No. 474
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
June 06, 2020

The Last Dip of the Season.

Water witches who frolic with Neptune, no matter how cold his embrace.
September 3, 2013
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Chapter 2
"The Witches' Cove," Follower of Jan Mandijn This week's Link Dump is ready to take flight! Photo: Nancy Hendrickson, via State Historical Society of North Dakota An eerily prescient science-fiction story from a century ago. How Nathaniel Bentley became Dirty Dick.  And just keep your X-rated punchlines to yourself. "Be careful for what you wish for," Byzantine style. Until just
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Strange Company - 6/5/2020


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The most interesting manhole covers are the ones that tell us who made it and when it was put in place: the name of an ironworks company, the initials of a city department, a date. This cover, on Central Park West south of 86th Street, doesn’t offer much in the way of clues. The two […]
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Ephemeral New York - 5/31/2020
Sardinian scholar Sigismondo Arquer was burned at the stake in Toledo, Spain, on this date in 1571. Born in the capital of Spanish-governed Sardinia, this gentleman had a hereditary imperial knighthood but also an interest in humanism and religious heterodoxy well-calculated to annoy in Counter-Reformation Spain. Arquer’s map of his native city of Cagliari, for […]
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ExecutedToday.com - 6/4/2020

Beginning on January 1st, W&W will begin featuring fascinating short clippings from the Fall River papers and other newspapers from …

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Lizzie Borden : Warps & Wefts - 12/29/2019
Emil Lowenstein was a barber in Brooklyn, NY who had persuaded his neighbor, John Weston, a one-armed Civil War veteran, to withdraw his life savings and travel upstate with him. The body of John Weston was found in a ravine in Watervliet, NY, soon after Lowenstein returned to Brooklyn, flush with cash. Lowenstein denied being in Watervliet with Weston and professed innocence to the end.
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Murder by Gaslight - 6/6/2020
"The soap fakir" Saint Paul Daily Globe June 3, 1892 (Click image to enlarge) oapy" Smith, the soap fakir, is in the city" Just short of two months after leaving Creede, Colorado, Soapy Smith ended up in Saint Paul Minnesota. The Saint Paul Daily Globe of Saint Paul, Minnesota announces that bunco artist Soapy Smith is in the city. "Soapy" Smith, the soap fakir, is in the city,
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 6/4/2020
[Editor’s note: Guest writer, Peter Dickson, lives in West Sussex, England and has been working with microfilm copies of The Duncan Campbell Papers from the State Library of NSW, Sydney, Australia. The following are some of his analyses of what he has discovered from reading these papers. Dickson has contributed many transcriptions to the Jamaica Family […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
Over-the-Rhine. | A Bride’s Toggery.

The Last Dip of the Season.

Last Dip of the Season

Water witches who frolic with Neptune, no matter how cold his embrace.

Westchester Water Witches

They Won’t Have a Man Around, and Still Enjoy Themselves—Diving as a Fine Art, With a Special View to the Exhibition of Pink Flesh and Pretty Hosiery.

The fair dwellers in some of the charming country sites on the shores of Long Island Sound have invented a means of enjoying themselves, whose novelty will probably recommend it whenever it becomes known before the season is over. In the course of a yachting cruise down the sound last week a Police Gazette artist enjoyed an admirable opportunity to obtain the sketch presented with this number.

The pictures explains itself. A long and elastic spring-board is flown from the gallery of a boathouse, itself built over deep water, so far out as to afford ample profundity for safe diving. The plank itself is some fifteen feet above the surface of the water and straight in advance of its end a light cork buoy is enclosed. The door of the boat house in the rear is open, giving the diver a run of some twenty feet for a start.

The result, seen for the first time, is, to say the least, startling.

An elegant figure clad in a tight-fitting bathing suit of the most improved French model, bounds out of the dark doorway, makes three or four leaps on the swaying plank and is then shot high in the air, a mere flash of striped hosiery and pink flesh, descending a parabola and landing, if she knows how to preserve her balance, with her pointed hands, into the water, clearing the surface like an arrow and vanishing at last in a little circle of boiling foam. The object of the divers is to leap beyond the anchored buoy as far as possible, and a regular record is kept of the distance of the leaps. After rising to the surface the fair swimmers paddle back through the piles on which the boat house is sustained and ascend a comfortable ladder to the club-room, for it is, again.

The boat house is the meeting place of the “Westchester Divers," as they call themselves, who consist of numerous wealthy ladies of the vicinity, with a sprinkling of well-known actresses and professionals in operatic walks.

It is a veritable female paradise, no men being admitted to the hospitalities of the establishment. “We can’t keep you away in your boat, of course,” observed the smiling president to the artist. “But we won’t permit you to land, and you are always glad to get over to the Point where they have excellent lager beer on tap. Are you not thirsty?” The artist considered the hint an excellent one, and took it. He is sorry to say, however that the charming president of the “Westchester Divers” is either no judge or she has never read Sapphire.


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette, October 9, 1880.