Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Alice Ramsey: 100 Years of Driving Later

My class is currently reading a Scott_Foresman selection about Alice Ramsey, the first woman to drive across America. The selection comes from "Coast to Coast With Alice" by Patricia Rusch Hyatt. Her adventurous trip took 59 days to complete. This June marks the 100th anniversary of Alice's journey. Many things have changed in our world in the past 100 years. The use of automobiles to get around is one of the big changes. Children are transported back to a time when automobiles did not "rule" the road and the roads weren't like the roads we have to day.

On "Alice's Drive" a father and a daughter are restoring a 1909 Maxwell, just like Alice's car, in anticipation of driving it across America in an anniversary challenge and celebration. Here is an interesting video of Alice Ramsey, with many pictures of her trip. It includes plans for the anniversary drive and a film.

For just a bit of frivolity and comparison, here is a time-lapse video of a guy driving across the country. It seems they only had one incident when the car wouldn't start!

Going along with the idea of what life was like 100 years ago, I have been reading to my class a wonderful little book called "Listen My Dears" by Annabelle Haven.

She wrote this book for her grandchildren and others in 1994 as she tells about growing up in Nashua, NH. The kids love her reminisces and how she compares and contrasts life long ago with the modern day world. What makes the book special to my students is that Annabelle grew up right in their neighborhoods. She lived on Summer Street and Berkeley Street. Her father had a dentist office at 2 Abbott Street, just a few houses down from the back entrance to our school. They enjoy looking at the old photographs of their neighborhoods. Annabelle's family had one of the first automobiles in Nashua, back when their were only a handful in the city. My class always want to know if Annabelle is still alive. It appears she died last October. It looks like Amazon has only one copy left, if you want to read this fascinating local history book.

No comments: