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Tour: Katharine's Remarkable Road Trip by Gail Ward Olmsted

Book details:

Book Title: Katharine’s Remarkable Road Trip

Series: N/A

Author: Gail Ward Olmsted

Publication Date: 6/13/24

Publisher: Black Rose Writing

Page Length: 226

@gailolmstedauthor @cathie.dunn1 @thecoffeepotbookclub

@gwolmsted @thecoffeepotbookclub

@gwolmsted @cathiedunn

In the fall of 1907, Katharine decides to drive from Newport, Rhode Island, to her home in Jackson, New Hampshire. Despite the concerns of her family and friends, that at the age of 77 she lacks the stamina for the nearly 300-mile journey, Katharine sets out alone. Over the next six days, she receives a marriage proposal, pulls an all-nighter, saves a life or two, crashes a high-society event, meets a kindred spirit, faces a former rival, makes a new friend, takes a stroll with a future movie mogul, advises a troubled newlywed, and reflects upon a life well lived; her own! 


Join her as she embarks upon her remarkable road trip.


Katharine Prescott Wormeley (1830-1908) was born into affluence in England and emigrated to the U. S. at the age of eighteen. Fiercely independent and never married, Kate volunteered as a nurse on a medical ship during the Civil War, before founding a vocational school for underprivileged girls. A lifelong friend and trusted confidante of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, she was a philanthropist, a hospital administrator, and the author of The Other Side of War: 1862, as well as the noted translator of dozens of novels written by French authors, including Moliere and Balzac. She is included in History’s Women: The Unsung Heroines; History of American Women: Civil War Women; Who’s Who in America 1908-09; Notable American Women, A Biographical Dictionary: 1607-1950 and A Woman of the 19th Century: Leading American Women in All Walks of Life.

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On her work as a volunteer nurse on a floating hospital ship during the Civil War

It was a most exciting time. Exciting, dirty, loud, and frightening, if I am being honest. On my very first day on board, I was responsible for 250 men, their first day as well, most of them suffering from typhoid. The men with high fevers were the most difficult to help, moaning and incoherent. I gave them brandy and water and if they could eat, bread and butter with tea. We took care of their diets, dressed their wounds, and comforted them. Mornings were a special challenge, as they all needed to be washed and given breakfast before the doctors made their rounds. Oh, and when they did.... They would open the wounds, apply ointments and liniment, and then replace the bandages.

I admit that for the first few days, I sat with my fingers in my ears, trying to block out the sounds. If I allowed myself to be drawn back to those days, I could clearly recall the cries of pain, loneliness and despair from the wounded and dying men. I eventually grew accustomed to the noise and chaos but I could never become numb to it either. Mrs. Griffin, the senior woman on the ship, had given me this advice, and I never forgot it. ‘You must work past the horror of all that we see and hear day after day, but you must never become immune to it, either. It is what will inspire you to give your very best to these brave men every day of your service.’

Gail Ward Olmsted was a marketing executive and a college professor before she began writing fiction on a fulltime basis. A trip to Sedona, AZ inspired her first novel Jeep Tour. Three more novels followed before she began Landscape of a Marriage, a biographical work of fiction featuring landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, a distant cousin of her husband’s, and his wife Mary. After penning a pair of contemporary novels featuring a disgraced attorney seeking a career comeback (Miranda Writes, Miranda Nights) she is back to writing historical fiction featuring an incredible woman with an amazing story. Watch for Katharine's Remarkable Road Trip on June 13th.


For more information, please visit her on Facebook and at



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Tour hosted by: The Coffee Pot Book Club


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Thanks very much for hosting Gail Ward Olmsted today. Much appreciated. Take care, Cathie xx

The Coffee Pot Book Club

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