20 cts, eggs 35 cts. 11:15, crossed N. Platte into Colorado, into Fort Collins @ 6PM & in camp, had supper, cost 1.00. Todays run 153 miles. 2119 total miles.

Friday, Sep 8, 1916 10AM, off for Boulder & got there at noon & found a camp in Jen Schneider's yard & concluded to layover. Fort Collins here 53 miles. Wrote sister to forward mail. Cleaned up our car this PM. 2172 total miles.

Saturday, Sep 9, 1916 Mr Evans 14,260 ft. Took day off, visited Mt Evans, ate lunch on top @ the Flag Staff, 14,260 ft or 90 ft higher than Pikes Peak. Run 95 miles. 2267 total miles.

Sunday, Sep 10, 1916 Laid over in Boulder, stopping with friends. Jen & Lou Schneider. Took 2 hours ride all around Boulder sightseeing & home again & it is raining @ bedtime, good.

Monday, Sep 11, 1916 Still raining this morning & cold. Concluded to stop here until weather settles. Bought spuds 25 cts, coffee 30 cts, bread 10 cts & tomatoes 75 cts.

Tuesday, Sep 12, 1916 Primary election day. Alice did washing today while I took in the town & David did likewise. Pard & Louis did business @ the bank & the folks took in a concert.

Wednesday, Sep 13, 1916 Gossiping all day & building castles in the air. PM, bought 8 gal gas 2.50, bread & snaps 25 cts. Hope to pull out in the morning.

Thursday, Sep 14, 1916 Packing up early, off for Denver @ 8:30AM. Gas 92 cts, oil 35 cts, bread & bacon 70 cts. Out of Denver @ 11:30, groceries 45 cts. Gas cost 1.05. Limon @ 5PM, run 128 miles. 2395 total miles.

Friday, Sep 15, 1916 Left Limon @ 8:30AM, bought cream 25 cts. Run 82 miles by 12 noon. @ Colby, Kansas tonight 5PM, total run today 156 miles. 2551 total miles.

Saturday, Sep 16, 1916 Off from Colby @ AM, gas, 5 gal 1.05, lunch @ Tipton 25 cts, 4 1/2 gal gas @ Plainville 80 cts, hamburg steak 15 cts, eggs 20 cts. To Plainville 4PM, run 108 miles. 2659 total miles.

Sunday, Sep 17, 1916 Off @ 9AM from Plainville. Camped by the roadside, run 134 miles, 2793 total miles.

Monday, Sep 18, 1916 Over night near Topeka, had tire vulcanized, 132 miles. 2925 total miles.

Tuesday, Sep 19, 1916 Off for Kansas City @ 9AM, more tire trouble all day. Miles today 75. Crossed the Kaw into Mo, camped in Kansas City @ 4PM. 3000 total miles.

Wednesday, Sep 20, 1916 Toll bridge 30 cts. Left city @ 10AM, off toward Chicago. Jones Cos new tube blew out @ 2PM, had used it 3 hours, cost 10.00. In Plattsburg bought new tire for 13.00 & groceries 50 cts. Run out & camped by a church. We run 44 miles. 3044 total miles.

Thursday, Sep 21, 1916 Off early & on the road. Bought groceries en route 55 cts. Chk in Plattsburg $13.00 for new nonskid tire. Blowout front wheel. 5 gal gas @ Bathany 1.00. Past Eagleville, blow out, front side. Camped on Mo side of the line, run 93 miles. 3137 total miles.

Friday, Sep 22, 1916 Into Iowa early AM. Bread 10 cts, 6 gal gas 1.30. Camped @ school house 30 miles out from Cedar Rapids. Run 106 miles today. 3243 total miles.

Saturday, Sep 23, 1916 Off early into Marshall, Iowa before 12, spent gas, 6 gal 1.25, beef & bakery 25 cts & off again on Lincoln Highway. 109 miles. 3352 total miles.

Sunday, Sep 24, 1916 Cedar Rapids, Iowa 10AM. Bakery 40 cts, groceries 1.00. 2 emergency patches 1.25, on again towards Chicago, 2PM blowout, run 103 miles. 3455 total miles.

Monday, Sep 25, 1916 Crossed Mississippi @ Clinton into Illinois @ 9AM. Groceries & toll 1.30. More tire trouble in PM five miles from Rochelle Meadow Farm, run 100 miles. 3555 total miles.

Tuesday, Sep 26, 1916 @ Rochelle @ 11AM, having tire fixed @ Unger's. Mailed 8 postals to friends, got cash @ bank. 3 dinners 90 cts. Raining AM. Room rent 35 cts, suppers, bed 1.40, paid Unger 3.50, gas 5 gal 1.65. Rochelle, Ill, rained all night, 5 miles. 3560 total miles.

Wednesday, Sep 27, 1916 Rochelle to Hammond, off for Hammond @ 9AM. Supper in East Chicago 1.05 & on to Hammond, Indiana. Run 124 miles. 3684 total miles.

Thursday, Sep 28, 1916 New tube 3.00, storage & gas 2.25. Off @ 10AM. @ Bristol tonight, run 116 miles today . 3800 total miles.

Friday, Sep 29, 1916 Off from Bristol @ 9:45AM, into Mich @ 10:30AM. Ten gal gas @ 2 places cost us 2.00. Lunches & oil, 1 quart cost us 15 cts & 45 cts. Supper @ Markhams. Journeys end 8:15PM. Run into Milan 140 miles. 3940 total miles.

Sunday, Jul 30, 1916 Pard & Learmont family off to visit Florence's home place, La Mesa & home again @ noon. Brownie brought our new tool box home for our Ford car this PM.

Monday, Jul 31, 1916 Cleaned up everything & off 4:40PM, went 39 miles & camped in open, OK . Jake, Florence, Brownie & Pard & myself and Florence brought my spit pot.

Tuesday, Aug 1, 1916 7:30, off & to Santa Ana @ 9:30 when we were run into by somebody detained 4 hours and on toward Los Angs. Spent 5.00 in Santa Ana, groceries etc. 53 miles today. 92 miles total.

Wednesday, Aug 2, 1916 Nary a skeeter tonight & all OK this morning for an all days ride. Jack H. Flood & wife come into camp tonight, an old prospector. Waiting in camp today for company to T ehama County tomorrow.

Thursday, Aug 3, 1916 On the road to Chico @ 8AM, into Los Angeles 10AM & out @ noon & lunched beside the rood & on to camp near in company with Ray & wife & Floyd, a jolly gang & OK. 63 miles. today . 155 miles total.

Friday, Aug 4, 1916 Bakersfield or busted. On the road early & OK. Crossed the Tehachapi range via Ridge road & on to Lebec where we took in gas, 6 gal 1.20, come through OK & no trouble. V alve stem 10 cts, bread & milk. Made 59 miles. Camped early below Lebec. 59 miles. 214 total miles.

Saturday, Aug 5, 1916 Off @ 8 & in Bakersfield @ 10. Meat & salt 30 cts, on north @ 11:30 and @ ----? had a puncture, cost us 45 minutes & going again OK @ 12:00, into Famoso @ 1:30, lunch on to Delano & camped in school grounds, 72 miles. 286 total miles.

Sunday, Aug 6, 1916 Left Delano @ 11:15AM & camped on Kings River @ 4:30PM, passed Tulare @ 2:30. Miles 71. 357 total miles.

Monday, Aug 7, 1916 Off @ 8:20 into Fresno @ 10:15. 5 gal gas cost 93 cts. Bread, meat, spuds, etc 50 cts. Find we must stop here on acct of tire troubles with our friends car, so moved out 12 miles & camped on the San Joaquin river, 38 miles. 395 total miles.

Tuesday, Aug 8, 1916 At Herndon Bridge on Joaquin in fine camp. PM, off north again @ 4:40 & camped @ Buhac Ranch 3 miles past Merced, run 52 miles OK in 2 hours & 20 minutes run. 447 total miles.

Wednesday, Aug 9, 1916 Left Buhac 8:30 going north past Stockton & on to Midway, formerly Galt. Shafer had a blow out. 87 miles driven today up to 5PM. Expense today, gas 1.09, camped 7 miles south of Sacramento City . Total run today, 105 miles. 552 total miles.

Thursday, Aug 10, 1916 Into Sac City early & all OK. Shall stay here in McKinley Park in camp for a day are two. Wrote Leiber & J.B.P . and post master & Annie Kirkwood in San Fran. I paid out 40 cts pipe soldering. (Hattie is gone) 7 miles today. 559 total miles.

Friday, Aug 11, 1916 Rusticating in the Capital. Camped in McK park, free water, wood & stoves OK, clean grass, dandy park & free. Dancing pavilion & music, swimming pools & comfort stations. Shoes 3.50 @ Hale Bros, Sacramento.

Saturday, Aug 12, 1916 Off for Chico @ 8:30, arrived in Chico @ 5PM @ sisters. Run 108 miles. 667 total miles, Overnight with sister Mertie Behme, 619 Salem St., Chico.

Sunday, Aug 13, 1916 Still in Chico today. Called on the Merry family regarding manufacturing business, find it can't be done here to any advantage, going on east in the near future. Went with sister to a show & waiting for mail from La Jolla.

Monday, Aug 14, 1916 Resting & visiting old friends today & had a light sprinkle of rain about noon. We still with sister Mertie B. & she had a letter from my son Henry's wife saying they were up in Warner V alley camping. No mail yet from La Jolla.

Tuesday, Aug 15, 1916 Off on Electric to visit the new division R.R. tunnel, Gerber 6 miles south of Red Bluff. R.R. fare 4.00 round trip. Letter from Sister Emma in Michigan, all OK. Waiting mail from La Jolla.

Wednesday, Aug 16, 1916 Still with sister in Chico. Taking in Chico generally. Called on C.B. Swains today, his wife gone to San Diego. Called on Merry's in PM & found him too busy to talk business.

Thursday, Aug 17, 1916 Still waiting mail from home. Cidack (sic) films flat failure. Self starter fizzle. Pressure gauge for tires 1.00. Mathews called @ sisters & we talked trip to Chicago.

Friday, Aug 18, 1916 Took car to have starter fixed in Chico Garage. Rec'd first mail from La Jolla. Wrote letter to Jack Dodridge.

Saturday, Aug 19, 1916 Cashed chk for $20.00 today. Having starter repaired @ Chico Garage today and hope to start east soon as possible. @ sisters yet, 619 Salem St.

Sunday. Aug 20, 1916 Worked all day on starter, Chico Garage, expense bill. Bought 5 quarts oil & 6 gal gas. Cleaned up the Lizard as clean as a button.

Monday, Aug 21, 1916 Paid Chico Garage, gas & oil 2.20 and time on starter 9.50. Left Chico @ 11:15AM, @ Butte Meadows & in camp OK, 39 miles. 706 total miles.

Tuesday, Aug 22, 1916 Butte Meadows, found Homer & family OK. @ Butte Meadows early & on towards Susanville & bought gas @ Chester. Bought 2 gal. gas 80 cts, 5 gal gas 2.60, exp in Susanville 2.60, to Susanville 109 miles. 815 total miles.

Wednesday, Aug 23, 1916 Off for Carson City, Nev @ 7:35AM. Paid out expenses 1.50 for break bands. David finds his county all OK. (in public camp grounds), into Carson via Reno @ 4PM, 122 miles. 937 total miles.

Thursday, Aug 24, 1916 Laid over all day in Carson, overhauling & relining brakes. Bread 10 cts, eggs 30 cts, liver 5 cts. Went to show 40 cts, paid for 8 gal gas 2.40 & incidental, water bags 6.50, run to Grimes, 75 miles, out @ 9:10AM. 1012 total miles.

Friday, Aug 25, 1916 Good bye Carson City, to old Father Grimes tonight, blew a new tube, went all to hell, dam it. Into camp @ 4PM, on to Sand Springs. Bought new tire, cost 13.50, on to East Gate, 48 miles, vulcanizing cost 1.50. 1060 total miles.

Saturday, Aug 26, 1916 Lost a day somewhere on this trip, 48 miles should have been today.

Sunday, Aug 27, 1916 Off from Eastgate @ 6:45, on toward Austin & David went an foot into Austin to get gas @ 10:45AM, costing 4.40, bread & sugar 1.00, supper in Eureka, 1.50. From East Gate to Eureka 125 miles. 1185 total miles.

Monday, Aug 28, 1916 Eureka to Ely, 6 gal gas, 2.40. A.J. Cartwright, Ely a Chico Normal graduate. On road bought grub & tobacco. T o Ely today, 89 miles. 127 4 total miles

Tuesday, Aug 29, 1916 New Firestone tire, 14.75, on towered Salt Lake @ 11AM. Put on chains first time to cross the high summit & failed, came back to P .O. & stayed overnight, paid 2.00 for spark plug, broke air line pipe. 42 miles. 1316 total miles.

Wednesday, Aug 30, 1916 Off from Burke's P .O. @ 10AM & up against the 8200 ft hill, tin lizard going all on the hill. Gas @ Tippets Ranch, 1.65, gas @ Kerney's Ranch 3.50. Camped here tonight, made 81 miles. 1397 total miles.

Thursday, Aug 31, 1916 Off from Kerneys @ 7:45AM, bought 1 gal gas, 30 cts. Into Salt Lake City @ 7PM, run 162 miles today . 1559 total miles.