My Grandma, Elsa Schaefer Laemmlen, came to America as a bride in 1929. She had lived before in Peoria, Illinois, working for a family there for several years as a house maid. After returning to her home in Grossgartach, Germany, she met my Grandpa, Rudolf Laemmlen, who lived a few houses down on the same street. Elsa was 4 years older than Rudolf, so she had not really known him well as they grew up.
They married on 28 September 1929, and then set sail for America in November. They left from Hamburg on one of the four German motorboats that went through the Panama Canal. The Seattle was a freighter weighing 7000 tons. It cost only $200.00 per person from Hamburg to San Francisco. Stops were made in Antwerp, Le Havre, Southhampton, Trinidad in Venezuela, both ends of the Panama Canal, and in Los Angeles, before landing in San Francisco six weeks later, on the 26th of December, 1929. Except for a wild mid-Atlantic storm with 30-foot waves, it was a wonderful honeymoon, one of the nicest anyone could ever imagine. (My dad claims he was conceived on that honeymoon trip!)
Here is Elsa’s passport from this grand adventure!