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History of Seattle (part 1)

From the materials for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacifi...

From the materials for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition of 1909, held in Seattle. A drawing of the Battle of Seattle. Despite the “1866” written on the drawing, this should be 1856. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The skyline of Seattle, Washington at dusk. In...

The skyline of Seattle, Washington at dusk. Interstate 5 is the freeway that cuts through downtown and Puget Sound is visible to the left. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The top of the Space Needle in Seattl...

English: The top of the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington Deutsch: Turmkorb und Spitze der Space Needle, in Seattle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seattle Downtown Skyline

Seattle Downtown Skyline (Photo credit: Canadian Pacific)

Seattle lies on a narrow strip of land between the salt waters of Puget Sound and the fresh waters of Lake Washington. Beyond the waters lie two rugged mountain ranges, the Olympics to the west and the Cascades to the east. It is a city built on hills and around water, in a mild marine climate that encourages prolific vegetation and abundant natural resources.

White settlers came to the Seattle area in 1851, establishing a townsite they first called New York, and then, adding a word from the Chinook jargon meaning “by-and-by,” New York-Alki. They soon moved a short distance across Elliott Bay to what is now the historic Pioneer Square district, where a protected deep-water harbor was available. This village was soon named Seattle, honoring a Duwamish Indian leader named Sealth who had befriended the settlers.

The new town’s principal economic support was Henry Yesler’s lumber mill at the foot of Mill Street (now Yesler Way), built in 1853. Much of the mill’s production went to the booming city of San Francisco, but the mill also supplied the fledgling towns throughout the Puget Sound region. A brief Indian “war” in the winter of 1856 interrupted the town’s development, but when the Territorial legislature incorporated Seattle in 1869, there were more than 2,000 residents.

The 1870s were fairly quiet, despite the discovery of coal near Lake Washington, and the consequent growth of another extractive industry whose product also found its way to San Francisco. In the early 1870s the Northern Pacific Railway Company announced that its transcontinental railroad western terminus would be at Tacoma, some forty miles south of Seattle. Despite local leaders’ disappointment, Seattle managed to force a connection with Northern Pacific shortly after its completion in 1883, and the town’s population soared in the late 1880s. Lumber and coal were the primary industries, but the growth of fishing, wholesale trade, shipbuilding, and shipping also contributed to the town’s economic expansion and population growth. One estimate is that in the first half of 1889, Seattle was gaining 1,000 new residents per month; in March alone, there were 500 buildings under construction, most of them built of wood. The explosive growth was slowed but not stopped by a devastating fire on June 6, 1889, which leveled the buildings on 116 acres in the heart of the city’s business district. No one died in the fire, but the property damage ran into millions of dollars.

Enthusiasm for Seattle was little dampened by the fire. In fact, it provided the opportunity for extensive municipal improvements, including widened and regraded streets, a professional fire department, reconstructed wharves, and municipal water works. New construction in the burned district was required to be of brick or steel, and it was by choice on a grander and more imposing scale.

The 1890s were not so prosperous, despite the arrival of another transcontinental railroad, the Great Northern, in 1893. A nationwide business depression did not spare Seattle, but the 1897 discovery of gold along and near the Klondike River in Canada’s Yukon Territory and in Alaska once again made Seattle an instant boom town. The city exploited its nearness to the Klondike and its already established shipping lines to become the premier outfitting point for prospectors. The link became so strong that Alaska was long considered to be the personal property of Seattle and Seattleites.

During the early 1900s, Seattle, now having discovered the rewards of advertising, continued to experience strong growth. Two more transcontinental railroads, the Union Pacific and Milwaukee Road systems, reached Seattle and reinforced the city’s position as a trade and shipping center, particularly with Asia and the North Pacific.

The city’s population became increasingly diversified. Scandinavians came to work in fishing and lumbering, African Americans to work as railroad porters and waiters, and Japanese to operate truck gardens and hotels. There were significant communities of Italians, Chinese, Jews, and Filipinos. The International District, home to several Asian ethnic groups, was largely developed during this period.

With its population now approaching 240,000, Seattle announced its achievements by sponsoring an international fair in 1909. The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition celebrated the economic and cultural links Seattle had forged along what is now known as the North Pacific Rim. The forty-two story L.C. Smith building was completed in 1914. For more than four decades it was the tallest building in the American west and a symbol of Seattle’s booster spirit and metropolitan aspirations.

World War I transformed the city’s shipbuilding industry, which turned out 20 percent of the nation’s wartime ship tonnage. The war also brought Seattle national attention when, early in 1919, workers struck the shipyards to maintain their high wartime wages. This event soon led to the Seattle general strike of February 6-10, the longest such strike in American history. The strike lacked a cogent objective, but its success fueled postwar American fears about radicals and socialists. Along with the city’s early ventures into municipal transit service and public electrical power, the general strike helped establish Seattle’s reputation as a hotbed of political radicalism.

Seattle also had a reputation for a boom-and-bust economy, and the twenties brought depressed conditions in shipbuilding and the lumber trade. The Depression of the 1930s hit Seattle particularly hard, and a “Hooverville” of shacks and lean-tos housing nearly 1,000 unemployed men grew up at an abandoned shipbuilding yard south of Pioneer Square. World War II sparked an economic rebound as shipyards flourished again. The Boeing Company, a modestly successful airplane manufacturer founded in 1916, increased its workforce more than 1,200 percent and its sales from $10 million to $600 million annually during the war years. The war’s end, however, brought an economic slump to the area that persisted until the middle 1950s.

When Boeing successfully introduced the 707 commercial jet airliner in the late 1950s, it heralded another burst of municipal optimism. In 1962 Seattle sponsored a full-fledged world’s fair, the futuristic Century 21 Exposition. The fair left the city a permanent legacy in the Seattle Center and its complex of performance, sports, and entertainment halls, as well as the Pacific Science Center, the Monorail, and the Space Needle.

Since Century 21, the city population has remained fairly stable around the half-million mark, while suburban areas have grown explosively. The Boeing Company suffered a slump in the early 1970s that severely depressed the local economy. The region’s economy has subsequently been steadied and diversified. Weyerhaeuser and Boeing have been a part of that development, along with such high-technology firms as Microsoft. The political strength of Washington Senators Warren G. Magnuson and Henry Jackson in the postwar decades greatly contributed to growth at such research institutions as the University of Washington, and in defense related activities. Seattle has also enjoyed an expanded air and sea trade with Asia, Alaska, and the North Pacific.

Seattle has always exhibited a spirit of optimism, enterprise, and self-promotion. At one time this was institutionalized as “the Seattle Spirit,” a movement that enabled the city literally to move mountains by washing down high hills to improve building sites, to connect Lake Washington and Puget Sound with locks and a canal, and to build the world’s largest man-made island at the mouth of the Duwamish River. More recently, this spirit can be credited with accomplishments like the Forward Thrust program of the 1970s, which built the Kingdome arena and numerous parks throughout the city, including Freeway Park that spans the I-5 freeway with waterfalls and hanging gardens.

Seattle is proud of its arts and cultural institutions, the many live theaters, and the downtown art museum. It is proud of its parks, of its professional and collegiate sports, of Pioneer Square and the Pike Place Market, and, above all, of the beauty of its surroundings. Seattle is also a city of parades, not always respectful of its own brief heritage, not as radical as its legend would have it; a city of homes that has many who are homeless, a city that wants great growth but demands that somehow the setting remain untouched.

 

http://www.seattle.gov/cityarchives/Facts/history.htm

http://www.historylink.org/

http://www.seattlechannel.org/

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History of Tombstone Arizona (part 1)

Signature of Ed Schieffelin, a prospector who ...

Tombstone Ariona is one of those places that intrigues me, for some unknown reason or another. While I was researching the history of the town, I came across some difficulties finding verifiable information. There was little or no census info., and the info. in the Tombstone local library wasn’t the same as the historical information found online. It was very frustrating, but it seemed that the stories of good old Tombstone being told by the tourist wranglers, tour guides, and local venues were really the ones that the city was standing by. I could find no death records for the prominent years that the city was in operation as a mining town. An explaination for this is that there were so many travelers in and out of the city, that it was impossible to keep track of all that died, most before even 24 hours of residency. Another good excuse was that people didn’t carry identification at that time.

Signature of Ed Schieffelin, a prospector who discovered silver in Cochise County, Arizona Territory in 1877, which led to the founding of Tombstone, Arizona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Ed Schieffelin during a visit to the ...

English: Ed Schieffelin during a visit to the Yukon River in Alaska in 1882. Cropped version of original image. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Bird Cage Theater as it appears today.

The Bird Cage Theater as it appears today. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ed Schieffelin discovered the Tombstone distri...

Ed Schieffelin discovered the Tombstone district in 1877 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: was built by Albert Schieffelin, brot...

English: was built by Albert Schieffelin, brother of Tombstone, Arizona founder Ed Schieffelin, and William Harwood as a first class opera house, theater, recital hall, and a meeting place for Tombstone citizens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tombstone

Tombstone (Photo credit: bugmonkey)

TOMBSTONE ARIZONA HISTORY

Underground America is looking for sponsorship in order to funda documentary series on this town andmany others like it. Ask ushow you can help makethis video series happen!!
HERE IS A COMPILATION OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE HISTORY OF TOMBSTONE,  GATHERED FROM MANY WEBSITES LISTED AT THE END OF THE BLOG. ENJOY! I do not own any of these images, the websites they are hosted on, or the copyrighted clip art or formats used on the host sites.
Historic Allen StreetA BRIEF HISTORY OF TOMBSTONE
Ed SchieffelinTombstone was founded in 1877 by a prospector named Ed Schieffelin.   Ed was staying at what was then called Camp Huachuca (wa-chu-ka) as part of a scouting expedition against the Chiricahua (chir-i-cow-uh) Apaches.   During his time there he would venture out into the wilderness “looking for rocks”, all the while ignoring the warnings he received from the soldiers at the camp.   They would tell him, “Ed, the only stone you will find out there will be your tombstone”.   Well, Ed did find his stone.   And it was Silver.   So, remembering the words of warning from the soldiers, he named his first mine The Tombstone.Click here to learn more about Ed Schieffelin
Tombstone in 1881It wasn’t long before word spread about Ed’s silver strike. Soon prospectors, cowboys, homesteaders, lawyers, speculators, gunmen and business people flocked to the area in droves. In 1879 a town site was laid out on the nearest level spot to the mines, known at that time as Goose Flats, and was appropriately named “Tombstone” after Ed Schieffelin’s first mining claim.
Parade down Allen Street in the late 1800'sBy the mid 1880’s Tombstone’s population had increased to around 7,500. This figure counted only the white male registered voters that were over 21 years of age. If you take into account the women, children, Chinese, Mexicans and the many “ladies of the evening” the estimates are that the population was between 15,000 and 20,000 people. At its peak, it is said to have been the fastest growing city between St. Louis and San Francisco. There were over one hundred saloons, numerous restaurants, a large red-light district, an even larger Chinese population, schools, churches, newspapers, and one of the first public swimming pools in Arizona (which is still used today).
Historic Schieffelin HallThere were a few theaters in town, the most famous of them being Schieffelin Hall and the Bird Cage Theatre. Schieffelin Hall was where the “respectable” people in town went for entertainment. It opened in June of 1881 and was built for the people of Tombstone by Ed Schieffelin’s Brother Al. It is the largest standing adobe structure in the southwest United States and was built to be used as a theater, recital hall and a meeting place for Tombstone Citizens. Wyatt and Morgan Earp attended a performance there the evening that Morgan was killed by an assassin’s bullet. It is still in use today by city government and civic groups.CLICK HERE to buy a vintage image of
historic Schieffelin Hall.

Birdcage Theatre

The Bird Cage Theatre is another story. It was a saloon, theater, gambling hall and brothel. Legend has it that no self-respecting woman in town would even walk on the same side of the street as the Bird Cage Theatre. It opened its doors on Christmas Day 1881 and ran 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year until closing its doors in 1889. In 1882, The New York Times reported, “the Bird Cage Theatre is the wildest, wickedest night spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast.” Evidence of this can still be seen in the 140 supposed bullet holes that have been found in the walls and ceiling. The Bird Cage was named for the cage style crib compartments suspended from the ceiling. It was in these “Bird Cages” that the “ladies of the evening” entertained their customers. The story goes that they were the inspiration for the song, “She’s only a bird in a gilded cage”, which was quite popular during the early 1900’s.

After the fire of 1882

Two major fires swept through Tombstone during the 1880’s. Legend has it that in June of 1881 a cigar ignited a barrel of whiskey at the Arcade Saloon. The subsequent fire destroyed over 60 businesses in the downtown area. But the town rebuilt itself and kept on growing. In May of 1882 another fire ripped through downtown Tombstone destroying a large portion of the business district. Again, the town rebuilt.

Welcome to Boothill Graveyard

Tombstone is also the home of Boothill Graveyard. Boothill began in 1879 and was used until 1884 when the New Tombstone City Cemetery was opened on west Allen Street. After the opening of the new cemetery, Boothill became known as “The Old Cemetery”. The City cemetery is still in use today. Legend has it that Boothill was named for the fact that many residents there died violent or unexpected deaths and were buried with their boots on. However, it was actually named Boothill after Dodge City’s pioneer cemetery in the hopes of attracting tourists in the late 1920’s. Many famous Tombstone folks lie there including the victims of the 1881 Shootout on Fremont Street between the Earps and the Cowboys. For many years, it was neglected. The desert overtook parts of it and vandals removed grave markers. Then, in the 1920’s concerned citizens began the process of cleaning up the Old Cemetery and researching the placement of the graves to preserve it for future generations (and to make a little money on tourism).

Click here to learn more about Tombstone’s Cemeteries.

Restored OK Corral Site

The most famous event in Tombstone’s history was the famed Gunfight at the OK Corral, which didn’t actually happen at the corral, but in a vacant lot on Fremont Street. On October 26, 1881, members of the “Cowboys” had a run-in with Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp with help from Wyatt’s friend Doc Holliday. 24 seconds and 30 shots later, Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McLaury were mortally wounded. In many peoples opinion, it was this one event that has kept Tombstone alive for all these years.

the 1882 Cochise County CourthouseIn 1882 the Cochise County Courthouse was built at a cost of around $45,000. It provided offices for the county sheriff, recorder, treasurer, board of supervisors, and included a well-built jail. The courthouse was a comfortable symbol of law and stability in these turbulent times. The county seat remained in Tombstone until voters in 1929 chose to move it to Bisbee, a bustling copper mining town 29 miles away. The last county office left the courthouse in 1931. Budget cuts in 2010 by Gov. Jan Brewer almost forced the Museums closure. Luckily the Tombstone Chamber of Commerce stepped in and met the demands from the state to take over operation of the museum.

Click here to learn more about the old Cochise County Courthouse

Abandoned buildings on Allen Street in the 1940's

As the silver mining continued the mineshafts were dug deeper and deeper to get the precious ore. Once they hit the 520 foot level, the water table was reached which flooded the mines. Attempts to pump out the water marginally worked for a few years but soon became too costly to continue. As the mining slowed down, the people of Tombstone started leaving, but not before $37,000,000 worth of ore had been taken from the many mines in the area. It is estimated that by the early 1930’s Tombstone’s population dwindled to around 150 people.

View of Tombstone

Today, Tombstone is home to around 1500 year round residents who enjoy the wonderful climate that Cochise County’s high desert has to offer and believe in preserving the history and heritage of the Wildest Town in the West!


TOMBSTONE
NAME: Tombstone
COUNTY: Cochise
ROADS: 2WD paved
LEGAL INFO: T20S, R22E
CLIMATE: Mild winter, hot summer
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Anytime
COMMENTS: Many ghost towns in the area that are worth seeing. Video available, see below.
REMAINS: Many original buildings and cemetery.

Tombstone’s post office was established December 2, 1878 and has yet to be discontinued. Tombstone is the most famous of Arizona mining camps with its colorful history. Discovered by Ed Schieffelin in 1878, the mine went on to produce millions. Tombstone had over 15,000 residents at one time. Fires nearly caused the death of Tombstone twice but the town was resilient. Famous for the O.K. Corral shootout with the Earps and Boot Hill cemetery, Tombstone is well worth the visit! – GTombstone Ariona is one of those places that intrigues me, for some unknown reason or another. While I was researching the history of the town, I came across some difficulties finding verifiable information. There was little or no census info., and the info. in the Tombstone local library wasn’t the same as the historical information found online. It was very frustrating, but it seemed that the stories of good old Tombstone being told by the tourist wranglers, tour guides, and local venues were really the ones that the city was standing by. I could find no death records for the prominent years that the city was in operation as a mining town. An explaination for this is that there were so many travelers in and out of the city, that it was impossible to keep track of all that died, most before even 24 hours of residency. Another good excuse was that people didn’t carry identification at that time.

History of Tombstone Arizona (part 1)

Posted by Thornie

Signature of Ed Schieffelin, a prospector who ...

Signature of Ed Schieffelin, a prospector who discovered silver in Cochise County, Arizona Territory in 1877, which led to the founding of Tombstone, Arizona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Signature of Ed Schieffelin, a prospector who discovered silver in Cochise County, Arizona Territory in 1877, which led to the founding of Tombstone, Arizona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Ed Schieffelin during a visit to the Yukon River in Alaska in 1882. Cropped version of original image. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Bird Cage Theater as it appears today. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ed Schieffelin discovered the Tombstone district in 1877 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: was built by Albert Schieffelin, brother of Tombstone, Arizona founder Ed Schieffelin, and William Harwood as a first class opera house, theater, recital hall, and a meeting place for Tombstone citizens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tombstone (Photo credit: bugmonkey)

TOMBSTONE ARIZONA HISTORY

Underground America is looking for sponsorship inorder to funda documentary series on this town andmany others like it. Ask ushow you can help make

this video series happen!!

HERE IS A COMPILATION OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE HISTORY OF TOMBSTONE,  GATHERED FROM MANY WEBSITES LISTED AT THE END OF THE BLOG. ENJOY! I do not own any of these images, the websites they are hosted on, or the copyrighted clip art or formats used on the host sites.
Historic Allen StreetA BRIEF HISTORY OF TOMBSTONE
Ed SchieffelinTombstone was founded in 1877 by a prospector named Ed Schieffelin.   Ed was staying at what was then called Camp Huachuca (wa-chu-ka) as part of a scouting expedition against the Chiricahua (chir-i-cow-uh) Apaches.   During his time there he would venture out into the wilderness “looking for rocks”, all the while ignoring the warnings he received from the soldiers at the camp.   They would tell him, “Ed, the only stone you will find out there will be your tombstone”.   Well, Ed did find his stone.   And it was Silver.   So, remembering the words of warning from the soldiers, he named his first mine The Tombstone.Click here to learn more about Ed Schieffelin
Tombstone in 1881It wasn’t long before word spread about Ed’s silver strike. Soon prospectors, cowboys, homesteaders, lawyers, speculators, gunmen and business people flocked to the area in droves. In 1879 a town site was laid out on the nearest level spot to the mines, known at that time as Goose Flats, and was appropriately named “Tombstone” after Ed Schieffelin’s first mining claim.
Parade down Allen Street in the late 1800'sBy the mid 1880′s Tombstone’s population had increased to around 7,500. This figure counted only the white male registered voters that were over 21 years of age. If you take into account the women, children, Chinese, Mexicans and the many “ladies of the evening” the estimates are that the population was between 15,000 and 20,000 people. At its peak, it is said to have been the fastest growing city between St. Louis and San Francisco. There were over one hundred saloons, numerous restaurants, a large red-light district, an even larger Chinese population, schools, churches, newspapers, and one of the first public swimming pools in Arizona (which is still used today).
Historic Schieffelin HallThere were a few theaters in town, the most famous of them being Schieffelin Hall and the Bird Cage Theatre. Schieffelin Hall was where the “respectable” people in town went for entertainment. It opened in June of 1881 and was built for the people of Tombstone by Ed Schieffelin’s Brother Al. It is the largest standing adobe structure in the southwest United States and was built to be used as a theater, recital hall and a meeting place for Tombstone Citizens. Wyatt and Morgan Earpattended a performance there the evening that Morgan was killed by an assassin’s bullet. It is still in use today by city government and civic groups.

CLICK HERE to buy a vintage image of
historic Schieffelin Hall.

Birdcage Theatre

The Bird Cage Theatre is another story. It was a saloon, theater, gambling hall and brothel. Legend has it that no self-respecting woman in town would even walk on the same side of the street as the Bird Cage Theatre. It opened its doors on Christmas Day 1881 and ran 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year until closing its doors in 1889. In 1882, The New York Times reported, “the Bird Cage Theatre is the wildest, wickedest night spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast.” Evidence of this can still be seen in the 140 supposed bullet holes that have been found in the walls and ceiling. The Bird Cage was named for the cage style crib compartments suspended from the ceiling. It was in these “Bird Cages” that the “ladies of the evening” entertained their customers. The story goes that they were the inspiration for the song, “She’s only a bird in a gilded cage”, which was quite popular during the early 1900′s.

After the fire of 1882

Two major fires swept through Tombstone during the 1880′s. Legend has it that in June of 1881 a cigar ignited a barrel of whiskey at the Arcade Saloon. The subsequent fire destroyed over 60 businesses in the downtown area. But the town rebuilt itself and kept on growing. In May of 1882 another fire ripped through downtown Tombstone destroying a large portion of the business district. Again, the town rebuilt.

Welcome to Boothill Graveyard

Tombstone is also the home of Boothill Graveyard. Boothill began in 1879 and was used until 1884 when the New Tombstone City Cemetery was opened on west Allen Street. After the opening of the new cemetery, Boothill became known as “The Old Cemetery”. The City cemetery is still in use today. Legend has it that Boothill was named for the fact that many residents there died violent or unexpected deaths and were buried with their boots on. However, it was actually named Boothill after Dodge City’s pioneer cemetery in the hopes of attracting tourists in the late 1920′s. Many famous Tombstone folks lie there including the victims of the 1881 Shootout on Fremont Street between the Earps and the Cowboys. For many years, it was neglected. The desert overtook parts of it and vandals removed grave markers. Then, in the 1920′s concerned citizens began the process of cleaning up the Old Cemetery and researching the placement of the graves to preserve it for future generations (and to make a little money on tourism).

Click here to learn more about Tombstone’s Cemeteries.

Restored OK Corral Site

The most famous event in Tombstone’s history was the famed Gunfight at the OK Corral, which didn’t actually happen at the corral, but in a vacant lot on Fremont Street. On October 26, 1881, members of the “Cowboys” had a run-in with Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp with help from Wyatt’s friend Doc Holliday. 24 seconds and 30 shots later, Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McLaury were mortally wounded. In many peoples opinion, it was this one event that has kept Tombstone alive for all these years.

the 1882 Cochise County CourthouseIn 1882 the Cochise County Courthouse was built at a cost of around $45,000. It provided offices for the county sheriff, recorder, treasurer, board of supervisors, and included a well-built jail. The courthouse was a comfortable symbol of law and stability in these turbulent times. The county seat remained in Tombstone until voters in 1929 chose to move it to Bisbee, a bustling copper mining town 29 miles away. The last county office left the courthouse in 1931. Budget cuts in 2010 by Gov. Jan Brewer almost forced the Museums closure. Luckily the Tombstone Chamber of Commerce stepped in and met the demands from the state to take over operation of the museum.

Click here to learn more about the old Cochise County Courthouse

Abandoned buildings on Allen Street in the 1940's

As the silver mining continued the mineshafts were dug deeper and deeper to get the precious ore. Once they hit the 520 foot level, the water table was reached which flooded the mines. Attempts to pump out the water marginally worked for a few years but soon became too costly to continue. As the mining slowed down, the people of Tombstone started leaving, but not before $37,000,000 worth of ore had been taken from the many mines in the area. It is estimated that by the early 1930′s Tombstone’s population dwindled to around 150 people.

View of Tombstone

Today, Tombstone is home to around 1500 year round residents who enjoy the wonderful climate that Cochise County’s high desert has to offer and believe in preserving the history and heritage of the Wildest Town in the West!


TOMBSTONE
NAME: Tombstone
COUNTY: Cochise
ROADS: 2WD paved
LEGAL INFO: T20S, R22E
CLIMATE: Mild winter, hot summer
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Anytime
COMMENTS: Many ghost towns in the area that are worth seeing.
REMAINS: Many original buildings and cemetery.

Tombstone’s post office was established December 2, 1878 and is still in operation today. Tombstone became one of the most famous Arizona mining camps with its colorful history. Discovered by Ed Schieffelin in 1878, the mine went on to produce millions of dollars in silver ore. Tombstone had over 15,000 residents at the ehight of its operation. Fires nearly caused the death of Tombstone twice but the town was resilient. Famous for the O.K. Corral shootout with the Earps and Boot Hill cemetery, Tombstone is well worth the visit! –Tombstone has since earned the nick-name “the Town Too Tough to Die”. One day in 1877 the prospector Ed Schieffelin stood in Camp Huachuca and he looked out on the mountains in the northeast. The rich colors of the mountains looked very pleasing and full of promise and he decided to go there and dig a little. When he mentioned that to the soldier at his side, the soldier warned him against digging in that area, saying that the Apache indians that controlled and settled in the mountains, would respond with violence.“All you’ll find in those hills is your tomb-stone”. In February 1878 Schieffelin decided to go alone on the search after his fortune. He found a vein rich with silver ore, not the gold ore he was hoping for, but large enough to make him an instantly rich man. Remembering what the soldier had told him about never finding anything but his tombstone, he registered the two mining sites: “the Tombstone” and “the Graveyard”. He decided to send for his brother, Al, and have him come and survey the value of the ore so he traveled all the way to Signal (now ghost town about 170 miles away by plane from Tombstone). The brothers returned together with Mr. Richard K.Gird, who saw the ore value, and the brothers into a partnership. On the way back, Ed found two more spots teaming with silver ore and registered those lots as “Lucky Cuss” (his nich name for himself) and “the Toughnut” (he joked that will be “a tough nut to crack”). 40 million dollars in silver (value of 1.7 billion dollars today) was the result from those and other mines in the area between 1880-1886. Tombstone who flourished under the hunt of silver in the beginning of 1880 was known as one of the most notorious and violent towns in the Wild West – where the silver was king, – but now, Tombstone is a very nice place to visit.The city had 4 churches, a school, two banks, a newspaper (“The Epitaph”), one opera and about 15000 citizens. One big fire destroyed the Main Street in 1881 and in 1882, and each time it was built up again.

Ed Schieffelin left Tombstone and set off   after a new adventure to the Yukon. Despite the fact that these facts are difficult to verify, Tombstone was the place were men lived fast, and died quickly.

The fight which took place by the OK Corral in 1881 is remembered as the most notorious gun fight in the history of the town. The main reason for the shooting was a struggle for political power in the newly founded Cochise County. On the one side was Sheriff Johny Behan and Clanton clan who ran a place called “moonshine ranch” where they dabbled in stolen cattle and staged bar and coach robberies. The good guys were U.S. Marshall Wyatt Earp, his brothers Virgil and Morgan, and the known alcoholic gunman “Doc” Holliday. In the afternoon on October 26, came Earp brothers and Holliday to corner of Fremont and 3th Street where five young members of Clanton gang were looking a fight. According the late explanation of Ikke Clanton, Wyatt Earp pushed his gun into Clantons stomach and yelled “You son of a bitch, you can have a fight.” Clanton turned around and tried to run away, and in about 30 seconds, 3 of Clanton’s men were dead and Virgil and Morgan were serious wounded. The Earp brothers and Holliday were questened in court and found not guilty. Two months later around midnight a masked man tried to kill Virgil Earp, but they only invalided his arm for the rest of his live. Three months after that, an asian man killed Morgan Earp. Wyatt Earp, who worked outside the law to find the killer, killed 3 men who were suspected for the murder of his brother, and left Cochise County forever.

Because of the many killings that occured almost every day, President Chester Arthur was ready to send military into the town in hopes of getting some much needed help, when the troubles topped in 1882.  110 permits for serving the alcohol were given to bar and restaraunt owners.

In 1886, water was flooding into the mines which collapsed under the massive amount of water, and that was end of mining. Charleston and Millville, sister cities, died,  and Tombstone was seriously “wounded”. The numbers of citizens dropped but the town survived. Mines started to open again in 1890 an those worked until after the change of the new millenium, when flooding stopped the mining, yet again. When the town lost the title as County town to Bisbee, proclaimed the newspaper “Graham County Guardian”: “Tombstone got his dead stitch”. The pockets of silver in the mountains are changed to silver in the pockets by the tourists, and Tomb-stone is still in live and lives good as a tourist town by his history. Beside others, the restored Crystal Palace Saloon from 1879 were was the office of city Marshall Virgil Earp and Sheriff Johny Behan; and OK Corral, which became famous in one turbulent moment of shooting, are now booming tourist attractions, and are open again. Allen Street (named after John Allen), once filled with over 130 bars, casinos, bordells and the Courthouse have all been restored. The original Cochise County Court-house build in 1882, including court hall and gallows are now official  “State Historic Parks”.


OK Corral
Courtesy Dolores Steele

City Hall
Courtesy Dolores Steele

Tombstone Epitaph
Courtesy Dolores Steele

Longhorn – 1884
Courtesy Dolores Steele

Big Nose Kates Saloon
Courtesy Dolores Steele


Birdcage Theater – most famous Honky-Tonk in America between 1881 and 1889
Courtesy Dolores Steele


Tombstone
Courtesy Theresa and Cian Corcoran


Tombstone
Courtesy Theresa and Cian Corcoran


Tombstone
Courtesy Theresa and Cian Corcoran


Tombstone
Courtesy Theresa and Cian Corcoran


Tombstone
Courtesy Theresa and Cian Corcoran


Boot Hill
Courtesy Bobby Krause Zlatevski


Tombstone
Courtesy Bobby Krause Zlatevski


Ed Schieffelin Grave
Courtesy Bobby Krause Zlatevski


Tombstone
From the Johnnie Walker Collection
Courtesy Charlie Osborn


Tombstone
From the Johnnie Walker Collection
Courtesy Charlie Osborn


Tombstone
From the Johnnie Walker Collection
Courtesy Charlie Osborn


Tombstone
From the Johnnie Walker Collection
Courtesy Charlie Osborn


Tombstone
From the Johnnie Walker Collection
Courtesy Charlie Osborn


Tombstone
From the Johnnie Walker Collection
Courtesy Charlie Osborn


Tombstone
From the Johnnie Walker Collection
Courtesy Charlie Osborn


Tombstone in 1881
Courtesy Arizona Historical Society
John Heath Lynching Feb. 22, 1884
Courtesy Arizona Historical Society
Custom made Cherrywood Bar
Courtesy Dolores Steele
Card table in the Bird Cage
Courtesy Dolores Steele
Bird Cage Theater
Courtesy Dolores Steele
Tombstone
Courtesy Dolores Steele
Tombstone
Courtesy Dolores Steele
Tombstone
Courtesy Theresa and Cian Corcoran

Tombstone
Courtesy Theresa and Cian Corcoran


Tombstone
Courtesy Theresa and Cian Corcoran


Tombstone – late 1890s or early 1900s
Courtesy Tom McCurnin


Golden Nugget Saloon
Courtesy Bobby Krause Zlatevski


Tombstone – Courthouse
Courtesy Bobby Krause Zlatevski


Tombstone – Ed Schieffelin Monument
Courtesy Bobby Krause Zlatevski


Inside Crystal Palace Saloon
Courtesy Tom McCurnin


Tombstone – Silver Nugget Saloon
Courtesy Bobby Krause Zlatevski


Tombstone – Undertaker Car
Courtesy Bobby Krause Zlatevski


Tombstone – Undertaker Car
Courtesy Bobby Krause Zlatevski


Schieffelin Hall
Courtesy Tom McCurnin


St. Pauls
Courtesy Tom McCurnin


Miners Shack
Courtesy Tom McCurnin


Tombstone
From the Johnnie Walker Collection
Courtesy Charlie Osborn


Tombstone
From the Johnnie Walker Collection
Courtesy Charlie Osborn


Tombstone
From the Johnnie Walker Collection
Courtesy Charlie Osborn


Tombstone
From the Johnnie Walker Collection
Courtesy Charlie Osborn


Tombstone
From the Johnnie Walker Collection
Courtesy Charlie Osborn


Tombstone
From the Johnnie Walker Collection
Courtesy Charlie Osborn


Tombstone
From the Johnnie Walker Collection
Courtesy Charlie Osborn


Tombstone
From the Johnnie Walker Collection
Courtesy Charlie Osborn


VIDEO AVAILABLE

http://www.tombstoneweb.com/

http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/az/tombstone.html

Related articles

Most Notorious Hollywood Deaths. (part 2…cold cases)

English: The grave of Elizabeth Short, better ...

English: The grave of Elizabeth Short, better known as the Black Dahlia, who was murdered in 1947. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Notorious B.I.G.

The Notorious B.I.G. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Ronni Chasen
Legendary Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen was a veritable institution in the movie industry, representing everyone from filmmakers to producers and composers. She orchestrated the Oscar campaign for Driving Miss Daisy, and was recently organizing Oscar pushes for Alice in Wonderland and for actor Michael Douglas, who reprised his role as Gordon Gekko in the sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. But in the early hours on Nov. 16, while driving home from the Hollywood premiere of the film Burlesque, Chasen’s Mercedes coupe was shot at five times and her body was found slumped over in her car. The murder has many in Hollywood scratching their heads and sparked a massive police hunt, with some sources claiming it was a planned hit. Adding to the mystery, the leading suspect in the murder reportedly committed suicide, according to The Daily Beast.

Read more about Ronni Chasen:

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2084831,00.html#ixzz2NooxX7l7

http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlla/ronni-chasen-harold-smith-bhpd-harvey-apartments-stolen-revolver_b33761

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Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G.
Rapper Tupac was shot from a white Cadillac while stopped at an intersection on the Las Vegas Strip in Sept. 1996. Just six months later, fellow rapper Notorious B.I.G. was shot from a red Impala while stopped at an intersection in L.A. You can take your pick of the many theories as to who was behind the shootings. Did Notorious order a hit on Tupac and the Bloods retaliated against B.I.G.? Was their rival gang the Crips responsible for both murders—Biggie ordering the hit on Tupac, then reneging on the deal and getting shot for it? Were the rappers accidental victims of hits targeting their labels’ CEOs, who were both at the scene of the rappers’ murders? Did their labels’ CEOs actually order the hits themselves as a plan to boost the East Coast/ West Coast rivalry that was selling so many records? In 1999, detective Russell Poole, who suspected dirty cops to be behind the hit, resigned in protest and 13 years later, both murders remain unsolved.

Read more about Tupac Shakur:

http://mycolumbuspower.com/2318695/the-tupac-conspiracy-and-the-number-7/

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=tupac%20conspiracy

Read more about Notorious B.I.G.:

http://www.complex.com/music/2012/03/interview-former-lapd-detective-says-he-knows-who-killed-the-notorious-big

http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/notorious-b-i-g-murder-solved-new-information-on-the-case-revealed-news.1896.html

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Elizabeth Short (The Black Dahlia)
It remains, to this day, one of the most gruesome and puzzling murders to ever hit Hollywood. Elizabeth Short was a 22-year-old aspiring actress with long, dark hair and piercing blue eyes, whose mutilated body was found in the Leimert Park district of Los Angeles on Jan. 15, 1947. Her corpse had been severed at the waist and drained of blood and her face was slashed from the corners of her mouth to her ears. The media sensationalized the already horrifying case, claiming at the time of her murder that Short was wearing a tight skirt and sheer blouse as opposed to the black tailored suit she was allegedly last seen wearing. And although it was reported that she received “The Black Dahlia” nickname from a drugstore, some say it was the media’s effort to paint a portrait of Short as a femme fatale. The crime was the basis for author James Ellroy’s 1987 book, The Black Dahlia, which was later adapted into a 2006 film of the same name, directed by Brian De Palma and starring Josh Hartnett and Scarlett Johansson. But more than 60 years and many rumors later, Short’s death remains unsolved.

Read more about Elizabeth Short A.K.A. The Black Dahlia:

http://www.bethshort.com/dahhome.htm

http://vault.fbi.gov/Black%20Dahlia%20(E%20Short)%20

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David Carradine
Best known for his role as a Shaolin monk in the 1970s television series Kung-Fu, David Carradine became a successful character actor in Hollywood films, including memorable roles as a stumbling drunk in Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets and the scheming villain in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill franchise. But on June 4, 2009, Carradine was found dead in his hotel room in Bangkok, where he was shooting a movie. The actor’s body was found hanging in the closet with a rope tied to his neck, wrist, and genitals, in an apparent act of autoerotic asphyxiation. Following his death, two of Carradine’s ex-wives, Gail Jensen and Marina Anderson, stated that Carradine indeed had a self-bondage fetish and an overall penchant for “deviant sexual behavior.” Since then, Anderson has publicly claimed that she conducted her own investigation of Carradine’s death, ruling he was murdered.

Read more about David Carradine:

http://radaronline.com/category/tags/david-carradine/

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Natalie Wood
Born Natalia Nikolaevna Zakharenko, Wood became a successful child actor with her role in the 1947 film, Miracle on 34th Street, later transitioning to an ingénue opposite James Dean in 1955’s Rebel Without a Cause. The part earned Wood an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress—as did her performances in Elia Kazan’s Splendor in the Grass and West Side Story. But Wood was also known for her high-profile relationships with many men, from Elvis Presley to Dennis Hopper. On the evening of Nov. 28, 1981, she was in Catalina Island taking a break from filming the sci-fi film Brainstorm with her co-star, Christopher Walken, and her husband (for the second time), Robert Wagner, when she allegedly slipped and fell into the water while trying to secure a dinghy. According to Time, Wood’s autopsy revealed she drank “seven or eight” glasses of wine. A passenger on a boat nearby claimed she heard someone yelling cries of help that evening and heard another voice answer: “Take it easy. We’ll be over to get you.” In the wake of Wood’s death at the age of 43, her lawyer said, “It was not a homicide… not a suicide. It was an accident.”

Read more about Natalie Wood:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9811861/Natalie-Woods-husband-Robert-Wagner-refuses-to-help-police-investigating-actresss-death-30-years-on.html

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2013/01/natalie-wood-death-coroner-autopsy.html

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Johnny Stompanato
The inquest into the fatal stabbing of Hollywood bodyguard Johnny Stompanato was a major television event, with both his girlfriend actress Lana Turner and gangster Mickey Cohen testifying before 120 journalists filling the courtroom’s 160 seats. There was even an unidentified man shouting “Lies! All lies! This mother and daughter were both in love with Stompanato! Johnny was a gentleman!” as he was dragged from the courtroom. But as the story goes, Stompanato was anything but a gentleman as a bodyguard to Cohen, a rumored blackmailer, and an alleged abusive boyfriend to Turner. Though the star’s daughter Cheryl Crane was found guilty of justifiable homicide when she stabbed Stompanato with a kitchen knife at Turner’s house during a fight, rumors persisted that Turner had murdered Stompanato herself and passed off the crime to her daughter, who was 14 at the time.

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George Reeves
With his hulking physique and square jaw, George Reeves was an ideal fit for the lead role in the 1950s television series, Adventures of Superman. However, after the series, Reeves had trouble finding work and was in dire financial straits due to his extravagant Hollywood lifestyle. According to the Los Angeles Police Department report, between approximately 1:30 and 2 a.m. on June 16, 1959, Reeves reportedly shot himself in the head in the upstairs bedroom of his Los Angeles home, while his fiancée, playwright Leonore Lemmon, and friends William Bliss, writer Robert Condon, and Carol Van Ronkel were partying downstairs. The houseguests allegedly heard a single gunshot and Bliss ran into the room to find Reeves’ lifeless body. Police reports at the time said that Reeves was depressed because he wasn’t earning roles, but his mother refused to believe Reeves was the type to kill himself. Other theories place the blame on Reeves’ relationship with married ex-showgirl Toni Mannix, wife of MGM general manager Eddie Mannix, as did the 2006 film Hollywoodland, which starred Ben Affleck as the late Superman star.

Read more about George Reeves:

http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/celebrity/george_reeves/10.html

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Brandon Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee and Brandon Lee
Bruce Lee, a Hong Kong martial arts master, became a star after his performance as Kato alongside Van Williams in the TV series, The Green Hornet. He went on to star in many martial arts films and famously pummeled Chuck Norris in the legendary final scene of Way of the Dragon. However, on July 20, 1973, six days before the release of his latest movie, Enter the Dragon, Lee met with producer Raymond Chow to talk about a new project, Game of Death. The two then drove over to Lee’s colleague’s home, Taiwanese actress Betty Ting Pei. When Lee complained of a headache, Pei allegedly gave him an Equagesic—a combination of aspirin and a muscle relaxant. Lee reportedly decided to take a nap, but never woke up. The only substance found in the actor’s autopsy was Equagesic and it was later ruled that he died due to a hypersensitivity to the muscle relaxant in the drug. However, many conspiracy theorists claim that Lee was either murdered by the triads, he died from a Dim Mak (“death strike”) he received some time earlier, or his family was cursed. The final theory resurfaced when, on Mar. 31, 1993, his son Brandon Lee was accidentally shot to death while filming his character’s death scene in the film, The Crow.

Read more about Bruce Lee:

http://www.weirdworm.com/4-strange-celebrity-death-conspiracy-theories/

http://www.intermartialarts.com/article/how-did-bruce-lee-die

Read more about Brandon Lee:

http://suspiciousdeaths.blogspot.com/2011/01/brandon-lee.html

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Virginia Rappe
Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle was one of the first movie stars and with that, he was also at the forefront of one of the first Hollywood scandals. The 350-pound silent-era comedian was accused of killing a young actress named Virginia Rappe. As the story goes, at a party at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco on Labor Day weekend 1920, Arbuckle ruptured Rappe’s bladder when he allegedly forced sex on her with a bottle, according to Time. Though he was never convicted—despite going through three trials—his image as a jovial, pie-throwing comedian was ruined, and his career never recovered.

Read more about Virginia Rappe:

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Bob Crane
Bob Crane, the star of Hogan’s Heroes, had a hard time getting roles after his show was canceled. He did, however, go on to make an extensive collection of home movies of his sexual escapades with the technical help of his friend John Carpenter. Though there were plenty of people with reason to be angry at Crane—he didn’t always tell his partners they were being filmed—Carpenter’s video experience made him the prime suspect in Crane’s murder. On June 28, 1978, Crane was found bludgeoned to death with what was believed to be a tripod and a VCR cable had been tied around his neck. Nevertheless, police couldn’t collect enough evidence and Carpenter wasn’t charged until 14 years after the murder. He was acquitted and four years later, he died of a heart attack.

Read more about Bob Crane:

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Jack Nance
No witnesses, no suspects: Jack Nance, the star of David Lynch’s Eraserhead, left investigators with a very cold case. He died of a subdural hematoma caused by blunt-force trauma on December 30, 1996. Before he was found dead at his home, Nance told friends that two young Hispanic men had punched him in the eye outside a Winchell’s Doughnuts at 5 a.m. after he’d allegedly told them to change their baggy clothes, get haircuts, and get jobs. But the owner of the Winchell’s didn’t recall the fight and Nance gave no other information about his attackers. In fact, with a blood alcohol level of .24 at the time of his death, some suggest Nance got drunk, hit his head, and made up the story. “I mouthed off and I got what I deserved,” the late actor reportedly said after his alleged attack, according to Premiere.

Read more about Jack Nance:

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William Desmond Taylor
The murder of silent-film director William Desmond Taylor—who was found shot in the back in his home on February 2, 1922—involved a Hollywood-worthy cast of characters. Some suspected comedian Mabel Normand’s cocaine dealers since Taylor was allegedly protective of Normand and trying to separate her from her pushers. Normand’s lover, director Mack Sennett, was also believed to have possibly murdered Taylor out of jealousy over the comedian’s possible infatuation with the director. Another suspect was Taylor’s former valet, a shady character from Ohio who faked an English accent, embezzled money, and enlisted and deserted the Army three times under three different names. Young actress Mary Miles Minter was also a possible guilty party—her motive? Unrequited love. Despite the plethora of colorful suspects and a confession from one of Taylor’s actresses three decades later, no arrests were ever made.

Read more about William Desmond Taylor:

Most Notorious Hollywood Deaths. (part 1…suicides)

Lupe Velez Autograph

Lupe Velez Autograph (Photo credit: RockyandNelson)

Who doesn’t want to know whether a certain celebrity was a murder, a suicide, an accident, or just another tragedy? These are our visual heros, and (some of us) we follow their every theatrical move, daydreaming-fantacising-about being like them…about living their lives. What we don’t see, however- thanks to careful Hollywood media management, is that most of them are actually miserable. If you peel away all of the Hollywood hub-bub, the truth is reveiled, and that truth is that they are exactly like you and I, just a whole lot more represeed and fragile. They are born, they live and they die, and sometimes the death is just like their lives- unnatural. Hollywood has a long history of tragedy, and most often it is the most creative and most brilliant members of that community that suffer the most.

Things seem to be changing in modern Hollywood, as far as lifestyle, public interaction, and the health and sanity of the actors and actresses. They aren’t held prisoner by the film studios the way that they used to be (like in the Golden Age of Cinema, late 20’s., 30’s, and so on). Au Contraire, in recent years, more celebrities are dying from accidental overdoses, which occured at social events, or where the product of a “party animal” lifestyle, than any other kind of  death. Suicides, murders, accidents…all are far less frequent than they used to be. These days, a celebrity can come right out and talk to his fans, or to a reporter about what is going on in their lives, so when they die,  psycologically, it isn’t as big of a media ordeal (Kurt Cobaine, Brandon Lee…these are just examples of questionable deaths that were DROPPED by investigators after a minimal length of time). Still, when a celebrity is murdered, or commits suicide, it’s big news. Still, celebrities die in Hollywood. Some have killed themselves, other celebrities have been murdered, some extremely violently. This is a brief listing of the muders, suicides, and “questionable” Hollywood celebrity deaths that I feel are the most shocking or mind boggling. Some of these are unsolved, some are “questionable” or “unbelievable”, some are simply just bizarre…but all are echos of Hollywood.

Suicides

Freddie Prinze

Freddie Prinze, the father of Freddie Prinze Jr., got his start at a standup comedian. He had been born Frederick Karl Pruetzel but changed his last name to Prinze because he decided he was going to become the prince of comedy (he originally wanted to be king, but Alan King already had the name). He was the first comedian to asked to have a sit-down chat with Johnny Carson on his first Tonight Show appearance. Being asked for a sit-down chat by Carson was considered the Holy Grail of honors by comedians. He is best known for his role as Chico in the hit television series Chico and the Man.

Prinze suffered from depression and a drug addiction. January 28, 1977, after talking to his estranged wife on the telephone, he shot himself in the head with a semi-automatic pistol. There are some who believe this was an accident due to Prinze’s penchant for playing Russian roulette to freak out his friends. But his death was ruled a suicide. He was only 22 years old.


 Lupe Velez

Lupe Velez

Lupe Velez was one of the first Mexican actresses to achieve success in Hollywood. She first rose to prominence in silent films including her first starring role opposite Douglas Fairbanks in The Gaucho. She worked with legendary directors such as Cecil B. Demille and D.W. Griffith. Her characters were usually feisty and sensual earning her the vaguely racist nicknames “The Mexican Spitfire” and “The Hot Pepper.” She went on to have famous affairs with Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin, Erich Maria Remarque, and Errol Flynn.

In the mid-1940s she became pregnant with Harald Maresch’s child, but he refused to marry her. This is the reason she gave for taking her own life with 80 Seconal pills. Her note read:

To Harald: May God forgive you and forgive me, too; but I prefer to take my life away and our baby’s, before I bring him with shame, or killin’ [sic] him. Lupe.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding Velez’s death. People note that she was something of an iconoclast and likely wouldn’t have killed herself over the illegitimacy of her baby. The reason for her suicide is often attributed to her own impulsive behavior and a suspected undiagnosed case of bipolar disorder by those who do not believe her suicide note.

There is also controversy about how she was found. One account claims she was found on her bed, completely composed, and surrounded by flowers exactly as she had planned it. The other account is that she was found with her head in the toilet, likely because of of a bad reaction to the Seconal pills causing her to head to the toilet to vomit. These accounts maintain that she drowned in the toilet.


Dana Plato

Dana Plato

Dana Plato is known mostly for her role as Kimberly on Diff’rent Strokes and for her troubled life. Dana Plato began working in the industry from a very early age, and by the time she got to Diff’rent Strokes at age 14 was already abusing alcohol and hard drugs. She was dismissed from Diff’rent Strokes in 1984 for an unplanned pregnancy. After Diff’rent Strokes, Plato hit hard times. She got breast implants and posed in playboy and could only find work in B-movies. Then she couldn’t even get those and wound up working in a dry cleaners and robbed a video store at gun point. After that she began working in softcore porn.

A day before her death she went on the Howard Stern Show and talked about how she was clean and working to come back. The next day she OD’d on painkillers in her and her fiance’s RV, parked outside her fiance’s mother’s house. That was in 1999. In May 2010, her son committed suicide as well.


Anton Furst

Anton Furst and the Batmobile

Anton Furst was an Academy Award winning production designer who designed the sets forFull Metal Jacket in which he created a convincing Vietnam in England and Tim Burton’sBatman for which he earned his Oscar.

He killed himself by jumping from the eighth floor of a parking structure in Los Angeles in 1991. He was 47 years old.


George Sanders

George Sanders

George Sanders was known for his brilliant mind, his wit, and his booming voice. The voice was the reason he was often cast in villainous roles such as Shere Khan in The Jungle Bookand Addison DeWitt in All About Eve. He also guested as a villain on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and as Mr. Freeze in the Batman TV series.

Sanders married Zsa Zsa Gabor and then later married her older sister Magda. In his later years, his health deteriorated which depressed and frustrated him and drove him to drink. What destroyed him even more was the deterioration of his mental faculties which was the source of his greatest pride and joy. He was prone to fits of rage and delirium as his wits left him and we began wandering. It was in this stage of his life, at a hotel in Barcelona and taking a drug called Nembutal that he decided to take his life. He was found dead, 10 miles away from his hotel. It was ruled a suicide after authorities found his suicide note which has to be one of the most fascinating suicide notes of all time.

Dear World, I am leaving because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool. Good luck.


Charles Boyer

Charles Boyer

Charles Boyer’s surprising legacy is as the inspiration of Pepe le Pew. The french actor was known as a great on-screen Lothario. Even with his short stature, pre-mature balding, and paunch he became a sex symbol, wooing the greatest leading ladies of the day. Except off-screen he wasn’t like that at all. He was bookish and shy. He married his wife in 1934 and stayed faithful for 44 years until his wife died.

Boyer had a son, Michael, with his wife who committed suicide at age 21 (1965) by playing Russian roulette after separating from his girlfriend.

Then in 1978, his wife, Pat Paterson, passed away due to cancer. Two days later Boyer took his own life with an overdose of Seconal.


Andrew Koenig

Andrew Koenig

Andrew Koenig, son of actor Walter Koenig, is best known for his role of “Boner” on Growing Pains. He didn’t act much after leaving Growing Pains, but he did get very involved with human right activism. His activism mostly focused on the oppression of the Burmese people which involved visiting refugee camps in Thailand and protesting the Chinese government. The latter of which led to an arrest during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

In February 2010, Koenig went to Canada to watch the Olympics. On February 14th, his family reported him missing. His body was later found hanging from a tree in a densely wooded area of Vancouver’s Stanley Park. The family confirmed that Koenig had been depressed and took his own life.


Spalding Gray

Spalding Gray is an American icon. He was a writer and actor, known mostly for his minimalist autobiographical monologues, the most famous of which is probably Swimming to Cambodia which started its life as a play and was then turned into a movie. He was known for being neurotic, funny, and moving. His monologues were considered searingly self-exposed and brave.

Gray struggled with depression and bipolar disorder for his entire life. Then in 2001, he suffered a car accident that immobilized his left leg and injured his brain. He began suffering deeper bouts of depression, likely because of the injuries. Then in 2004 he went missing. When his body was later found in the East River, it was concluded that he had jumped off the Staten Island Ferry.

 Margaret Sullavan

Margaret Sullavan was born with a muscular disorder that prevented her from walking. As a child she overcame this and became a tomboy to the disapproval of her parents. She also had a hearing defect called otosclerosis which was the cause of her unique, throaty voice. She was known for her rebellious spirit and chose her scripts carefully. She only made 16 films, four of them opposite Jimmy Stewart who was head-over-heels for her.

Sullavan’s first marriage was to Henry Fonda, but it was her third husband, Leland Hayward that touched her the most. They divorced when Sullavan found he was cheating on her with Nancy “Slim” Keith. Their three children stayed with their mother, but over time, the lavish gifts from their father convinced them to stay with him full time prompting Sullavan to have a nervous breakdown.

From then on Sullavan became increasingly depressed, unable to sleep until she took her own life by overdosing on barbiturates in 1960. Her daughter Bridget took her own life through suicide nine months later and her son Bill committed suicide in 2008.


Richard Jeni

Richard Jeni was a famous stand-up comedian who was known for his stand-up specials (one of which is credited with creating the phrase “Thank you, Captain Obvious) and his appearances in The Mask and The Aristocrats. He is considered by many to be one of the greatest comedians of all time.

In 2007, Jeni shot himself in the face and was rushed to the hospital where he died. Jeni had recently been diagnosed with “severe clinical depression, coupled with fits of psychotic paranoia” and his girlfriend reported hearing him talking to himself a week earlier saying “just squeeze the trigger.” His girlfriend was in the apartment at the time of the shots. They had just discussed his next career move when she went to the kitchen to cook breakfast at his request, when she heard gunshots.


Jonathan Brandis

Jonathan Brandis

Jonathan Brandis was a 90s teen idol thanks to his starring role in the TV show SeaQuest. But he had actually been working since he was five years old. In fact, audiences already knew him from The NeverEnding Story IIIt, and Ladybugs. At the peak of his popularity Brandis received as many as 4,000 fan letters a week and needed three studio guards to escort him through the mob of female fans onto the SeaQuest set.

In November 2003 Brandis hanged himself. He was rushed to the hospital and died the next day. Friends speculated that Brandis was depressed about his career, but no one really knows why he took his own life.


Peg Entwistle, the suicide blonde of Hollywoodland

 

Today, September 16, is the 78th anniversary of the suicide of Peg Entwistle. In remembrance, here is a rerun of an article recently posted. Rest in peace Peg.

By Allan R. Ellenberger, Hollywoodland

 On the evening of Sunday, September 18, 1932, a mysterious phone call was received at the Central Station of the Los Angeles Police Department:
“I was hiking near the Hollywoodland sign today,” said a feminine voice, “and near the bottom I found a woman’s shoe and jacket. A little further on I noticed a purse. In it was a suicide note. I looked down the mountain and saw a body. I don’t want any publicity in this matter, so I wrapped up the jacket, shoe and purse in a bundle and laid them on the steps of the Hollywood Police Station.”

The officer asked for the woman’s name but she hung up before he could get more information. He called the Hollywood station and the package was found as described, including the alleged suicide note which read: “I’m afraid I’m a coward. I am sorry for everything. If I had done this thing a long time ago it would have saved a lot of pain. P.E.”

Detectives made their way to the Hollywoodland sign, where they found the body of a woman, described as being about 25 years old, with blue eyes and blonde hair. She was reasonably well dressed. With no other identification except for the “P.E.” on the suicide note, her body was sent to the morgue where it remained unclaimed.

Meanwhile, the following morning, Harold Entwistle read in the papers about an unidentified woman, dubbed “The Hollywood Sign Girl” by the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, who had apparently jumped to her death from the top of the letter “H” in the fifty-foot-high “Hollywoodland” electric sign. Entwistle, an actor, lived at 2428 Beachwood Drive and could see the sign from his front porch. He was suspicious about his niece Millicent, who he had not seen since the previous Friday evening walking up Beachwood towards the Hollywood Hills. She said she was going to buy a book at the drug store and then visit with some friends.

Millicent, a struggling actress, was known professionally, and to her friends as Peg. It was Peg’s absence and the alleged suicide note that Entwistle regarded as significant — the report said it was signed with the initials “P.E.” After contacting authorities at the county morgue, Entwistle’s fears were confirmed when he identified the dead woman as his niece.

“Although she never confided her grief to me,” Entwistle told officers, “I was somehow aware that she was suffering intense mental anguish. She was only 24. It is a great shock to me that she gave up the fight as she did.”

Entwistle denied reports that a broken love affair had actuated his niece to take her life. Instead, it was determined that disappointments for a screen career, equal to the success she had enjoyed on stage, were attributed as the reason behind the spectacular suicide.

Millicent Lilian Entwistle was born in Port Talbot, Wales to English parents Robert and Emily Entwistle, on February 5, 1908 while her parents were visiting relatives. They returned to their West Kensington (outside London) home where she lived until age 8. Peg’s mother died in 1910 and four years later, Robert married Lauretta Ross, the sister of his brother Harold’s wife Jane.

In August 1913, Robert was brought to New York by famed Broadway producer Charles Frohman as his stage manager. After a few years, on March 20, 1916, Peg, along with her parents and aunt and uncle, arrived in New York on the SS Philadelphia. In 1918, Robert and Lauretta had a son Milton, and two years later Robert was born. In 1921, Lauretta died from meningitis and a year later, on November 2, 1922, Robert was struck down by a hit-and-run driver on Park Avenue. He lingered for weeks and died just before Christmas 1922. Now orphans, Peg and her brothers were taken in by her uncle Harold and aunt Jane.

A few years later Peg was living in Boston where she made her first appearance on the professional stage with the Henry Jewett Reparatory Company where she was taught to act by Blanche Yurka. In October 1925, Harold Entwistle’s employer, actor Walter Hampden, gave Peg an uncredited walk-on in his Broadway production of Hamlet with Ethel Barrymore. A young Bette Davis was inspired to act after seeing Peg perform in Henrik Ibsen’s The Wild Duck. Over the years Davis made several references to Entwistle, saying that she “wanted to be exactly like Peg Entwistle.”

After serving an apprenticeship with them for several seasons, she came to New York and was recruited by the prestigious New York Theatre Guild and obtained a small part in The Man from Toronto in June 1926. Afterward she was cast in an important role in The Home Towners, which George M. Cohanproduced in August of that year. Over the next six years Peg performed in ten Broadways plays in such Theatre Guild productions as Tommy, which was her longest running play. Reviewers said that Peg was “attractive in the manner of a number of other fresh ingénues.”

Other plays followed including The Uninvited Guest, a revival of Sherlock Holmes with William Gilletteand Getting Married. Some of her plays lasted no longer than a month or two; however she always received good reviews for her performances regardless of the quality of the production.

In April 1927, Peg married fellow actor, Robert Keith, who was the father of Brian Keith, best known for his role in the television sit-com, Family Affair. The Keith’s toured together in several Theatre Guild plays until their divorce in 1929.

Peg’s final Broadway play was in J.M. Barrie’sAlice-Sit-by-the-Fire in March 1932. The production starred the popular actress, Laurette Taylor whose alcoholism caused her to miss several performances and forcing producers to end the play several weeks early.

In May, Peg was brought to Los Angeles to costar with Billie Burke and Humphrey Bogart in theRomney Brent play, The Mad Hopes at the Belasco Theatre. The play opened to rave reviews with standing-room-only audiences. One reviewer commented:

“…Belasco and Curran have staged the new play most effectively and have endowed this Romney Brent opus with every distinction of cast and direction. …costumes and settings are of delightful quality, and every detail makes the production one entirely fit for its translation to the New York stage. In the cast Peg Entwistle and Humphrey Bogart hold first place in supporting the star (Billie Burke) and both give fine, serious performances. Miss Entwistle as the earnest, young daughter (Geneva Hope) of a vague mother and presents a charming picture of youth…”

When the play closed, Peg was preparing to return to New York when she was offered a screen test at RKO. On June 13, 1932 she signed a contract to appear in Thirteen Women where she is billed ninth in the opening credits. The film starred Irene Dunne and Myrna Loy as a half-caste fortune teller’s assistant motivated by revenge against the bigoted schoolgirls who tormented her in school years earlier.

The film received poor reviews and negative comments from preview audiences. The Los Angeles Timessaid of the preview: “…its picturization is an utterly implausible tale of mediocre worth.” The premiere was delayed and the film was edited to reduce its running time, significantly cutting back Peg’s screen time. Once it premiered after Peg’s death, one reviewer called it “a dreadful mess of a picture with more defects, deficiencies and lapses than any offering since Chandu the Magician.

Peg Entwistle’s home at 2428 Beachwood Drive 

(this is a private residence; please do not disturb the occupants)

The sidewalk in front of Peg Entwistle’s home on Beachwood Drive where she took her last walk

RKO did not option Peg’s contract and she was broke and could not return to New York. She tried finding roles on both the local stage and at the film studios but nothing was available. On Friday evening, September 16, 1932, Peg told her uncle she was going to walk to the local drugstore and then visit friends. Instead, she walked up Beachwood past Hollywoodland and then hiked up the side of Mount Lee to the Hollywoodland sign. There she most likely wrote her suicide note, took off her coat and shoe, and climbed a maintenance ladder behind the letter H and, at some point, jumped to her death.

The coroner determined that death was due to internal bleeding caused by “multiple fractures to the pelvis.” Her Episcopal funeral service was conducted on September 20 at the W. M. Strother Mortuaryat 6240 Hollywood Boulevard (demolished). Her body was cremated at Hollywood Cemetery and held in storage until December 29 when her ashes were sent to Oak Hill Cemetery in Glendale, Ohio for burial with her father on January 5, 1933. Her grave is unmarked.

The burial card at Oak Hill Cemetery where Peg Entwistle’s ashes were interred. H Milton Ross was the father of Peg’s stepmother, Lauretta. (Photo courtesy of Scott Michaels)

Peg Entwistle was buried with her father at Oak Hill Cemetery in Glendale, Ohio. Their grave is unmarked. (Photo courtesy of Scott Michaels) 

Some sources claim that shortly after Peg’s death, she received a letter from the Beverly Hills Community Players, offering her a role in a play where her character commits suicide. Since this tale was related in Kenneth Anger’s “Hollywood Babylon II,” the veracity of it is questionable. Other false claims made by Anger are that Peg jumped from the last letter D because it was the thirteenth letter and she associated it with the film Thirteen Women. He also wrote that she was the first of other “disillusioned starlets” who followed her lead and committed suicide from the sign; this is not true. Peg Entwistle is the only confirmed suicide from that famous Hollywood landmark.

Click below to watch Peg Entwistle’s appearance in Thirteen Women (1932)

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Peg Entwistle

Peg Entwistle’s death is particularly shocking and tragic because it is more memorable and notable than her film career. Entwistle was born in the UK in 1908 and dreamed of the bright lights of Hollywood. She had a successful Broadway career before moving out west where she only had one film credit to her name. She played a small supporting role in a movie calledThirteen Women.

When the film received bad reviews and her role was greatly reduced she decided to take her own life and did so in a dramatic fashion. She climbed to the top of the “H” in the famed Hollywood sign and jumped off. Her suicide note is also famed as it states:

I am afraid, I am a coward. I am sorry for everything. If I had done this a long time ago, it would have saved a lot of pain. P.E.

She was only 24.

In this context it’s easy to see the tragedy of Tony Scott’s death as a continuation of a long line of bewildering suicides among both great and small in Hollywood. Perhaps all this says something about the cost of creativity or the depravity of the entertainment industry, but mostly it just makes me sad.

Lou Tellegen, the rise and fall of a matinee idol

By Allan R. Ellenberger

A matinee idol for almost two decades, a romantic actor whose chief pride was his unswerving faith in himself as “the perfect lover,” both on and off the stage and screen, Lou Tellegen is probably best remembered as the untried and unheard of youth chosen by Sarah Bernhardt as her leading man on her last two American tours. He was also known for his marriage to Geraldine Farrar, a union which ended in a bitter divorce. Tellegen became one of the theatre’s legendary figures.

His career was tumultuous throughout most of his life. Born in the south of Holland on November 26, 1883, the son of Bernard and Maria Von Dammeler, Tellegen was christened Isidor Bernard Von Dammeler. He made his stage debut at the age of 5 under the guidance of his mother, who was a dancer of great beauty.

Ten years later, motivated partly by the desire to travel which never left him and partly by a family quarrel, young Tellegen ran away from home. His journeys took him through many countries and eventually to jail in Moscow. Upon his release he returned home to find that his father, a supposedly rich man, had died and disinherited him.

He travelled to Paris, where he found whatever job he could. At different times he was a baker’s apprentice, a trapeze artist, a pugilist and a hack driver. At one point he became acquainted with the sculptor, August Rodin, who induced him to become a model because of his Grecian features and his Hellenic physique. During his stay at Rodin’s studio in Meudon, near Paris, he posed for “Eternal Springtime,” the original which is now in the Metropolitan Museum. It was during this time that he married his first wife, Countess Jeanne de Broncken.

He soon began a series of travels which took him to Egypt and Africa and finally to South America. Upon his return to Paris he was taken in the Sarah Bernhardt troupe just as it was leaving for the United States in 1910. Bernhardt was pleased by the handsome youth and took the trouble to give him acting lessons. He learned his roles on the boat which brought the troupe to America.

His first appearance was in Chicago as Raymond, opposite Bernhardt in Madame X. The second night after the play opened his name was placed in lights beside that of the star, and from that moment on, his future was assured. Later he starred in Sister Beatrice, Sapho, Camille, Jean Marie and other plays. At the time she was nearly 70 years old and he was not yet 30.

His first New York appearance was not with Bernhardt, but as the leading man in Maria Rosa withDorothy Donnelly. He became an overnight matinee idol and was flooded with “mash” notes and besieged by interviewers.

After his last tour with Bernhardt, Tellegen made the decision to stay in the United States. He appeared in scores of plays and was most popular during the late teens and the early Twenties and was quick to make the most of it. It was also expected that motion pictures would knock on his door. Nearly all of the last fifteen years of his life were divided between Hollywood and New York.

Geraldine Farrar and Lou Tellegen 

On February 9, 1916, Tellegen married Geraldine Farrar, the Metropolitan prima dona. In August 1921, after they had lived apart for some time, Tellegen entered a suit for separation in Westchester County. Farrar retaliated by suing for divorce in New York county. A decree was granted to her two years later.

He was the leading man, and co-author with Willard Mack, of Blind Youth, a play produced in New York in 1918. His second venture, and a far less auspicious one, was a book of reminiscences, “Women Have Been Kind,” published in 1931. The book named names and places and raised a storm of condemnation.

Close friends said that besides waning fame, and illness, which had made it impossible for him to carry out several of the infrequent engagements offered to him during the last few years, had completely broken his spirit. In his last years he had found little work on stage or the screen. In 1928, when his name was becoming less prominent, he was forced into bankruptcy. That same year his third wife, Nina Romanodivorced him and obtained custody of their child, Rex, who at the time was four years of age.

On Christmas Day, 1929, while he was in the try-out of Escapade in Atlantic City, he fell asleep in his hotel room with a lighted cigarette in his mouth and was severely burned. He was in a hospital nearly three months while the play, its titled changed to Gala Night, went to New York and opened without him. It closed before he could rejoin the cast.

In 1930, at Asbury Park, Tellegen married Eve Cassanova. A year later the actor underwent a facelift in the hope of regaining his screen popularity. A few months afterward, his ex-wife obtained a default judgment for more than $12,000 against him claiming that he had failed to pay $100 weekly for the support of their son. Tellegen did not answer her suit.

Several months before his death it appeared that he might stage a comeback on the screen with the filmCaravan (1934), but an illness of six weeks in the hospital lost him the part. Tellegen’s last stage appearance was in a minor part in The Lady Refuses in New York in 1933. His final screen role was inTogether We Live (1935). When he walked on the set, a newer actor inquired: “Who is the new character actor?”

“Why, that’s Lou Tellegen, once the husband of Geraldine Farrar,” another replied.

Tellegen soon became obsessed that he was losing him mind. He brooded over that. His friends said he had been morose and downcast. Within the previous year he had undergone three major operations. His physician said Tellegen never knew that he had incurable cancer.

Tellegen had become friends with Mrs. Jack Cudahy, the widow of the meat packing heir whose mansion at 1844 N. Vine Street, was just south of Franklin. Tellegen was broke and Mrs. Cudahy allowed him to use one of her rooms. While he was ill, Tellegen expressed his last wish to Mrs. Cudahy. “He told me,” she later said, “that if he should die, he wanted his body cremated and the ashes scattered over the sea that in its restlessness was like his own troubled life.”

On October 29, 1934, Tellegen arose and seemed depressed according to Cudahy’s maid. “He refused his breakfast,” the maid said. Worried, Mrs. Cudahy went to his room to ask if he was ill. She received no response. Then she heard a movement in the bathroom, and asked if he was there. A weak voice replied in the affirmative. She summoned her butler and together they forced open the door. Tellegen collapsed at their feet. “He’s hurt, call a doctor,” Mrs. Cudahy cried.

The butler dashed across the street to a clinic, and brought a doctor, however Tellegen was unable to speak, breathing his last. Mrs. Cudahy added that she had been unable to get any word from him. He died in her arms on the floor of his room.

The police determined that Tellegen had stood before a mirror in his bathroom, shaved and powdered his face, then stabbed himself in the chest seven times with a pair of scissors, the ordinary kind found in sewing cabinets. A final plunge found his heart, and life ebbed slowing from his wounds. How he managed to repeatedly stab himself while in such a weakened condition, and bear the pain of thrust after thrust, mystified police. The autopsy disclosed that two of those stabs penetrated the heart.

Though Tellegen died in comparative poverty, several of his friends guaranteed that he would be given a burial to befit his position in the theatrical world. Mrs. Cudahy assured that Tellegen would receive a suitable burial. Norman Kerry and Willard Mack, also close friends, gave assurances that his last wishes would be carried out.

In New York, when Geraldine Farrar was told of her ex-husband’s death, she  told reporters: “Why should that interest me?” she snapped. “It doesn’t interest me in the least.”

Eve Casanova, his current wife and from whom friends say he was never divorced, referred them to “a cousin in Los Angeles” when she was wired regarding disposition of the body. Notwithstanding, when the “cousin” could not be located, no further word was heard from her.

Meanwhile, Tellegen’s body lay forgotten in the county morgue although friends still promised that a proper burial would be provided. No definite date was set for the funeral as they awaited word from his wife, in the belief she might express some wish as to the disposal of the body.

Finally, word arrived from Leonia, New Jersey from Casanova saying she was “horribly, horribly shocked” by her husband’s death. “I will not go to Los Angeles for the funeral,” she said, “however, you see, I am supposed to start rehearsals for a play. A-Hunting We Will Go, and I know Lou would want me to stay here and stick it out.”

She said that in his last letter to her, Tellegen wrote: “I am doomed, for my illness is affecting my mind.” The actress said that he was suffering from cancer, which he thought was only a tumor and that if he had known the truth he would have ended his life sooner.  While his death came as a shock, she said that she was “not surprised.”

It was felt that an unintentionally misconstrued remark may have been the indirect cause of Tellegen’s suicide. A few months earlier, Tellegen was invited to a small party. While he was out of the room for a moment once of the men said:

“He is just a ‘has-been.’ He should realize his position and try to make his career over as a character actor. Some of the best character players in the movies are men who, when they realized they were no longer handsome, made the best of it. And the best is a fine character actor.”

One of the women, who had heard only the first part of the statement and that incorrectly, rushed to tell Tellegen that he had been called a “ham actor.” Tellegen flushed and responded: “I guess that’s right. I am just a ham actor.” Months later, seriously ill and delirious in a hospital, Tellegen insisted he was a “ham actor” and a “failure.”

Mrs. Cudahy received permission from his widow to continue with plans for the funeral to be held at theEdwards Brothers Chapel, 1000 Venice Boulevard (razed). One of the mourners was Countess Danneskjold, known on the screen as Nina Romano, the third of Tellegen’s four wives and mother of his son. Entering the chapel on the arm of her husband, the Countess listened as Rev. Arthur Wurtell, of St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church, read the funeral eulogy. They left without waiting to view the body.

First to arrive at the chapel was Mrs. Jack Cudahy. Other friends of Tellegen’s later years who attended the funeral service were Norman Kerry, Julian Eltinge and George CalligaClifford Gray, composer;Harry Weber, agent, and Michael Cudahy, son of Mrs. Cudahy. These six acted as pallbearers. Willard Mack, who himself would die of a heart attack only three weeks later,  visited the chapel earlier in the day, as did several others from the Hollywood film community.

The service was simple but impressive. Ivan Edwards, the chapel soloist, sang “In the Garden” and “Lead Kindly Light.” Rev. Wurtell read the eulogy and offered a brief prayer. The chapel organ played softly as the small group of mourners filed by the flower-banked bier.

Tellegen’s body was cremated, and his ashes were strewn over the Pacific Ocean.

 

Sources:

http://allanellenberger.com/category/hollywood-suicides/

http://www.heavy.com/entertainment/2012/08/the-12-most-shocking-hollywood-suicides/

The Inquisitr http://www.inquisitr.com/509955/black-dahlia-case-solved-cadaver-dog-finds-evidence-of-human-decomposition/

The Bob Crane Case – Crime Library on truTV.com

Was George Reeves, “Superman”, death a suicide or murder? – Crime Library on truTV.com

Hollywood Crimes : Thelma Todd : Investigation Discovery

The Black Dahlia Web Site: The Murder

History of Chicago (part 1)

English: Jean Baptiste Point du Sable. There a...

English: Jean Baptiste Point du Sable. There are no known portaits of Point du Sable made during his lifetime. This depiction is taken from A.T. Andreas 1884 book History of Chicago. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle

English: René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago. She outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them.” – Mark Twain, 1883

Trying to put together a brief history of the city of Chicago isn’t an easy undertaking. The city is so deep in rich and colorful history that a writer could spend entire weeks trying to capture it all, and still feel as though it wasn’t complete. I suppose that I should get used to that feeling, considering that the next few cities that I poke around at are generally in the same historical boat. With Chicago, I decided that the Illinois Indians were the perfect place to start.

The Illinois Indians 

The name “Illinois” itself is an Algonquian Indian word. It comes from the Miami-Illinois tribal name Illiniwek, which means “the people.” The Illini Indians were not the only Native Americans in Illinois, however, despite the fact that no nationally recognised tribes exist within the state of Illinois today. The state of the Illinois Indian tribes today is not due to extinction, but rather to forced relocation. Like many other native tribes, they were forced to move to Indian reservations in Oklahoma by the American government.

At the time of the first white settlement the Potawatomi Indian tribe inhabited the Chicago region.

The Mounds

Illinois is often remembered for the beauty and intrique of the natural earthen formations found within her region, the mounds being one of the main objects of curiosity and controversy. The narture of these mounds has been a rousing debate and heated point of conversation for even the first settlers in the territory. For many years theories of all sorts have been thrown around, some attributing the mounds to a race of “mound-builders” who were supposed to have come from Asia, Mexico, or even more remote places. Others theories often linked them to some sort of “faerie” mound, or possible burial sites.

The Bureau of American Ethnology undertook a survey of the mounds in the eastern United States late in the 20th century.  The reports which resulted from this work helped to offer some much less speculative and more scientific views of the anomallies. The following general facts were uncovered by the project…

While many of the mounds are obviously prehistoric, some of them have been proved by their contents to be post-Columbian. According to the pamphlet  Indians of the Chicago Region, With Special Reference to the Illinois and the Potawatomip, “...a great amount of historical evidence, moreover, clearly shows that the Indians occupying the mound region at the time they were visited by the first explorers, were actually “mound builders,” and raised both towns and places of worship on these artificial eminences. The human remains found in the mounds that have been excavated to date, are all of the American Indian type, and represent only the recent period of geologic time.”

Several types have been found, but  the most interesting (to me) are the effigy mounds which seem to represent animals of several varieties.  Ancestors of the Winnebago, and nearby peoples of Siouan stock seem to be the closest in origin.

Early Chicago

In 1682, René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle had claimed a large territoryof the Illinois area, including what is now Chicago , for France. In 1763 the French ceded this area to Great Britain’s Province of Quebec following the French and Indian War. Great Britain then ceded the area to the United States at the end of the American Revolutionary War

Chicago’s first permanent resident was a trader named Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, a free black man apparently from Haiti, who came here in the late 1770’s. He traded furs with the Indians on the north bank of the Chicago River, where he lived with his wife Catherine until 1796. He and his family then left with their children and moved to Peoria, Illinois.

Fort Dearborn

United States fort built in 1803 beside the Chicago River in what is now Chicago, Illinois, Fort Dearborn was constructed by troops under Captain John Whistler and named in honor of Henry Dearborn, then United States Secretary of War. Settlers thought it would keep them safe from invading forces, but they were wrong, it didn’t. In 1812, the U.S. had another war with England, except this one was unique in that the English joined the Native Americans to try to win back their territory.

Chicago, 1812: This illustration is inspired by a diorama from the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition showing an unnamed Native American, the Kinzie house, Fort Dearborn, and the dunes at the lakeshore on the horizon.

When the war of 1812 broke out between Great Britain and the United States, the government ordered for the abandonment and closure of Fort Dearborn, and because of this, onn August 15, 1812, many soldiers and settlers left Fort Dearborn to go to Fort Wayne in Indiana. As the last of the travelers were in process of relocating , over 500 natives attacked. About half the people in the group were killed by natives, the rest were taken prisoner. Natives then burned Fort Dearborn to the ground.

The Fort lay unoccupied and in ruin, until 1816 when American soldiers rebuilt Fort Dearborn.

Fort Dearborn was rebuilt in 1816, and slowly, settlers started to come back, but settlers were still afraid of the Native Americans. In 1818 Illinois became a state. South parts of Illinois had a population of about 40,000 people. Around then, only about 100 people lived in Chicago.

 

The History of Hollywood, California. U.S.A. (Part 3)

English: Nestor Studios, the first film studio...

English: Nestor Studios, the first film studio in Hollywood, 1913. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hollywood and the Great Movie Studio Migration

New York had originally played a part in the rise of the cinema motion picture, until the film patent wars broke out. It seemed that the majority of camera equiptment was still under patend to Edison, and it became more and more risky to film  near the Edison Goons at the Company headquarters, which would go out and hunt for cameras to seize. The Edison Company Headquarters seized thousands of cameras, which caused New York production companies to start giving serious thought to relocating. By 1912, most major film companies had set up production facilities in Southern California near or in Los Angeles because of the location’s proximity to Mexico, as well as the region’s favorable year-round weather.

To evade patents from the Movie Picture Patents Company, a plethora of movie producers, studios, and small time movie operations made their way out west.  Ironically, the first studios were all headed by a handful of Jewish immigrants that all grew up within a 500 mile radius of one another, and, would now establish the main “Golden Circle” of film studios in Hollywood. Harry Warner (Poland), Samuel Goldwyn (originally Goldfisch, Poland), Karl Lemly (Germany), Louie B. Mayer (Russian Jewish Village), William Fox (Hungary), and Adolph Zucker (Hungary), were, respectively, the founders of Hollywood as we know it, a movie Megalopolis.

The Golden Age of Hollywood

During the Golden Age of Hollywood, which lasted from about the end of the silent film era in American cinema in the late 1920’s to about the early 1960’s, thousands of movies were made in Hollywood studios, using the “Studio System” style of movie production. Among other things, this system ensured that there was always new and fresh material coming out in Hollywood, that is was material that had been proven to be to the public approval, and that there would always been work on the studio lots for those behind the scenes at the studios. The film which ushered in the Golden Age was probably  The Jazz Singer which was released in 1927, marking the end of the Silent Film era, and introducing sound to feature films.

The Introduction of sound proved to be an overwhelming success for the studios of Hollywood, but often was the death of a film career for leading men and engenues of the silent screen. If the voice didn’t match the visage- you can bet, the artist either had to adapt, or move along!

Most Hollywood pictures adhered closely to a formula which was implied by the studios and implimented by the Studio System – Western,slapstick comedymusicalanimated cartoon, biographical film (biographical picture) – and the same creative teams often worked on films made by the same studio. If you had managed to wrangle yourself into a work-crew which focused strictly on sound stages and props, usually you could be assured that several more films would be made using that same crew. Thousands of people were kept on salary and time clocks, week in and week out.

By the 1930’s, all of America’s theaters were owned by the Big Five studios – MGMParamount PicturesRKOWarner Bros., and 20th Century Fox, and even though these “Big 5” were thriving , there was scandal in Hollywood over the content of the movies being made, which was mainly the result of a Catholic “Watchdog” agency called “The Legion of Decency”, which threatened a boycott of motion pictures if the code didn’t go into effect.  In an effort to “clean up Hollywood”, MPDAA President Will Hays created the Hays (Production) Code as a means of purifying the pictures which came from Hollywood. This code laid out a frame-work which detailed exactly what would be and would NOT be acceptable for production with the public in mind. Adopted in 1930, the code would not go into effect until 1934, and a “jury” style screening process was created. Any film which did not meet the criterium of the sceening from the Production Code Administration would have to pay a $25,000.00 fine and could not profit in the theaters, as the MPDAA owned every theater in the country through the Big Five studios.

America the Beautiful! America the Haunted?

Flag of the United States of America

Flag of the United States of America (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The United States is only about 237 years old, merely a baby in comparison to other major countries, and yet- we are quite proud of our overwhelming numbers of hauntings, paranormal and unexplained phenomenon. What is it about the United States that encourages such frightful and mysterious activity? Why are we Americans so prone to a fascination with what might happen after we depart this life? Well I haven’t the answers to these questions, but I MIGHT be able to point out which cities in the United States are the MOST haunted, for the avid enthusiast. Let’s start with public opinion…as I begin the digging in the paranormal dirt for some much needed information.

Death in Hollywood

Hollywood Sign

Hollywood Sign (Photo credit: Ben Ramsey)

Grauman's Egyptian Theatre, Hollywood Boulevar...

Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre, Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA Box office windows (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though, not in the frame of a “haunt”, this movie provides some interesting information about the most notorious deaths of Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. I found it to be fascinating and insightful.

Cuivre River Chronicles

Book Reviews and Other Musings from the Heart of Eastern Missouri

Random Indites !

A novice's try at writing

nupepa

This is an independent blog. Please note that these are not translations, but merely works in progress. Please do comment if you come across misreads or anything else you think is important!

richardlcunningham

The greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!

Alistair Gentry

Artist and writer, or writer and artist. Sometimes other things, too.

No Faint Hearts in Fort Worth...

A Fort Worth writer's site about the paranormal, UFOs, ghosts, Elvis, Bigfoot and more

Drinkin' & Drive-in

Horror. Sci-Fi. Alcohol.

The Witching Hour

Exploring the supernatural and other stories to keep you awake at night.

The Spiral Grove

Journeys to nourish the soul following the solar and lunar pathways in creative and heart based gatherings