State Historic Site

Trail End


No Time For Boredom

Making the Most of Leisure Time in a Screenless Society

THE FIRST MAJOR vacation the Kendricks took as a family was in early 1899, when they went to California. There they visited San Francisco and Los Angeles. Rosa-Maye was just a toddler when she played in the sand at San Francisco's Ocean Beach. The family visited the beach again in 1911, when they took a steamship to Cuba. 

In the mid-1910s, the Kendricks attended the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco and the Panama-California Exposition in San Diego. While both events celebrated the 1914 opening of the Panama Canal, the one in San Diego touted that city's role as the first port of call for ships traveling north on the Pacific side of the canal. San Francisco's fair had the additional purpose of showing how the city had recovered following the devastating earthquake of 1906.

During one of these trips, the Kendricks traveled to Yosemite National Park in northern California. Along with thousands of other tourists over the years, they drove through the famous Wawona Tunnel Tree, a giant sequoia located in Yosemite's Mariposa Grove. The tunnel had been cut through the 227-foot tall tree in 1881. The massive conifer fell over in 1969 at the approximate age of 2,300 years.


In July 1914, the Kendricks took their first trip to Yellowstone National Park in northwestern Wyoming. Since this was before automobiles were allowed into the park, the family had to take a train from Sheridan, Wyoming, to Gardiner, Montana - the northern entrance to Yellowstone. From Gardiner, they traveled by horse coach (called a Tally-Ho) to Mammoth Hot Springs, where they stayed at the National Hotel (later replaced by the Mammoth Hotel).

The next day, they proceeded to the Fountain Hotel (located north of Fountain Paint Pots; torn down in 1927) via Silver Gate and the Norris Geyser Basin. Along the way they saw Frying Pan and Roaring Mountain geysers. After thoroughly exploring the thermal features in these areas, the family moved on to the Old Faithful Inn, which Rosa-Maye called "one of the most wonderful hotels in America." That night, after a day visiting the curio shops and exploring the nearby woods, they went to the roof of the Old Faithful Inn to watch bears and the Old Faithful Geyser, both illuminated by electric searchlights.

The Kendricks' next stop was Yellowstone Lake, where they stayed at the Lake Colonial Hotel. Although they resisted the temptation to take one of the excursion cruises across the lake, Rosa-Maye and her cousin Eula did manage to go fishing with a couple of young gentlemen they met along the way. From Yellowstone Lake, the party traveled to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, where they stopped at Artist's Point. Rosa-Maye's diary contains this description of the view:

We looked from a jutting rock down thousands of feet into one of the  most wonderful canyons in the world. From up among jagged rocks the Yellowstone river leaps through hundreds of feet and flies up halfway in snow spray. Down through a narrow course at the bottom of the cliffs it winds, plunging over boulders and dropping through holes in the rocks.

That night, they stayed at the Grand Canyon Lodge (dismantled and burned in 1962). Next to the Old Faithful Inn, this lodge was - according to Rosa-Maye - "the most wonderful of our trip."

Rather than return to Gardiner for the train ride home, the Kendricks traveled to Cody, Wyoming, via Sylvan Pass. Along the way they stopped at the highest dam in the world, the Shoshone Dam. This massive structure was later renamed in honor of one of John Kendrick's personal friends, William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody.


The Kendricks enjoyed many stateside vacations - including one to Grand Canyon in 1915 (four years before it was declared a national park) - but it wasn't until 1920 that they made their first family trip to Europe (John Kendrick had traveled overseas in 1917 to visit the troops fighting in France during World War One). During their three months abroad, Eula, Rosa-Maye and Manville visited France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, England and Ireland.

For more about this trip, see our article Letters From Europe.

In 1923, Rosa-Maye's cousin, Eula Williams, married a young military officer named Samuel Calvin Cumming (cousin of Manville's wife, Diana Cumming). Shortly after the wedding, the couple moved to Cuba where Cal was stationed for several years. Due to their extremely close friendship - Eula was more like a sister to Rosa-Maye than a cousin - it wasn't long before Rosa-Maye and her mother sailed to Cuba to visit the newlyweds. Even after her niece moved to other duty stations, Eula Kendrick returned to Cuba and other Caribbean islands quite often, usually when the Wyoming winters became too cold for comfort.

In their later years, Manville and Diana took many cruises, visiting ports of call throughout Asia, Europe, South America and the Caribbean.


(Hoff, Kendrick & Laughton collections, TESHS)

A Whole-House Exhibit at the Trail End State Historic Site
‚ÄčApril 2010 - December 2011

Detail, Judge Magazine, 1912 (Private Collection)