No. 506
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
January 16, 2021

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 MandijnWelcome to our Friday Link Dump!Where everyone is guaranteed a good time!Why the hell was Stonehenge built?Napoleon's last years, as described by his doctor.Don't try to steal a kiss from a maid who knits.A death at the Tower of London.Second hand hearses.Some handy tips for the next time you have to scrub thousands of years of bird poop from an
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Strange Company - 1/15/2021


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

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Lizzie Borden : Warps & Wefts - 1/10/2021
Ripley's Believe It Or NotUnknown newspaper1937Jeff Smith collection (Click image to enlarge)     OAPY SMITH'S SKULL STRANGE MONUMENT TO "SOAPY" SMITH Famous Bad Man of the Klondike, Fashioned from natural rock 25 feet high. On Moore's old wharf, alongside the bay and the railroad dock in Skagway, Alaska is an impressive wall of solid granite that is home to one of the most unique art
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 1/14/2021

Youth With Executioner by Nuremberg native Albrecht Dürer … although it’s dated to 1493, which was during a period of several years when Dürer worked abroad. November 13 [1617]. Burnt alive here a miller of Manberna, who however was lately engaged as a carrier of wine, because he and his brother, with the help of […]
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ExecutedToday.com - 11/13/2020
Luella Mabbitt. Luella Mabbitt and Amer Green made a handsome couple. 23-year-old Luella was an attractive,   well-formed young lady—“of the blonde type of beauty and very winning in her ways.” Amer Green, 34-years-old, was tall and good-looking with manly features. But Luella’s father, Peter Mabbitt, did not approve of his daughter’s suiter, so, reluctantly, Luella told Amer that they had to
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Murder by Gaslight - 1/9/2021
The building of Central Park began in 1858. Later that year, the first section opened to the public: the “skating pond,” aka the Lake. You’ve probably seen paintings and illustrations of 19th century New Yorkers ice skating in Central Park and on the ponds of Brooklyn. But this Currier & Ives lithograph (after a painting […]
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Ephemeral New York - 1/11/2021
[Editor’s note: Guest writer, Peter Dickson, lives in West Sussex, England and has been working with microfilm copies of The Duncan Campbell Papers from the State Library of NSW, Sydney, Australia. The following are some of his analyses of what he has discovered from reading these papers. Dickson has contributed many transcriptions to the Jamaica Family […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
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.