Traveling with Grace: Onward Towards Home

In this week’s entry for our #TravelTuesday series: Traveling with Grace, the party begins the long journey towards home. To read more of Grace’s travels, click here. 

Saturday, August 23, 1947

Beloit, Kansas
Weather: Sunny and Hot

Had a nice morning’s rest. Hotel Porter is very good for this size town. We had a time placing Charles. Helene ran around with him and finally got him located at a tourist cabin. We three say in the garden this afternoon reading and as it was very warm, we got soft drinks from the lobby and the time passed quickly. After supper we walked around the neighborhood and watched the hay seeds come to town for their Saturday night fling. Most of the stores are open. Also 2 theaters. Later we sat in front of the hotel and talked to some of the guests.

The Elms, Excelsior Springs, Missouri, 1947. Via,

Sunday, August 24, 1947
Beloit to Excelsior Springs
Weather: Sunny and Hot

Left Beloit about 10. Went through Scandia, Cortland, Belleville, Marysville, where we stopped for lunch and I had to buy a new tire. Then Hiawatha, a very pretty town, Cameron, etc. St. Joseph was the one big city en route. It’s on the Missouri river, the dividing line, which we crossed on a big bridge. Arrived at The Elms, Excelsior Springs – a typical spa – about 5. Have a beautiful air-conditioned suite. It is very humid here. After dinner we went to the ballroom for community singing. Several amateurs gave solos, a pleasant evening.

Harry S. Truman House, 219 North Delaware Street, Independence, Jackson County, MO. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Monday, August 25, 1947
Excelsior Springs, MO.
Weather: Cloudy and humid

We had continental breakfast (late) served cafeteria fashion in the bar and sat on the porch writing until lunch time. The porches and gardens are very pretty. We are lucky that the weather has turned much cooler. After lunch we rode into Kansas City and had a delightful visit with Mr. and Mrs. Maine who served us refreshments. Elaine is very like her mother. On the way back to Excelsior we stopped in Independence, a pretty town of comfortable looking homes and saw the Truman house, white frame rococo style, stained glass panel windows, in a nice garden, tree shaded. Also, his mother’s home across the street.

Vintage postcard, Coronado Hotel for Bachelors. Via.

Tuesday, August 26, 1947
Excelsior Springs to St. Louis
Weather: Clear and hot

Left Excelsior Springs about 10. Some of the towns we went through were Boomville, Columbia where we ate lunch, and a number of smaller places. Road very good on Route #40. The approach to St. Louis is very pretty. We came in through a nice suburban district and the streets are quite wide. Arrived at Coronado Hotel – fine – about five. I called Flora Freeund[?] and made an engagement with her for tomorrow. After a delicious dinner in the air-conditioned coffee shop we say on the open terrace until bedtime.

Anheuser-Busch Brewery, Broadway & Pestalozzi, Saint Louis, Independent City, MO. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Wednesday, August 27, 1947
St. Louis, MO.
Weather: Clear and hot

Flora came while we were having breakfast and she went with us and showed us the highlights of the city. We saw the huge plant of Anheuser-Busch where Budweiser beer is made, the buildings of Washington University, the wholesale and retail districts, hotels, theaters, the big railroad station with the magnificent group of statuary called the Wedding of the Rivers by Carl Milles, the beautiful old cathedral, the Shaw botanical gardens with the greatest variety of water lilies I have ever seen and in every color, the home of Eugene Field with its old fashioned garden in a fine state of preservation, Forest Park one of the most attractive I have seen anywhere, with its out-door theater for summer opera, a large zoo, decorative fountains reminiscent of Versailles, beautiful Art Museum on a hill facing a lagoon with statue of St. Louis on the terrace, a huge glass conservatory called the Jewel Box, Jefferson Memorial where we saw the fabulous collection of trophies of all kinds and from all over the world presented to Col. Lindbergh, his mother and his wife, some of great value, others quite insignificant except for the associations connected with them. Flora had lunch with us at the Coronado and afterwards she showed us the Westwood Country Club and the mansions in Millionaire Row (Busch’s among others).

The Jewel Box. Via.

The Municipal Buildings in St. Louis are very imposing, and the boulevards would do justice to Paris or Washington. Later she took us to her home for refreshments and gave us a big bag of delicious fruit to take on our trip tomorrow. We saw her little granddaughter, a lovely baby, and her husband came in before we left and was very gracious. Their house is elegantly furnished and very well kept. We saw a part of the city which her husband developed. We went back to the hotel and rested a while before going to The Jug, an outside terrace restaurant where we had a delicious dinner, then sat on the balcony overlooking Lindell Boulevard and watched the passing crowds.

Vintage postcard, General Douglas MacArthur Bridge, St. Louis, 1947. Via.

Thursday, August 28, 1947
St. Louis to Indianapolis, Indiana
Weather: Warm and sunny

We left St. Louis about 10 but were held up nearly half an hour on the McArthur bridge crossing the Mississippi to E. St. Louis, Illinois. The largest towns we went through were [Greniolls????], Effingham where we stopped for lunch, Vandalia[?], Terre Haute and Brazil. All these towns have beautiful municipal buildings out of all proportion to their size. As we approach Indianapolis the countryside grows prettier, more rolling with rich farmlands. Arrived at Hotel Lincoln about 5:30. Took a short walk after dinner.

Thanks for reading “Traveling with Grace,” a series where we’re sharing (and annotating) posts from the travel diaries of Grace Amelia Hecht, native Baltimorean, b. 1897 and d. 1955. As mentioned in my introductory post transcription errors sometimes occur and I’ve made my best guesses where possible, denoted by [brackets]. – Rachel Kassman, marketing manager


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