No. 507
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
January 24, 2021

Being Initiated.

March 13, 2012
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 "The Witches' Cove," Follower of Jan MandijnOne of Strange Company HQ's crack research team is busy selecting next week's Newspaper Clipping of the Day.What the hell is the difference between a shanty and a sea song?For the millionth time: what the hell is the Shroud of Turin?Why the hell are there so many Regency romance novels?Why the hell are Alaskans called "Sourdoughs?"How the hell do
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Strange Company - 1/22/2021

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Surprising news broke tonight of the listing for sale of the popular bed & breakfast, open as a business for …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 1/10/2021

Benjamin Eistenstat was born in Philadelphia in 1915, and the few biographies I found about him suggest that he spent much of his artistic career in Pennsylvania. But in 1950 he was in New York City—where he created this lithograph of a street scene in a very masculine Manhattan. Perhaps this view is of a […]
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Ephemeral New York - 1/18/2021
Youth With Executioner by Nuremberg native Albrecht Dürer … although it’s dated to 1493, which was during a period of several years when Dürer worked abroad. November 13 [1617]. Burnt alive here a miller of Manberna, who however was lately engaged as a carrier of wine, because he and his brother, with the help of […]
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Executed Today - 11/13/2020
 Read the whole story of Alice Brown's mysterious, 1897 murder in Boston here: 15 Corning Street.Illustrations from Boston Post, November 6, 1897.
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Murder By Gaslight - 1/23/2021

Ripley's Believe It Or NotUnknown newspaper1937Jeff Smith collection (Click image to enlarge)     OAPY SMITH'S SKULL STRANGE MONUMENT TO "SOAPY" SMITH Famous Bad Man of the Klondike, Fashioned from natural rock 25 feet high. On Moore's old wharf, alongside the bay and the railroad dock in Skagway, Alaska is an impressive wall of solid granite that is home to one of the most unique art
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 1/14/2021
[Editor’s note: Guest writer, Peter Dickson, lives in West Sussex, England and has been working with microfilm copies of The Duncan Campbell Papers from the State Library of NSW, Sydney, Australia. The following are some of his analyses of what he has discovered from reading these papers. Dickson has contributed many transcriptions to the Jamaica Family […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
Hospital Horrors. | Inspector Thomas F. Byrnes.

Being Initiated.

Freemason girls

New York, NY, Oct 1880 - A couple of inquisitive damsels, anxious to learn the secrets of free masonry are given a dose of an initiation which cools their curiosity. [more]

A Ceremony Which Proved Disastrous to Bustles

A couple of very inquisitive young ladies were secretly initiated (in a horn) into the mysteries of free masonry in this city. Their beaux were both members of  a lodge, and were tormented on every occasion to tell their sweethearts the secrets of the order. At last the young men resolved to play a practical joke to cure the girls of their curiosity. So on a certain evening they took the pair to the lodge-room, hired a small boy in the neighborhood to bring in a fractious billy goat and started the initiatory services. One of the girls was made to climb one of the supporting beams, while the other was told to ride the goat. Billy was not in the bargain and dodged away, and left his would-be rider sprawling, whereupon he open up an attack. He prosecuted it so vigorously that interference became necessary. Meanwhile, both of the girls had lost their curiosity.


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, October 23, 1880