Far-Out Friday: The Curiosities of Julia, the Misnomered Bear Woman (it was a Victorian thing)

Let’s face it – the Victorians had an insatiable curiosity for all things freakish.  Such was the case of a woman who was variously referred to as  “Bear Woman”, “Ape Woman”, “Baboon Lady” or more perhaps aptly and succinctly, but nonetheless cruelly, the “world’s ugliest woman”.  After she died following childbirth in 1860, her body was mummified (at the request of her entpreneurially-minded husband, Theodore Lent) and put on display as the “The Embalmed Nondescript”. Julia Pastrana was an indigenous Mexican believed to have been born in the early l830’s in the state of Sinoloa. NOTE: This article is being re-purposed and may be included in a future edition of Digging History Magazine. After January 1, 2018 it can also be purchased as an individual article. If interested, please subscribe to the blog (to the right of this post) and you will be notified when the new Digging History Magazine web site is launched. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new...

Far-Out Friday: Death By Pimple

I ran across this intriguing subject while researching an early Surname Saturday article about the Pimple surname.  I found several references to so-called “death by pimple” and researched further.  Clearly, the problem was due to lack of an effective way to treat infection prior to the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. That’s not to say doctors didn’t try to treat infections.  There were advertisements galore during the nineteenth century hailing various “miracle cures” for all sorts of maladies, pimples included.  The first instance found in a search of “pimple” at Newspapers.com yielded an article about a suspect in the disappearance of a surgeon who “hath been set upon by some ill people.” NOTE: This article is being re-purposed and may be included in a future edition of Digging History Magazine. After January 1, 2018 it can also be purchased as an individual article. If interested, please subscribe to the blog (to the right of this post) and you will be notified when the new Digging History Magazine web site is launched. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new...

Klondike Christmas: A Rags-to-Riches Story

Miners who had worked the gold fields across the American West began making their way to the far-flung regions of the Alaskan and Yukon territories in the 1880’s in search of riches and adventure.  Gold was discovered along the Klondike River, but in amounts so small that claims weren’t worth making – at least not yet. Expeditions were planned to set out in early spring of 1896 following the formation of several gold mining and development companies.  In February the Bonanza-Eldorado Company was capitalized to the tune of $200,000,000, setting its sights on dominating the Klondike gold fields with its introduction of revolutionary mining methods. NOTE: This article is being re-purposed and may be included in a future edition of Digging History Magazine. After January 1, 2018 it can also be purchased as an individual article. If interested, please subscribe to the blog (to the right of this post) and you will be notified when the new Digging History Magazine web site is launched. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new...

Far-Out Friday: Gravesite Dowsing: Science, Wizardry, Witchcraft or Just Plain Hooey?

October is the spookiest month of the year, so a story about gravesite dowsing seemed in order for Halloween Eve-Eve, I guess you could call it.  The article title pretty much encompasses the range of opinion regarding the subject, although I have to say a brief survey I conducted most decidedly leaned toward the “just plain hooey” side. Since, personally, I don’t really have an opinion (yet) one way or the  other,  I  hope  nonetheless  you’ll  find  the  article objective, informative, balanced — and hopefully interesting!  And oh, please do tell me what you think — science, wizardry, witchcraft or just plain hooey? NOTE: This article is being re-purposed and may be included in a future edition of Digging History Magazine. After January 1, 2018 it can also be purchased as an individual article. If interested, please subscribe to the blog (to the right of this post) and you will be notified when the new Digging History Magazine web site is launched.   Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new...

Far-Out Friday: The Crash at Crush

   In September of 1896 there was a whole lot of crushing going on in the world.   Captain General Valeriano Weyler, a Spaniard, had been appointed the governor of Cuba.  He was determined to “crush Cuba” by separating the rebellious insurgents from the civilian population.  William Jennings Bryan was the Democratic candidate for president that year and everywhere Bryan went that month, he was met with a crush of crowds clamoring to hear him speak.  On the other hand, Republicans were determined to crush “Bryanism”.  The race would be a fierce one – William McKinley was being crushed by crowds wherever he went as well. The biggest crush, however, was a pre-planned event — the so-called “Crash at Crush”. NOTE: This article is being re-purposed and may be included in a future edition of Digging History Magazine. After January 1, 2018 it can also be purchased as an individual article. If interested, please subscribe to the blog (to the right of this post) and you will be notified when the new Digging History Magazine web site is launched. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new...

Far-Out Friday: The (Continuing) Trials and Persecution of Reverend Joy Hamlet Fairchild (Part Two)

Reverend Joy H. Fairchild had good reason to be physically, and no doubt mentally, emotionally and spiritually spent (if you haven’t read Part One of this story, you can read it here).  He returned in September feeling somewhat better but still quite feeble.  Reverend Fairchild would occasionally fill in when a regular pastor was away.  The First Church in Exeter wanted him to become their pastor after he filled in for about six months in 1843.  He consented and was officially installed on September 20. Fairchild may have supposed his troubles were all behind him, but not long after his installation he became aware of rumors and innuendoes circulated by none other than Deacon Vinton.  The deacons of Phillips Church, South Boston, had broken their promise.  Anonymous letters, full of slander, arrived in March of 1844, addressed to Reverend Henry Jewell and one of his congregants, James Burley. NOTE: This article is being re-purposed and may be included in a future edition of Digging History Magazine. After January 1, 2018 it can also be purchased as an individual article. If interested, please subscribe to the blog (to the right of this post) and you will be notified when the new Digging History Magazine web site is launched. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket...