Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Zickler of Leominster, Massachusetts began a 3 month cross-country road trip on March 27, 1952. Mrs. Zickler created a scrapbook to document the trip. The scrapbook includes souvenir and original photographs, postcards, maps, and other miscellaneous memorabilia from the journey. Their stops include various tourist attractions as well as scenic areas throughout the Midwest and Southwest of the United States. Most of their time was spent in Oraibi, the oldest continuously inhabited community in North America, on the Navajo Gospel Mission. The Zicklers returned to Leominster in July of 1952, having traveled a total of 10,404 miles.
The 1952 scrapbook of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Zickler chronicles the couple’s 10,404 mile road trip beginning in Leominster, Massachusetts on March 27, 1952. The Zicklers traveled mainly to Flagstaff-Winslow and Oraibi, Arizona to the Navajo Gospel Mission, arriving on April 9th. Oraibi is the oldest community to be continuously inhabited in North America. It is a Hopi Native American community dating back to between 1100 and 1200. The Zicklers spent April and the majority of May at the Navajo Gospel Mission of Oraibi. The couple’s purpose at the Mission is unclear, although there are photographs showing involvement in the community’s classrooms as well as in developing an irrigation system.
The last month of May, the Zicklers took a side trip from Flagstaff to California via Tucson, Phoenix, and Gila Bend before their arrival in Solana Beach, California. Returning to Flagstaff, the couple crossed the Mohave and traveled through Las Vegas. They returned to Flagstaff on May 28th for the graduation of Bettie Hurd, the daughter of friend Glenn Hurd, from Flagstaff High School.
The month of June was spent sightseeing in and around the Navajo Gospel Mission and Flagstaff area. The Zicklers went to the Grand Canyon on June 5th, the Petrified Forest, and Cameron, Arizona before they began the trek back to Massachusetts. Ernest celebrated his birthday on the 22nd of June.
The Zicklers departed from Arizona on June 26, 1952. Their journey home brought them through Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks (June 26th), scenic Utah, Yellowstone National Park (June 28th), Little Big Horn, and then to Chicago for Independence Day. From there, the Zicklers visited friend Glenn Hurd’s mother, then traveled up through New York with a final overnight stay in Fredonia before finishing the trip by traveling down through Vermont, and back to Leominster via the Mohawk Trail. Their trip is recorded as ending in Leominster in July 1952.
The scrapbook spans the entirety of the Zickler’s trip. It includes postcards, souvenir photographs from tourist locations such as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, the Big Rock Candy Mountain, Hoover Dam, the Petrified Forest (as well as a piece of wood from the Forest), placemats and matchboxes from Las Vegas, and numerous souvenir photographs of the Navajo Gospel Mission. Mrs. Zickler seemed to be quite vigilant in keeping an accurate record of the trip. Every location the Zicklers visited is commemorated in some form. Mrs. Zickler even took photographs of certain cabins along the way and collected rate pamphlets for these cabins (ranging from $3.50 to $25.00 a night).
The scrapbook also contains a large number of photographs from throughout the Zickler’s trip. Most numerous are the photographs of the Navajo Gospel Mission and Oraibi. There is a set of over 50 photographs depicting life on the Mission. It includes photographs of the classrooms, chapels, traditional huts, handmade goods, and a number of photographs document the building of an irrigation system on the Mission.
Also included are candid shots of Mr. and Mrs. Zickler, friend Glenn Hurd and his daughter and mother; landscape photographs of aforementioned tourist attractions as well as miscellaneous landscape photographs of New Mexico, Arizona (Painted Desert), Canyon de Chelly, Little Big Horn, and the Colorado River; and numerous state welcome and road signs, including Ohio, Illinois, California, Idaho, Vermont, and eventually the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as the Zicklers returned home.
The collection is open for research.
Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:
Zickler Family Scrapbook (MS 446). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Acquired from Peter Masi, April 2005.
Processed by Mary E. Fahey, 2007.
- Arizona--Description and travel
- Automobile travel
- California--Description and travel
- Grand Canyon (Ariz.)
- Navajo Gospel Mission
- Nevada--Description and travel
- Oraibi (Ariz.)
- United States--Description and travel
- Yellowstone National Park
- Zickler family
- Zickler, Ernest
Types of material