The Travels of Milton and Catherine Hershey: A Collection of Postcards
Milton and Catherine Hershey loved to travel. Together or alone, for business or for pleasure, the Hersheys visited over 20 countries and nearly 200 cities. They embarked on multiple tours of the United States, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa where they enjoyed visiting castles, museums, mountains, beaches, spas and other unique sites. As Catherine’s health began to deteriorate, these trips were increasingly made to visit spas and consult with specialists who thought they could help her with an illness that gradually robbed her of her strength and mobility.
Throughout their travels, the Hersheys collected postcards* to remind them of the places they visited. As was customary at the time, Catherine Hershey placed many of the postcards in albums that could be shared with visitors to their home. They also enjoyed sending postcards to friends and family members.
*For authenticity, all text from postcards is transcribed exactly as the Hersheys wrote it.
For their longest sojourns across the Atlantic, the Hersheys traveled on ocean liners. The Hersheys intended to sail on the maiden voyage of RMS Titanic, but Milton was called home early on business. Both the SS Amerika and the SS Kaiserin Auguste Victoria of the Hamburg America line of Germany were favorites of the Hersheys.
The SS Kaiserin Auguste Victoria, the largest passenger liner in the world at the time of her construction in 1906, brought the Hersheys home from their final trip to Europe in 1913.
The Hersheys spent many winter months along the south of France traveling the Cote d’Azur or the French Riviera, especially the towns of Nice, Marseille, and Grasse. The sunshine and warm sea breezes seemed to help Catherine feel better. The Hersheys also enjoyed the social opportunities of the area, participating in the Battle of the Flowers in Nice and visiting Paris.
While in Europe, the Hersheys also took the opportunity to visit Egypt—especially Cairo and the Great Pyramid of Giza.
In the United States and abroad, the Hersheys traveled by train as well as by car, visiting the thermal baths of Europe, including Bad Kissingen, Bad Homburg, Wiesbaden, and Aix-les-Bains as well as the hot springs of the southern and western United States. These spas and springs boasted that their mineral-rich waters could relieve or eliminate illnesses by either drinking or soaking in curative waters. While they provided Catherine with some relief, their effect was only temporary.
The Hersheys also enjoyed visiting the seaside resorts of Atlantic City and Coney Island as well as the White Mountains of New Hampshire where the fresh mountain air helped to alleviate some of Catherine’s seasonal hay fever symptoms.
After Catherine’s death in 1915, Milton devoted the rest of his life to ensuring the success of the town, businesses and school he created while Catherine was still alive. Milton’s travels did not end with his wife’s death. He not only returned to places they both loved but also traveled to new locales, including the island of Cuba where he established vast sugar plantations and the model company town of Central Hershey.
Like our founders, today’s Milton Hershey School students have opportunities to experience new cultures and different ways of thinking by exploring the world. The Multicultural and Global Education initiative provides all high school students with opportunities to gain worldly experience through international service learning trips. By traveling outside the United States, serving others, and learning about different cultures, students build strong character and increase their global awareness—traits that lead to success in today’s global workforce.
Milt Memories History Blog
MHS Department of School History works hard to preserve the Hersheys’ values and students’ cherished memories through articles, photos, interviews and artifacts. Follow along with our monthly blog series focused entirely on the fascinating school history and inspiring work of our founders.