Florida Family Starts A Road Trip
The Newell family lives in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. William H Newell moved from Oswego, New York to Greensboro, North Carolina in 1871 and was managing a grocery store when he met Annie E Kenedall. They married in 1879 and moved to New Smyrna Beach in central Florida in 1890 where they opened a livery business and the Newell House Hotel near Coronado Beach. They raised a family and New Smyrna Beach was incorporated in 1903 with William serving as an early mayor. The Newells had not been back to Greensboro in 16 years.
On July 17, 1912 William and Annie Newall and their two sons Willie and Victor started off on an overland road trip to Greensboro, North Carolina in their E M F automobile. Annie Kendall Newell kept a diary.
Wednesday July 17, 1912
Left New Smyrna 9:45 this morning, passed through Daytona and Ormond. Ate our lunch at a place called Mound Grove, one of the most picturesque spots I have seen in the state. The road runs along the canal for some distance and is bordered by a row of immense date palms. In crossing a creek at a lumber camp we were stuck in the middle of it and had to be pulled out by a pair of mules. The man at the camp instructed us to go straight ahead, every thing all right or we would not have attempted it without first testing it. Fortunately he had a pair of mules close by and we were soon on our way again. Road very rough. Had two blowouts. Reached St. Augustine at 5:45 P.M. Stopped at Bunting House, fare none to good, mosquitoes bad.
The entire diary is available for reading and is quite delightful. Many thanks to Richard F Newell of Jacksonville, Florida for preserving his grandmother’s diary for posterity and sharing his family history :