Well, I finally got my 3rd blog site finished. You can find it on the right hand side of this blog under “BLOG ROLL” and the title of it is “19th Century Travel Diaries”. Just click into that link to start our next adventure. That adventure of course is shared with us because of 14 year old Ernestine Hassenstein and her 1881 private diary. I’ve posted a few things on this new site but will post Ernestine’s first entry in a day or two. Enjoy……..


Just to let everyone know that I haven’t forgotten about this. My daughter is here from Colorado and leaves in about 5 days and I’ll start my new diary posts. Hope you are all well.

       Well, I found the next diary that I want to share here. I have always been in love with travel journals, especially shipboard travel journals. They take me to mysterious and ancient lands far away without leaving the comfort of my own home, and this is one of those incredible diaries. It was written by 14 year old Ernestine Hassenstein in the year 1881. Ernestine was traveling on board the steamship Acadia and the ship captain was none other then Ernestine’s father, Fredrich Julius August Engelhardt Hassenstein. Her younger sister, Elizabeth Emilie was also on board.

     I found a wonderful time line for the family and so I want to give you a bit of background before I start quoting from this amazing travel journal. Her father Fredrich was born in Russia in 1840. He married Karoline Luise Sophie Bottcher. They had 5 children; Ernestine (b. 1868), Elizabeth (b. 1869), Anna Olga (b. 1871), Fredrich Adalbert (b. 1878), and Victoria Fisher (b. 1882). Although Ernestine was born in Prussia, the family lived in Glasgow Scotland at the time this diary was written.

     Ernestine’s father was known as a master mariner but on February 8th, 1901 he left on board the steamer Manicore bound for Madeira and was never heard from again. He was lost at sea. Ernestine married Walter Duff in 1896 while in Glasgow. The photo here shows Ernestine and her husband on their Silver Wedding Anniversary in 1921.

     I must say that Ernestine’s diary entries are incredible. They are very long and detailed and as they leave Glasgow in the summer of 1881 they travel to Italy, Spain and finally the United States.

     I haven’t decided whether to continue on where this blog left off or start a whole new page, a whole new blog using Ernestine’s diary. I’m leaning towards the later but either way I’ll let you know. So…looks like we have a trip to take to Italy, Spain and the United States on board a steamship, 131 years ago, seen through the eyes of 14 year old Ernestine…….To be continued….

Well, I’m going to start a new diary blog very soon and I hope you all enjoyed Edith’s travels as much as I did. I’m not quite sure yet if I’ll start a new wordpress blog page and give you the link to it or continue on with this page. I think it might be a new page because I want to keep Edith’s blog for any new readers. Plus at the beginning of Edith’s blog page is another diary I started with; way back when. It’s a 1913 English Country side travel diary by two young lovers; if you haven’t read it yet. The photo I’ve included here was taken by a young woman who has a photography company named Jenna Luoto Photography and this shows a fraction of what I have in my private collection. I hope to get started on the new blog within a week but I’ll keep you updated. Hope you are all well…..

October 10th, 1887

(Sally here: I’ve been so busy with my other diaries and trying to get them organized. Plus I was a bit surprised when I turned the page of Edith’s diary to post another entry and there is only one more left!!! Oh goodness. So, before I post this last entry I want to thank you all for following Edith’s diary posts. Secondly, I’m deciding what adventure to take us on next and whose diary I’m going to use to take us on that adventure. I do have some very personal letters that were written in 1922 by Edith Vanderbilt’s ex-husband Ernesto Fabbri. They were written after their very famous and tumultuous divorce but I’m not sure if I should post those yet. But, either way I will have another set of diary posts from another diary very soon and I promise not to disappoint….)

 “October 10th,

Quebec Canada. We went to the only French Protestant Church here and heard an excellent sermon. There were only about fifty people in the whole church. The usual minister was absent and we heard a minister from Montreal. The church is situated on St. John’s Street and those who went walked there and back. I did nothing but write and read this afternoon. This evening I took a walk with papa and Gussie on the Dufferin Terrace. You have a beautiful from here. Across the river is the little town of Levis. What an extraordinary time we are having.”


“September 28th, 1887

Toronto and from Toronto Canada

This morning I did nothing much so I will say a few things about this city. The hotel is on Front Street and two blocks below across the railroad track is Lake Ontario. The principal shopping street is King St. No saloons are allowed to be open here on Sunday. They all close at six o’clock Saturday night and remain so till seven o’clock Monday morning. No shops remain open on Sunday and no street cars and omnibus’s run on that day. The women are allowed to vote here who are widows or maiden ladies with some property. This afternoon I went to the cyclorama “The Battle of Sedan” which is very good. After tea we went to the station where we waited a few minutes for the “Riva”. That night we slept on the cars.”


 “September 29th,

From Ottawa to Montreal Canada.

At ten o’clock this morning we left our car which had been standing in the station for several hours and took carriages to drive to the Russell House.


 The smoke from the great forest fires around was so dense that the roofs just above us were scarcely visible. However, after waiting at the Russell House a few minutes for papa we went in carriages to see something of the city, the capitol of Canada. The Parliament Houses are very fine, built of a grayish stone. The House of Commons is large, furnished in green with galleries around, the columns, of which are made of Canadian marble. The Senate House is quite fine with red furniture and galleries the same as those of the House of Commons. The Library is large with a marble statue of Victoria in the centre and books all around the walls and in projections of which there are several in the room. We then visited the Governor General’s house. It is large but plain and has extensive grounds. Madame Corte, formerly Mells Hestere, our governess, came to dinner and afterwards showed us her little comfortable house. At 4:30 we left Ottawa for Montreal where we arrived at Windsor Hotel at 8:30 P.M.”


(Sally Here: I’ve been busy trying to get all my diaries organized and put into fireproof safes. Been a long time coming, so I haven’t been as faithful at my posts as I should be. Finally gaining some headway and will be posting more regularly. Edith’s next entry is on the 25th of September. She didn’t write anything from September 17th to the 24th as she just writes that they are in Cincinnati Ohio.)

 “September 25th, 1887 Cincinnati Ohio

This morning we went to the first Presbyterian Church and heard a good sermon. In the afternoon I wrote some and read a little. We all went to bed early on account of our having to rise early on the following morning.”

 “September 26th,

We were called at 6 A.M. this morning for the train. Started at 9:30. We had our breakfast on the cars. All day we journeyed comfortably, traveling north through Ohio. Towards evening entering Toledo Station where three months ago we stopped for an hour to make a connection. We soon after had crossed into Michigan and after we had finished tea entered Detroit. Here our car waited for some time for another train and in the mean while some of us took a little walk through the streets. After another few minutes the Riva was pushed on a boat and we crossed the Detroit River into Canada! We travelled all night on the car.”

 “September 27th, Toronto, Lake Ontario Canada

Train arrived at 5 A.M. we went to Hotel “Queens” after breakfasting on the “Riva”.


A little later we took a drive, stopping at the Normal School. We walked through the art rooms which to me were extremely interesting. The mythological gods of the Greeks were represented in marble and plasters. Copies of ancient Italian paintings hung on the walls. Busts of famous men and poets clustered in the broad halls and the mysteries of Egypt lay brightly represented before us. After leaving this delightful place where I should like to spend hours by myself, we took a drive around the city.


There are quite a number of fine but very plain houses around but altogether I did not find Toronto a very attractive looking place. In the afternoon I did nothing much but was in a perfect whiz of excitement all the time for in the evening I was going to see Rosina Vokes. It was the first time I had ever been to the theatre in my life and I enjoyed it beyond words. The plays were “The Widow’s Device” and “The Double Lesson.”