• High hats and Parasols, March 12th, 2010

    The News from 100 Years Ago

    Scammers worked Del Mar Hotel
    Kenneth Willis, a traveling salesman from Oakland, informed Pacific Grove law enforcement that scammers victimized him at the Del Mar Hotel where he is staying. Willis was reading a newspaper in the lobby when he was approached by a man who appeared to be an affable gentleman. The man identified himself as George Hall and the two struck up a conversation. They were talking when a third man approached. Hall told Willis that the man was a wealthy high-liver who carried a flask to drink from, was mostly inebriated, and enjoyed gambling recklessly by flipping coins on ridiculous
    bets. Thereupon the high-liver joined them, and Hall promptly won innumerable coinflip bets.
    Hall then asked Willis if he wouldn’t like to flip for a sizeable sum of money, say one thousand dollars. Willis agreed, but said that he only had $250. The high-liver agreed, but said that he would have to go to his room to retrieve some cash as he only had $100 with him. A man passed by who was introduced by Willis as the hotel manager.
    The alleged manager agreed to hold the wager in his office until the high-liver returned.
    He walked toward the back, carrying the $350 cash.
    A woman then called to Hall from near the dining room. Hall said the woman was
    an old friend and he excused himself to go speak with her. Willis became suspicions after
    an interval during which none of the men returned. He then walked to the manager’s
    office and found it occupied by a gentleman he did not recognize. The genuine manager
    had no knowledge of the goings-on1.

    Monterey taxi stolen, recovered in the Grove
    Unknown suspects had a fine time last night after stealing a hack2 and team of horses
    while Manual Perry, the hack driver, took a few minutes off for a bite to eat. The hack
    was subsequently reported as having been seen at various locations around Monterey.
    In the end, however, the hack thieves decided on a venture to Pacific Grove. There,
    following their gambols, they tied the horses to a post on Pine Avenue and abandoned
    the hack and team. The constable noted, in the thieves’ behalf, that the team first had
    been comfortably blanketed.
    How the thieves made the get away from Pine is not known. There has been some
    speculation as to how the thieves may be residents of the Grove who simply walked
    home. While there is as yet no direct evidence such as to verify the guilty parties,
    suspicion points strongly in certain directions. Arrests may follow.
    The stealing of a hack and team of horses is a penitentiary offense and if the
    suspected parties escape punishment this time, they should doubtless be more careful
    in the future.

    Museum closes book, opens new one
    The Grove’s Museum of Natural History has closed its registration book for one
    year, and opened a new registration book for the next. During the first three days of
    availability, twenty-four individuals signed in as visitors.
    It is interesting to note from how many parts of the world our visitors come.
    During the past year nearly every country in Europe, every state and principal city of
    our nation, and every section and city of California have been represented upon our
    register. Among these visitors were many people of science from universities of the
    world. This shows that Pacific Grove and its Museum are quite widely known3

    Andrew Carnegie visits Grove
    Perhaps you noticed the flag at the Carnegie Library flying early in the breeze. That
    was in honor of Mr. Andrew Carnegie, a surprise visitor to Pacific Grove. After arriving
    by train, Mr. Carnegie and family checked in at the Del Mar Hotel. Carnegie says that
    a trip around 17 Mile Drive is planned before he tends to his Pacific Grove Agenda4

    Around town…

    • The El Bethel Mission has announced a Divine Healing meeting for Wednesday
      at 7 pm.
    • George Shelton has opened a shoe-polishing parlor at his book shop where he
      will give equal attention to either lady’s or man’s shoes. Mr. Shelton also offers
      more than 3,000 books for sale or exchange. Forest Avenue near Lighthouse.
      The Ladies Aid of the Christian Church will do sewing to raise money for their
      projects. Phone your order to Red 395.
    • The Bashan Musical Club will gather Saturday at the residence of the President,
      Mr. J. A. Pell, 311 Forest Avenue. All members are encouraged to attend.

    For sale or rent…

    • Leather go-carts are being featured at J. K. Paul’s Furniture Store. They are very
      fine and are sold at a bargain<sub<5.
    • Embroideries are being sold at the right prices at the Golden Rule Bazaar6
    • Wish you could speak French? Lessons offered in that language by Miss Anita
      Murray. 149 Eighth Street.
    • The ladies of the Christian Church are to hold a cooked food sale on Saturday,
      March 12, at the store of F. J. Wyeth. The sale will commence at 10 am.
    • Pasture your horses where there is a lot of graze. Good tight fences. W. T. Mitchell,
      Sur.

    (Endnotes)
    1 Well-organized scams of the era spurred several, later movies such as The Sting.
    2 A hack referred to a horse-drawn carriage available for hire. After 1914, however, guards at California prisons became known as hacks.
    3 Numbers of visitors were not offered in this report. Perhaps these will be discovered in a later newspaper.
    4 A visit to the Carnegie Library topped his agenda. More on this visit in next week’s column.
    5 Go-carts of the era were light, open carriages.
    6 Embroideries refers to a design or decoration formed by or on an object as if by embroidery.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on March 12, 2010

    Topics: Columns & Contributors, High Hats and Parasols

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