No. 436
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
August 19, 2019

Belles of the Bowling Alley

June 6, 2011
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Photo of Cindy Weber in the "Red Deer Advocate," October 23, 1981, via Newspapers.com Every missing-persons story is tragic, of course. However, I know of few such cases that are both as heart-breakingly sad and utterly peculiar as the following disappearance. It reads like a psychological horror movie, with an almost Fortean ending. People inevitably called Cynthia "Cindy" Weber of
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Strange Company - 8/19/2019

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By Jo Anne Giovino with photography and research by Barbara Morrissey and Kristin Pepe *(All rights reserved, August 2019) Although …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 7/31/2019

The hanging, and then posthumous beheading and head-spiking, of the Virginia slave Abram lacks any firmer primary date than the signature given this Richmond newspaper report that was later widely reprinted in the young United States. (Our text here hails from the Hartford, Conn. American Mercury, September 18, 1800.) A HORRID MURDER. Capt. John Patterson, […]
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Executed Today - 8/19/2019
Jeff and Joe Soapy Smith buries Joe Simmons The Illustrated Police News April 9, 1892 (Click image to enlarge) oe Simmons was a tall, slender gambler known to many as “Gambler Joe” Simmons, a member of the Soap Gang who managed Soapy Smith's Tivoli Club in Denver, 1890, and Soapy's Orleans Club in Creede, 1892. According to William Devere’s poem "Two Little Busted Shoes," Simmons
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 3/25/2019
(sic) Mary Catherine Anderson—Katie to her friends—was in good spirits when she went out the evening of Monday, February 7, 1887. 16-year-old Katie Anderson was a domestic servant living at the home of her employer, Stat Colkitt on his farm in Mount Holly, New Jersey. She said she was just going out for a walk, but Katie was not seen again until Tuesday morning when a neighboring farmer found
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Murder By Gaslight - 8/17/2019

The neighborhood surrounding St. Mark’s Church on Second Avenue and 10th Street owes its charm to the descendants of the Stuyvesant family. These were the great-great grandsons and granddaughters of Petrus Stuyvesant, the director-general of New Netherland from 1647-1664. In the late 1700s and early 1800s, these Stuyvesants lived in stately houses on land that […]
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Ephemeral New York - 8/19/2019
[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
The Beecher-Tilton Scandal | Duel of the Divas

Belles of the Bowling Alley

Chicago, 1878 - Belles of the Bowling Alley -The athletic diversions of an association of dashing damsels in their club rooms in Chicago. [more]

Life in Chicago presents many phases not met with elsewhere, and one such is the establishment, a year since, of a club for social enjoyment by eight young ladies, all well educated and wealthy, who move in first-class circles.

They conceived the idea of setting up a club similar to the exclusive coteries in which the sterner sex find their relaxation. They accordingly secured suitable quarters fitted up with an attention to the luxurious details so dear to the feminine heart, but with a view also to the gratification of the fair clubbists for some sport as affected by their masculine prototypes. A well-arranged billiard room and a gymnasium with every improved appliance were among the conveniences, but the favorite feature proved to be the bowling alley. Some of the fair members have become quite expert players, and spirited contests are regularly held in which the participants vie with hoydenish, albeit gay and sparkling, enthusiasm.


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette - October 26, 1878