Centennial Drive of First Woman to Cross America Begins June 9th Seattle Woman Re-Creates 1909 Drive in a 1909 Maxwell to San Francisco

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Emily Anderson, of Seattle, WA, is re-creating the cross-country trip in a 1909 Maxwell over the same route, in celebration of what Alice Ramsey accomplished in this historic feat in 1909 as first woman to drive cross-country.Emily and her group leave New York City on June 9th bound for the five week journey to San Francisco.

In 1909, Alice Huyler Ramsey was the first woman to drive an automobile across the United States. Alice and three female companions drove a 1909 Maxwell on roads and ruts, hand cranking the car each day as they journeyed from New York City to San Francisco.

A Seattle woman, Emily Anderson, is re-creating the cross-country trip in her father's rebuilt 1909 Maxwell over much of the same route, in celebration of what Alice Ramsey accomplished in this historic feat. Emily and her group leave New York City on June 9th bound for the five week journey to San Francisco. The 2009 journey begins at 1930 Broadway, near Lincoln Center, at 9:00 a.m. on June 9th, ending up in San Francisco on July 9th with many stops and events en route.

Few women drove cars in 1909, making this adventure even more remarkable. Alice Ramsey, from Hackensack, New Jersey, was 22 years old. She had won several road race competitions in upstate New York, in Maxwell automobiles, when she was noticed by the public relations executive of the Maxwell-Briscoe Motor Company. When afforded an opportunity to drive a Maxwell cross country, being the first woman to do so, Alice consulted with her husband, who approved. Then she recruited three companions and began the remarkable and landmark adventure.

The 1909 journey began at 1930 Broadway Avenue in New York City, as will Emily's drive, in a rebuilt 1909 Maxwell DA, almost identical to the one driven in 1909. Crossing 10 states with friend and navigator Christie Catanie of Colorado, the entourage will follow closely the original route of Alice Ramsey. Many of the roads traveled later became the Lincoln Highway and U.S. Highway 50.

Also traveling in separate vehicles will be Richard Anderson, owner of the car, and the visionary of the centennial recreation drive, along with his wife Margaret. Chief mechanic Tim Simonswa, and his wife Barb, both of Sacramento, California will be among others escorting Emily and the Maxwell.

During the drive west, a "Share the Ride" donor program enables women who want to ride along for a half day or full day to join the Centennial experience.

Numerous stops will include welcome celebrations, luncheons and dinners with local communities, car shows, and auto museum appearances. The entourage will have a photo stop at Tarrytown, New York, site of the original Maxwell factory, lunch with the Women's History Museum in Seneca Falls and visit the Pierce Arrow Museum in Buffalo.

Later on the drive west, Emily and her group will join the Lincoln Highway Association Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, visit the Kruse Museum in Indiana with other major events planned in Omaha, Nebraska, including a Centennial Car Show in Reno, Nevada, with more events in numerous communities. The routes taken both in 1909 and 2009 are shown on the website. The journey concludes in San Francisco at the site of the original destination on July 9th. The trip is expected to cover over 3,000 miles with top speeds of 40 mph in the Maxwell.

Emily will do all the driving, as did Alice, and mostly likely, all the handcranking of the engine. There were no electric starters used then, so none will be used now.

The Alice Ramsey Centennial Drive with Emily Anderson is the exclusively sanctioned centennial event by the family of Alice Ramsey. The entire journey will be documented on film by LiveFeed Films, a successful production company owned by Emily's brother, Bengt, of New York City, and his crew.

Details of the Alice Ramsey Centennial can be found at http://www.aliceramsey.org . Opportunities to support the project and the educational materials can be found on the web as well as memorabilia of the Centennial Drive.    Enthusiasts who want to follow the journey via their blogs may register online at the website.

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Bob Junell
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