• High Hats and Parasols, October 1st, 2010

    The News From 100 Years Ago

    DeNuff act works at Work
    Joe DeNuff was a year ago employed in doing concrete work about Pacific Grove. During his time here, DeNuff made many friends around town. These friends were all surprised at learning that DeNuff no longer worked for the village and at seeing DeNuff on stage at the Work, presenting a Vaudeville act1.
    DeNuff, who surely has an iron jaw, comes on stage and picks up a chair with his teeth. Then he picks up a table in the same manner. The culmination of his act occurs when DeNuff offers a wager of $100 that he can chew a railroad spike in half within minutes. He warns the audience that in the past year, he has already severed 164 railroad spikes with his teeth and that one more, making the total 165, won’t be much of a task … which it evidently isn’t.
    To close his act, DeNuff fastens an iron bar so that it can lift a chair. He then seats a volunteer from the audience in the chair, stands on the table and, with nothing but his teeth, lifts man and chair while the audience roars.
    This weekend marks the conclusion of DeNuff’s appearances at the Work. The iron-jawed actor indicated that he plans next to head toward San Francisco for performances there.

    Yours for humanity and God
    It will be a great satisfaction to know, as we pass out of this life, that we have done what we could to end suffering and assist the fallen. The Salvation Army’s collection drive is just getting under way. Your donation will be very much appreciated. Don’t give to anyone else for this effort. Adjt. C. Stedman, Collector2.

    Stanford graduates to teach
    Principal George Schultzberg, who was designated by the trustees to select teachers for the coming year, announced the following nominations, both of whom graduated from the Leland Stanford University, and then attended San Jose Normal School for a year of additional study3.
    The two are Miss Bessie McKee of Pacific Grove and Miss Eva Taylor from San Jose. The pair will no doubt be approved by the Board of Trustees.

    Stolen jewels recovered unstolen
    The fortune in gems allegedly taken from a Pittsburgh woman have been recovered months later.
    The jewels of Mrs. Henry Rea, sister of United States Senator Oliver, which were thought stolen, are back in hand. Being valued at more than $100,000 prompted Mrs. Rea to engage a strong box at a local bank while visiting in the Grove where she placed the valuables … and promptly forgot about them.
    The Pinkerton Detective Agency, which Mrs. Rea retained to recover the jewelry, believed they had located them here. After being reminded, Mrs. Rea instantly recalled placing the valuables in a secure spot. The detective agency acquired Mrs. Rea’s permission to enter the rented box, where the jewels were found.
    However, the detective agency refused to stand for the veracity of the story4.

    Notes from around the area…

        • The Rev. Walter Tanner is taking over pastoral duties for the Emanuel Baptist church, temporarily located at the corner of Hoffman and Foam in New Monterey.
        • A party consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Camp, Mrs. Adolph Boswick, and Mrs. Clinton Smith (and daughter), came in from the valley to spend a few weeks vacationing. Mr. Camp said that after the valley’s heat, the group enjoyed the cool weather of Pacific Grove.
        • The Christian Science church is offering extra sermon sessions at 7:30 am and 6:30 pm. All who are serious about worship are welcome.
        • Big bargain in real estate. Two small houses in New Monterey. Will sell either furnished or unfurnished, but prefer furnished. Near corner of Lilly street and David avenue. Owner must leave town and will sell cheap. See Mr. Charles Norton, Realtor.
        • The Fair of Pacific Grove is attempting to become your official headquarters for sporting goods. Check at the Fair for needed fishing gear, fresh or salt.
        • Shovels of every kind except snow are available at Wright’s Hardware.

    The cost of living…

          • Ladies’ straw hats in a variety of styles. 50¢ each. Come and see them at RothConey Company in the Grove.
          • Everyone is satisfied with our work. Gentlemen’s collars steamed, starched, and pressed. 15¢ at the Grove Laundry. Phone Red 43. At the corner of 12th and Lighthouse.
          • Spacious, clean rooms at the Hotel Del Mar. First class in every respect. $1.50 per night (without private bath), Monday through Friday. $2.50 per night weekends.
          • The Pacific Grove Realty Company is managing winter cottages at $15 monthly. Move in immediately


        • Puritan Preserves. Oliver Grocery Company offers the best in sweet, canned fruit preserves. 25¢ each by the jar.

    1 Mr. Joe DeNuff evidently invested his time working for the City of Pacific Grove to perfect his act. Unfortunately, this came at the very end of the Vaudeville era. Flickers were here and the Talkies were coming!
    2 A century ago, fund raising frequently turned competitive. One agency often asked givers to ignore another agency (or all other agencies). The Salvation Army is a charitable movement founded in England by William Booth in 1865 and operated in a military manner. The Army has grown to take in more than 80 countries while preaching the gospel in about 112 languages at 16,000 evangelical centers. The Army operates more than 3,000 social welfare institutions, hospitals, and schools.
    Its international headquarters is in London.
    3 San Jose Normal School, the forerunner of San Jose State University, served as a California teacher’s college. Graduates of other institutions often invested a year at San Jose Normal School in order to earn teaching credentials.
    4 Safe deposit boxes available at banks were just coming into vogue. It is not incredible that the aging Mrs. Rea forgot that she had stashed her jewelry in such a place. “Refusing to stand” meant that the detective agency desired no publicity.
    5 Summer rates in the Grove ran about $10 per cottage / month higher.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on October 1, 2010

    Topics: Columns & Contributors, High Hats and Parasols


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