One of the fascinating things about reading through someone’s personal papers are the minute details you uncover. One such example is from this scrapbook, inscribed “Florida 1945 Ado + Neva” on the cover.
Maude Lehman Liersch (1895-1977) assembled this scrapbook to document several trips she took with her husband Joe, a physician and son of one of Kansas City’s pioneer druggists. The bulk of the scrapbook is taken up by a road trip the Lierschs took with friends Adolph “Ado” or “Otto” F. (1884-1961) and Neva Wiedenmann Seidel (1890-1979) from October 27-November 9, 1945. The quartet began in their hometown of Kansas City, Missouri and circled the Midwestern, Southeastern, and Southwestern United States. Destinations included Springfield, MO; Memphis and Chattanooga, Tennessee; Tifton, Georgia; Melbourne, Key West, Fort Myers, Sulphur Spring, Silver Springs, and Pensacola, Florida; New Orleans and Thibodeaux, Louisiana; Houston, Texas; and Mena, Arkansas. Maude took detailed notes of all food and beverage as well as prices for their accommodations. In her entry for their visit to New Orleans, she writes:
Tuesday, Nov. 6 – 1945
Left at 5:20 a.m. Went through Bankhead tunnel under Mobile river at Mobile, Ala. 25c – Had breakfast at Mobile at Toddle House. Waffle and ham – Service was poor as changed shifts – boys left and girls came on. Joe and I did not get coffee. Stopped at Biloxi for sweet rolls and coffee – Very good. Reached New Orleans 10:50 a.m. Took a guide $2.00 each – all over old part of New Orleans as well as new. Had lunch at 2 o’clock at “Tujague’s” – soup, meat, lettuce, roast beef, cauliflower, hard bread, cream puff, coffee. Had coffee and donuts at old market. Went on wharf where were unloading coffee from Brazil and then conducted over U.S. Mississippi. Berries from a camphor tree in cemetery. Detour to Thibodeaux - French people – stayed at Dixie Hotel. Almost did not get a place to stay. Each had a room – just wash stand in room. $2.00 couple. Ate in Hotel. Asked if wished French drip or Maxwell House coffee. Walked around town – Bought clothespins 25c doz. Night at Thibodeaux. One of the first trading posts between New Orleans, and country along Teche Bayou. Adjacent to oil field.
Tujague’s, est. 1856, is the second oldest restaurant in the French Quarter. A look at their current menu shows many of the same dishes Maude ate.
Perennial Special Collections favorite The Bachelor in New Orleans (published in 1942) described Tujague’s as “an old timey drinkery that pays little attention to fashion in bars. Here you will find no red leather bar stools, no super-duper fixtures. Here is drink served in the way and in the surroundings your father drank it. Specialty of the house is the Absinthe frappe.”
This scrapbook is part of the Anthony Stanonis Travel Scrapbook and Diary Collection and is currently on display in our exhibit Media Traditions: Scrapbooking, Memory Archives, and Self-Presentation along with other scrapbooks that draw correlations between memory archives of the past and contemporary modes of self-presentation. Portions of the exhibit are view-able from the Monroe Library 3rd floor hallway and the rest are in the Booth-Bricker Special Collections and Archives Reading Room, open Monday – Friday 9am-4:30pm.