|Elsie Metz 1902|
In December of 1911, 30-year-old Elsie applied for a U.S. passport, which was granted on 3 January 1912. This was in preparation for a 78 day cruise to the Orient aboard the steamship Cincinnati. As a single woman, she traveled with family friends Caroline Moerlein and her son William Moerlein. The Moerleins were part of the Christian Moerlein Brewing Company dynasty. Elsie kept a diary of her adventure, which surfaced a couple years ago and was donated to the Cincinnati History Museum. I was able to scan the pages of the diary before it passed on to the museum.
|Cincinnati Enquirer article January 31, 1912|
The Cincinnati left New York on 30 January, 1912. Elsie notes that they had “a rough stormy passage to Lisbon”, and that her female traveling companion was never able to appear on deck as she had “every disease known.” I’m sure that as First Class passengers, they were well taken care of, however. The ongoing storm was so bad that the ship was unable to land at Lisbon on 8 February, arriving the next day instead.
The ship traveled through more storms on its way to Cadiz, Spain. When they were finally able to dock, they found that their arranged trip to Seville was canceled because the railroads were washed away. Elsie records that “Spain suffering from worst floods known in sixty years.”
Eventually they made their way to more temperate weather, and she does not mention any other bad weather before returning to New York on 20 May 1912. But, at least at the beginning of the trip, Elsie must have been wondering, what in the world have I gotten myself into?
|Denver Post Story|
April 17, 1912
Elsie had many more traveling adventures in her life, including one where she had to get an emergency passport at the US Embassy in Berlin when WWI broke out in 1914 and she needed to get back to America. She died a spinster at the age of 93 on 21 March 1974.