University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Rae Lawton Diary



Manuscript Collection Number: 097, Item #155
Accessioned: Purchase 1956
Extent: 1 volume, 61 pages
Content: Travel diary
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: March 2003 by Carrie L. Foley

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Table of Contents

Descriptive Note

The diary of Illinois-native Rae Lawton’s travels through California in 1905 consists of one volume (61 pages) of autograph ink entries. The date span is 23 September 1905 to 17 December 1905, with almost daily entries.

Historical Note

This brief journal offers a thorough chronicle of twenty-five year old Rae Lawton’s trip to California in the fall of 1905. Lawton (1879-1975) traveled by train to California from Bloomington, Illinois, with plans to spend a year with family and friends. Her first stop was Santa Rosa, located about fifty miles north of San Francisco. She later traveled with her aunt and other companions to San Francisco, then on to Los Angeles and its environs, and finally settled in Riverside in late November. Her diary includes descriptions of daily activities, including tours of Los Angeles and San Francisco, daytrips out of the city, visits with family and friends, shopping and chores, and church attendance. Lawton’s diary will be useful to historians researching early twentieth-century travel and tourism in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Such scholars may be interested in Lawton’s impressions of these cities and her descriptions of local tourist attractions. In general, Lawton does not offer extensive reflection and analysis of California culture; rather, her writing is often limited to descriptions of her daily experiences. She also writes frequently about religious topics, including sermons she heard at various local Protestant churches.

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