Story of traveling woman to be library topic Feb. 12


Lucile Agnes MacRae, an American journalist who traveled the world in the early 20th century, will be the topic of a program at the Huntington-City Township Public Library on Feb. 12, put on by her relative, Huntington resident Sue Jepsen. Photo provided.

The story of a young American woman who became a world traveler will be told during a program on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at the Huntington City-Township Public Library.

"From Singapore to Nagasaki: The 1919 Diary of an American Woman Abroad" will be presented at 6:30 p.m. by Huntington resident Sue Jepsen.

Jepsen is the second cousin once removed of Lucile Agnes MacRae and the caretaker of the many items MacRae amassed during her travels in East Asia. Jepsen has transcribed MacRae's diaries, many of which describe her experiences in the Phillippines, China, Canton, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Sumatra, Java, Thailand and Japan.

MacRae was born in Michigan in 1895 and lived there until her father's death in 1905. Her mother remarried in 1907 and the family moved first to Spokane, WA, and then to Seattle so MacRae could attend the University of Washington.

MacRae earned a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1917 and, soon after her graduation, accompanied her mother and stepfather on an 18-month tour of East Asia.

The purpose of the trip was to generate business for her stepfather's company, The Northwest Trading Company (later known as Northwest Harvester). The company promoted the mechanization of the farming of sugar cane, rubber and other East Asian crops. MacRae's responsibility was to help her stepfather with correspondence.

The family spent all but six weeks of the next 14 years traveling in East Asia, living and working in Manila, Shanghai and Hong Kong as MacRae's stepfather opened new offices.

Jepsen will discuss MacRae's travels and display many of the items she and her family acquired during their travels, including vintage lace dresses and other clothing, embroidery, pieces of Emperor's China, postcards, dance cards, event menus and photographs. A selection of these items is currently on display at the Main Library.

This program is free and open to the public, and no registration is required.

For more information, call the Main Library at 356-0824.
The library is located at 255 W. Park Drive, Huntington.