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Friday, November 27, 2015

Mead Brothers Reach Los Angeles (1909)

Source: Greenwich Graphic. Saturday, July 17, 1909. Page 1.

Their Packard Roadster Makes the Trip of 4,175 Miles in Forty-one days.

The Graphic noted at the time of starting the trip of the Mead Brothers to the Pacific Coast by auto. The Los Angeles Times of June 30th in noticing their arrival there has the following description of the trip. There are a number of Greenwich people now residents in Los Angeles, among whom it may be mentioned E. W. Reynolds and the Archers, and the Messrs. Mead found familiar faces to greet them after their long overhaul jaunt:

Covered with the dust of fourteen States, and with the names of several thousand enthusiastic admirers written over the body of their car, E. D. Mead [Everett Mead] and his brother, A.N. Mead [Abram Newton Mead]* of Greenwich Ct., reached Los Angeles yesterday afternoon and a Packard forty-horse-power roadster. They have driven 4,175 miles over the roughest roads in the United States in forty-one days. They will proceed to Seattle and back home, a distance of more than 10,000 miles, before the journey ends.

A 1909 Packard. 

Through the mud that was axle deep, across sandy wastes where there are no habitations for miles, the car and its plucky crew chugged on. The long motor journey is only well begun. They like the life in the open and would rather take their chances on at motor car than in a train.

This adventurous journey was started on May 19th. Soon after reaching New York the going was found to be excellent and through New Jersey and Pennsylvania the two made good time. In Ohio the Packard began to strike rough the roads. The hard part of the trip began after leaving Chicago.

Three days were spent in the Windy City by the autoists, where they were royally received. Mead was given enough information concerning roads and routes to take him around the world. He listened to everything and then did as he had first planned.

Instead of taking a direct route to Seattle the motorist chose a zig zag course. After leaving Chicago Mead drove to Milwaukee and then came southward again, taking up the route followed by the New York-Seattle racers.

On the day the two Fords and the Acme reached Kansas City the Packard and it's crew rolled into town. The Fords left first, but Mead and his brother started with the big Acme, the fourth car in the race. The New York – Seattle racer took the lead and kept it for sixty miles. Then it stuck fast in the mud. The Packard passed the racers stalled on the road with a broken axle.

The car left the regular route at Rawlins, Wyo., and turned southward into Utah, Nevada and California.

For 150 miles these two men fought their way through mud that was almost impassable. Gumbo soil that clung to the wheels and impeded the progress of the Packard had to be scraped away with shovels. It was a severe road battle which the Packard and the crew won after a supreme effort.

Night overtook the travelers in the wilderness of Wyoming after one of the hardest fights of the trip. Miles from any habitation, and with scarcely enough food for their evening meal the undaunted autoists had to take a cold bite and retire on their machine. It was impossible to sleep beneath the car. The country was flooded.

Wolves howled an accompaniment to their chugging motor the following night as they sought to reach a settlement 150 miles away. Again they were obliged to camp out. Wild animals abounded in the lonely region, and came quite close to the motor car during the night. The tracks of bear and mountain lion could be seen in the mud in the early morning.

The mud-begimed travelers were objects of great curiosity in the towns through which they passed. Crowds gathered around the car and curious persons insisted on writing their names on the machine.

Mead came through Nevada by way of death Valley, passing through Goldfield and then crossing the desert to Mojave. The autoist reached this city by way of the San Francisquito Canyon, Saugus, Newhall grade and the San Fernando Road.

Mead will remain in Los Angeles several days. His car is housed at the Western Motor Car Company's Garage, and will be driven through town today, and Mead wants to add other signatures to the thousands which already at adorn the car.

The two will leave the latter part of this week for the Seattle fair, and, after spending several weeks in the north, will make the return journey by the northern route to their home in Greenwich.

* Both Everett Mead and Abram Newton Mead were sons of Solomon and Hannah Mead. They lived in what is known today as the Mead Parish House behind the Second Congregational Church in Greenwich. 

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