While they were in Illinois, they visited my Great-Grandfather’s brother, Solomon (Sol) Lohr, and his family in Mount Carroll. This was George’s first trip back to where he was raised. My great-grandparents came to what was then the Northwest Territories, Canada, in the fall of 1900. So, we assume that George and Sol had not seen each other for 33 years.
Although Doug and I flew to Chicago in April and then rented a car rather than driving the entire trip, we visited Sol’s descendants who live in Mount Carroll. They gave me a copy of the letter which follows:
August 3, 1933
Mr. Sol Lohr,
I will endeavor to write you a few lines to let you know that we got home on July 31, sound in life and limb but very tired in body. Our trip from Chicago to Winnipeg was a veritable feast for the eye and banquet for the soul. We left the city on Sunday afternoon and passed through Janesville, Madison, and several small places that afternoon. From the time we left the suburbs of Chicago till we camped that evening, we passed through the best agricultural country we saw on our whole trip. Splendid farms with good houses and big barns, large cornfields and hayfields, pastures with dairy herds of different breeds too. To us it looked like a real prosperous country.
The next day the country kept getting rougher and dryer until we reached the Mississippi River at LaCrosse, where we crossed on a free bridge to the Minnesota side of the river. We camped at a small town 30 miles south of St. Paul on Monday night and then drove into South St. Paul the next morning. We saw the big stockyards and the big packing plants of Swift and Armour there. This is one of the largest stockyards in the U.S., and we saw hundreds of cattle, hogs and sheep unloaded from trains and trucks.
In the afternoon we got to Minneapolis and located some friends. [Note that part of the letter is missing at this point.]
The crops around Regina were good but after we passed Moose Jaw, we came through a very rough, dry country and very poor crops. But when we reached the irrigation district in Alberta, crops were fairly good. There is no timber in that country so when we got home the country around here looked like an oasis in a desert to us, for there seems to be more moisture than we had on the whole trip, except in Illinois and Wisconsin.
Now, in regard to the World’s Fair at Chicago, I can say we were there six days, and it would take more than six days to tell about it. All I can say here is, it was a wonderful display of “A Century of Progress” in the arts and sciences of the present civilization, and I am very glad that I was fortunate enough to see as much of it as I did. We also went through some of the big stores in the city and the Grain Exchange or Board of Trade Building, and saw the pit where they buy and sell wheat.
Before I close I must give you and the folks a tribute of appreciation for your kindness and comfort extended to us during our stay at Mt. Carroll. It will always be the outstanding landmark of our trip as every moment was a joy and pleasure that we can never forget.
We are all well and hope you are all enjoying the best of health. With best wishes and love to all, I remain,
As ever your brother,