Margaret Poinier Bird
Scope and Contents
Margaret Poinier Bird began these diaries on July 30th, 1930 to document her and her families daily life while traveling abroad. She faithfully wrote everyday through April 30th, 1932.
Before the trip began Margaret Poinier is living with her husband, Charles Harold Bird, and their two children, Barbra and Margaret, in Glendale, Los Angeles, California. They left their home on the hot summer evening of June 30th, 1930 at 6 o’clock and headed north. Some of the stops the Bird family made were to the Red Wood Forests of California, Crown Point in Oregon, and Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, the self-proclaimed most unique store in the world, before heading into Canada mid-way through August of 1930. In a couple of weeks they were back in the United States, the family made its way through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ontario, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia.
The family departed from New York on October 16, 1930 and arrived in Le Havre, France on October 24, 1930. They would stay and travel around France until March 28, 1931 when the family left for Spain. The Birds travelled southward through Spain to Gibraltar where they would stay for a night before heading into Northern Africa on April 16, 1931. They stayed in Northern Africa for 10 days before making the trek back through Spain and into France, where they would arrive on May 5th, and stay until August 17th. From here they travelled to Italy, Switzerland, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria, Germany (where they spent about 3 months), Holland, Belgium, and England.
The family departed from Southampton England on April 8th, 1932 aboard the M.S. Amerika. The voyage made pit stops at the Panama Canal on April 23rd and in Costa Rica on April 25th before arriving in Southern California on April 30th 1932.
Margaret Bird also kept some financial records from their trip. The totals for June 30th of 1930 to August 1st of 1931 were 16,161 miles traveled, automobile costs $2145.47, food and lodging costs $3759.07, misc. $1797.10, adding up for a total of $7701.64.
Margaret Poinier Bird was in Michigan on July 4th, 1889 the daughter of Arthur O. and Fanny Poinier. In 1912 she married Charles H. Bird and by 1920 they are living in San Diego, California. They had two children by that time, Barbra and Margaret. Charles is working as a newspaper reporter.
The 1930 Census has them now living in Glendale, California. Their children are in their teens now, 16 and 13 respectively. Charles is now an author, writing short stories.
Margaret Poinier Bird died on May 29th, 1949 in Glendale, California.
Language of Materials
This collection is composed of 4 diaries detailing the daily activities of Margaret Poinier Bird, her husband, Charles Harold Bird, and their two daughters Margaret and Barbra Bird. The diaries document their travels across the United States and most of Europe from 1930 - 1932. In addition there is a large scrap book with many postcards and some photographs from their travels.
The collection amounts to .5 cubic feet, and is composed of four diaries ranging in size from 7¾” x 5½” to 9½” x 7½”. Each diary except the first one has a label distinguishing the time frame of the diary; the first one has its time period written on the first page.
The diaries are in good condition. The spines of the books are starting to wear away, and the corners of the earliest diary are starting to brown. The writing continues to be legible.
Additionally, there is a scrap book which is 12¼” x 10”. The scrap book is filled with various objects and ephemera from their travels. Including but not limited to brochures from hotels they stayed at, menus from restaurants they ate at, and postcards from the different places they visited. The scrap books documents the Bird family’s trip across America and the European countries of France and Spain. The scrap book is in good condition. The cover is worn and the spine slightly shifts back and forth. The items inside the scrap book are well maintained and are easy to distinguish.
- Margaret Poinier Bird Finding Aid
- Matthew Kerr
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository
Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US