Sunday, February 19, 2017

I told you so!

In case you’ve somehow missed it, I’ve told you over and over again that I come from a long line of scrapbookers.  I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad thing that the legacy ended with me but in my defense, I have so many scrapbooks already that I don’t know who would ever even look at the memories of my life.  It’s always been my goal to get the scrapbooks documented for future generations as the years have not been kind to them.

My grandfather, Sig Levy, seemed to have been OBSESSED with scrapbooking.  When we cleaned out the storage unit and our parents’ home of over 50 years we found many scrapbooks that Sig had left for us.  The books themselves were beautiful but I just couldn’t let them go without looking through them and, hopefully, documenting them.  I put them in several different boxes, glanced through some of them, and then put them aside for a rainy day.

Today is the day (and yes, it’s raining)!  I decided there was no time like the present to get started on this project as I’m hoping to donate the scrapbooks at some point to a historical society so that they could be enjoyed by others for years to come.  I pulled them all together and set them on a table.

You probably can’t tell from this photo but there are about 20 scrapbooks here (how I hope I didn’t miss any).  Once they were all together, I wondered where or how I would start.  I’d looked through a few of them over the years and found them to be newspaper clippings about events that had happened in Fresno, the city where my grandfather spent his entire life.  And being that he spent the majority of his career working in commercial real estate, most of the information seemed to be stories about buildings being sold, business being moved, etc.  Probably not much family history which is why I thought I’d one day donate them to the Fresno Historical Society.  This is a random sample of the pages in the book. 

So where to start?  I originally thought I’d try to sort them somewhat by date and go from there.  But there was something nagging at me as I looked at the stack of books.  All of the books were leather bound except for the one on top which looked much less ‘professional’. 

So I opened it up to see what was inside.

Hmmm, this looked a little different than the others.  A real scrapbook rather than an assortment of newspaper clippings. 

This was interesting but it didn’t tell me the year of this trip or who took part.  Sure I can see that Sig went on vacation but who went with him? 


And then I turned the page and saw this.

I know it’s hard to read but it’s a handwritten description of the family’s vacation traveling the Redwood Highway June 30-July 23, 1940!  Now I don’t know for sure if my dad wrote this (doesn’t look his adult handwriting) or his brother, Robert Levy, but the description is wonderfully detailed.

On Sunday, June 30, we started on a long, but enjoyable motoring trip which took us to the northern part of Oregon, Portland [oops, they got this in the wrong order].  On this day, Sunday, we went to the “Exposition City,” better known as San Francisco.  After a quiet night we went to the famous Hotel Benbow, on July 1, which is situated on the Eel River.  Robert and Gordon [so did Sig write this?] participated in boating there.  That day we also met the Leon Levy [Leon was Sig’s brother] family who were just returning from a northern trip.  The Hotel itself was very nice and had a lake of its own in the back.

On Tuesday, July 2, we traveled to Eureka, Calif. and on that day we saw one of the most gigantic and the most gorgeous scenes we had ever seen.  These, of course, were the famous California Redwoods.  The day before we were almost disappointed because we saw few trees and groves.  But this day was forgotten as we viewed nature’s contribution to Northern California – trees, thousands of years old, and hundreds of feet high.  In Eureka, we stayed at the homelike Eureka Inn  On Wednesday we were set to make our destination, Medford, Oregon and stop at the Oregon Caves for a quick trip through them.  As we were too late to make a trip through the Caves we went in just to see what it looked like, at 1:15.  The Chateau looked pleasant and our stopping point was at the Oregon Caves that night.  Rob & Gord went into the Caves and enjoyed the trip to the utmost.

On the next day we toured to [sic] world famous Crater Lake.  Arriving in mid afternoon, the weather was warm but one look at the deep blue lake took all thoughts of heat out of our heads.  The Lake, 6 miles in diameter, deceives you but it is gigantic.  That night we stayed at the Crater Lake Lodge.  The day at Crater Lake was well spent as Dad [who is writing this, anyway?] had a letter to the superintendent of the Park and he told us interesting things about the lake.  On the next morning we drove to Roseburg, Oregon – a small town but pleasant for a “one night stand”.  Then on Saturday, Portland loomed up and here was our northern destination.  On Sunday, we drove to Jantzen Beach Amusement Park which is on the shores of the mighty Columbia and 2 miles from Portland.  On Monday we drove on the Columbia River Highway and out to Bonneville Dam.  On Tuesday, July 9, we drove along the spectacular Oregon Coast to a small town called Coquille, halfway down the coast.  The hotel was not the best by any means but it was satisfactory.  The next day we went to Eureka and enjoyed it.  After some discussion, our next day was spent at Benbow.  The on Friday, July 12 our northern trip came to a close as we motored back to San Francisco.  Thus, the Sig Levy famiy ended its first motor trip of a great distance, successfully.

What fun to read about their motoring trip and I’m excited to go through all the pages to further explore the photos and other memorabilia. The more I look at the handwriting, the more I think it might have been written by my dad who would have been 13 at the time – just looks like 13 year old handwriting to me.  Oh geez, I wish I could ask!

I’m so excited I started with this scrapbook!  But with so much information, I’m not sure I’ll live long enough to get all of the scrapbooks documented.  Come back next time for more about the Levy motoring trip.


  1. A 1940 road trip---how wonderful! I wonder how many families did such a thing that far back. I always remember the ad campaign---see the USA in your Chevrolet---but that was in the 1960s.

    1. I'm hoping I can answer the question of how many hotel rooms they had. The information I see looks to be only one but somehow I'm having trouble imagining my very proper grandparents sharing a room with their 13 and 20 year old sons.

  2. I am sure the historical society will welcome those scrapbooks. I do indexing and transcribing for Greene Co Historical Society. They have a lot of scrapbooks and journals from old businesses. So interesting!

    1. I'm sure my husband will welcome me donating them, as well. LOL!

  3. Wow, what wonderful treasures. I'd love to have a description for some of the trip photos I've found since my dad passed away. Or to have photos to go along with my grandfather's descriptions of trips he chauffeured as a student in the 20s.

    1. Wouldn't that be fun to know more about the trips he chauffeured?

  4. How neat! I love how they call it motoring. :)

    Was their dad's name also Sig? If not, I would think it looks like Sig wrote it from the last line: "he Sig Levy famiy ended its first motor trip of a great distance, successfully." But, if the dad's name was Sig, too, then never mind! :)