Travel Tuesday: Vacationing in Mexico, 1937


Benita (McGinnis) McCormick (1889 – 1984)
Phillip C. McCormick (1892 – 1981)

Caption by Benita reads, “Phil & I at Fountain.”  Mexico, 1937; exact location unknown. From her scrapbook.

In the summer of 1937, my great uncle and great aunt, Phil and Benita McCormick, traveled from Chicago to Mexico for several weeks, leaving their eight-year old son and daughter, Bud and Jane, in the able care of close relatives back home. 

As the freight service manager for the Baltimore and Ohio (B & O) Railroad in Chicago, Uncle Phil enjoyed the enviable benefit of free rail travel for himself and his family.  Though we do not know the route they traveled, they might have taken one of the B & O’s “streamliner” trains, such as the Abraham Lincoln, from Chicago to Saint Louis.  From there, they most likely changed trains once or twice before arriving at their destination on one of the trains of the National Railways of Mexico. 


Timetable Brochure, National Railways of Mexico, July 20, 1937.  From Benita (McGinnis) McCormick’s scrapbook. 

During their Mexican sojourn, Phil and Benita visited not only the capital, Mexico City, but also many Mexican villages. They fell in love with the country, and Benita took several art classes while there.

They traveled the country with a tour group, a safe way to travel in 1937 for those who spoke little or no Spanish.  Uncle Phil probably had some working knowledge of the language; when I was young, I remember he was always studying Spanish!  

In the photograph above and below, Benita and Phil sit contentedly in front of a lovely unidentified fountain.   The next photo shows them in front of the same fountain with their tour guide and a couple they met on their trip, John and Mary Coates. 

Caption reads, “4 Americans & Guide.”  From left to right:
John and Mary Coates, unnamed tour guide, and Benita
(McGinnis) and Phil McCormick.  Location unknown.
Mexico, 1937.  From Benita McCormick’s scrapbook.


Copyright ©  2014  Linda Huesca Tully

2 Thoughts to “Travel Tuesday: Vacationing in Mexico, 1937

  1. That's interesting to think of railroad employees getting the travel benefits of going anywhere by train–much like airline employees today get free air travel. That must have been a very long trip for them to head all the way from Chicago to Mexico City! With a trip that length, I can understand why people took the liberty to be gone for so long!

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