The Lusitania sails on May 1st 1915. On April 28th, or earlier, Aunt Marguerite Lady Allan and her two daughters must have set out from Montreal. It makes sense to me for them to arrive in New York at least one day ahead of sailing. Maybe two days ahead? After all, there is shopping to do and no one wanted to miss the sailing if there had been a problem with the train.
So I think there is a good chance that they would have left on the night of the 28th April.
The train would have left from here, Windsor Station, which was the CP mainline station that went to New York.
I think it very likely that they would have travelled in a private car. I don't know if the Allans had a private car. I would think it was likely. If not they might have borrowed one.
The bedrooms might have looked like this.
The dining area might have looked like this.
The next morning they would have arrived at Penn Station in mid-town Manhattan.
Then, Penn Station was above ground and looked like a palace. It was only 15 minutes by taxi away from Pier 54 - the Cunard Pier where the Lusitania was waiting.
Here is the L arriving.
How exciting this must have been! Imagine you are Anna or Gwen. You are a girl of 15 or 16. You are crossing with your mother on the queen of ships. You will be in the Regal Suite. You are with friends. Robert Holt will be with you. There are celebrities like Mr Vanderbilt and Charles Frohman. There are starlets like Rita Jolivet. You will see your old friend Slingsby who is looking after Mr Orr Lewis. You are invited to stay with him in his house in Enfield. This is what it looks like.
Soon, you will see your dear brother Hugh who has just left Eton and catch up with your sister Martha before she goes to France.
Your parents have rented a huge mansion in Sandgate Kent next to the army camp where the entire Canadian Army will pass through. Your parents are close friends of the Royal family and you will likely meet them too. What's not to be excited about?
And you are doing all of this with your beloved mother. But now, shopping in New York!
Just try and keep away from boring Mrs Stephens. Maybe we will take Robert Holt with us. Maybe not? What 15 year old boy wants to go shopping with two girls? Maybe he might spend the day with Mr Orr Lewis and Slingsby? There are surely things that a boy and a man can do?
Hanging on like a spare wheel might be Dorothy Braithwaite. Poor thing! But she might also be like a big sister. She is 24 and just about to be 25. Mummy is planning a birthday party for her. Her sisters were married to really nice men, so maybe she is interesting too? It is so sad about them though. Widows with babies on the way.
Less fun is the idea of going back to boarding school in England. But it's only for a year. Soon we will come out and be counted as women and not girls anymore.
Meanwhile, as the girls are dreaming, there is work to be done.
Annie and Emily are hard at work in the hotel getting mummy's outfit ready for boarding the ship and they are working with Cunard to get the 18 steamer trunks and the cabin luggage organized. It will need a truck to take it all to pier 54.
You can hardly sleep it is so exciting. What could possibly go wrong?