Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Perchten Dancers of Salzburg Austria Tyrol Pinzgau

By MRS. HERBERT VIVIAN.

Amongst the mountains of the little Austrian Duchy of Salzburg dwell peasants who still mingle religion and mythology in a curious jumble and observe many remarkable customs. Perhaps the most extraordinary of their festivals is the Perchten dance, which is performed only at very infrequent intervals. Mrs. Vivian was fortunate enough to witness the latest celebration of this unique function and secure a set of striking photographs.

There is probably not another place in Europe where so many strange customs, survivals of heathen and medieval times, are gathered to­gether in a small tract of country as in the Austrian Duchy of Salzburg. Amongst those wonderful mountains and valleys live peasants who still mingle religion and mythology in a mystic jumble. Folklore attracts me like a magnet, and, therefore, I can scarcely bear to let a summer pass without a visit to such a rich treasure-house of legends and the like. Last year, on my way from Marienbad to the Danube, I stepped aside at Linz and ran down to Salzburg for a day or two. The weather was ideal, the old haunts as fascinating as ever; but, best of all, I discovered that in a few days time a country fair would be held in a village nearby, famed for its loveliness. At this fair both the "beautiful" and the "wild" Perchten would dance their strange dance. I had heard rumors concerning this extraordinary cere­mony for years, but as it is only performed at irregular intervals - sometimes of twenty years.­  I had never yet had the opportunity of seeing it. Every plan and engagement for the near future was ruthlessly thrown aside, and I deter­mined to stay on in Salzburg at any cost.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Southern Cross Antarctic Expedition C E Borchgrevink Cape Adair Victoria Land

By SIR GEORGE NEWNES, BART.

For a long time past it has been the belief of eminent geogra­phers and scientists that the most important work of ex­ploration yet to be accom­plished lies in the Antarctic Continent. This subject has occupied a prominent place in the addresses delivered at the important gatherings of the leading geographical institutions of the world.

Saviksue Lieutenant Robert E Peary Meteorite Cape York Arctic Circle

By LIEUT. R. E. PEARY, U.S.N.

The whole history of Lieut. Peary's meteorite told by the great Arctic explorer himself, and
illustrated by means of some very interesting photos.

PECULIAR interest attaches to aerolites, those strange, rare bodies which, issuing from the infinite abyss of universal space, fall upon the earth with loud detonations, accompanied by flashes or trails of brilliant light.

Legends and records, more or less mythical, have come down to us from the earliest days concerning the arrival of some of these heavenly visitants; and they have been, without exception, objects of veneration awe and even worship. Some of them have played a part in history and are still in existence, venerated for memorable associations, historical and religious.

French Legion of Honor Napoleon Emile Loubet

BY FRANCOIS COPPEE.

The revolution, as everyone knows, placed French society upon a plane of equality, and on August 6, 1791, all orders of chivalry were abolished.

There remained, therefore, for the magnificent soldiers of that essentially warlike epoch no reward save pro­motion in rank. As the illiterate, who were then in great numbers, could not aspire to that honor, the in­justice of such an institution towards the humbler heroes became manifest. A vet­eran who could not read, but who, nevertheless, had fought for France and liberty from Valmy to Zurich, carried no out­ward sign attest­ing his bravery, and it was not un­til 1799 that na­tional rewards were bestowed up­on those military men who had dis­tinguished them­selves by brilliant action.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fire Dance of the Navaho Indians

By GEORGE WHARTON JAMES

The author has spent nearly twenty years in the study of Indian manners and customs, and is now preparing an important work on the Havasupai Indians for the United States Government. In the present paper he describes his experiences at the Fire Dance of the Navahos, which few white men have ever seen. The article is illustrated with Mr. James's own photos., and with sketches specially made by experts of the United States Bureau of Ethnology.

Americans are only just waking up to a consciousness of the wonders of their own country.  Twenty years ago the Grand Canyon of the Colorado was almost unknown. Ten years ago the Snake ­Dance, which I described in a recent number of THE WIDE WORLD, had been seen by but few white men. The cliff dwellings of that region were the subject of wild and exaggerated stories, and the life of the Indians themselves was simply a sealed book.

Gussie & Louise Lahm Cow Girls Mendocino County

By W. F. Wade.

You may be amused by Mr. Wade's enthusiasm, but you will be obliged to agree with him. Here are two well-to-do young ladies who have not appeared in women's garments for four years at a stretch! They manage a ranch of 10,000 acres of wild country; shepherd thousands of sheep and cattle; and are caned upon to defend their property against bears and wolves, storms and forest fires.

Fire At Mare Vista Winery E E Meyer Santa Clara Valley California 1899

The fire which swept over the Santa Cruz Mountains on October 8th, 1899, was especially destructive, and to reduce it to sub­jection the entire mountain community came to the front. Many acts of heroism 'were per­formed, for information regarding which the writer is indebted to Mrs. Josephine Clifford McCrackin, a Californian author, who was entirely burnt out and upon whose vineyard grew some of the grapes whose juice later on did good service in saving the Meyer winery. I am also indebted to Mr. E. E. Meyer. The section of the Santa Cruz Mountains herein described over­looks the Santa Clara Valley, and is one of the richest in the entire State, as well as being the most beautiful. Only a few years ago it was virgin forest whose attractions were accidentally observed by a former German naval officer, Mr. E. E. Meyer, who decided to settle there. At that time the slopes were a mass of redwoods, firs, and madrones; and the location selected by Mr. Meyer was one of the most attractive in the whole range, abounding in deep and well wooded canyons, and provided with a fine water supply. Mr. Meyer is a leader in his community, and is highly esteemed and honored in Santa Clara County; and the heroic fight he made in the great fire, not only for his own home but also for those of others, shows that their belief in his pluck and valor was not misplaced. In fact, if the truth is told, this section of the State seems made up of men and women of remark­able qualities, in which bravery and true heroism appear to predominate. It was after great diffi­culty that Mr. Meyer established his winery, and then he spent years in waiting for the grapes to grow to maturity. Finally, however, success was assured.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pigeon Post of Santa Catalina Island California

By De Witt C. Lockwood.

It was established between the city of Los Angeles and the beautiful pleasure island of Santa Catalina, twenty miles out at sea. The illustrations include photographs of the birds and reduced facsimiles of the messages, which in many cases were both valuable and urgent.

It is not generally known, perhaps, that a regularly organized pigeon ­post has been in active operation in California for several years. The city of Los Angeles and Santa Catalina Island are the points of communication. This island is one of the chain extending along the Californian coast from Santa Barbara almost to San Diego, and it lies some twenty miles to seaward.  It was singled out many years ago as possessing unusual attractions for the sportsman and holiday-maker, and it has steadily grown in popularity, until today it is one of the most famous resorts in the State.

Count Henry Russell Hermit of the Pyrenees

By A. Anderson.

 His name is Count Henry Russell, and he is the proprietor of that great Pyrenean giant, the Vigne-. male. He lives on his barren estate, and apparently has no desire to return to the world. The photos. show that from the point of view of beautiful natural surroundings the Hermit is to be envied.

To deliberately elect to sleep in the open air on the top of a mountain 11,000 ft. high, instead of in a com­fortable bed in the valley, sur­rounded by all the accessories of civilization, is clearly not the action of an every­day nineteenth-century man. But then Count Henry Russell is not an everyday nineteenth­ century man. 'To begin with, he abominates nothing more than what is termed" civilized life," and he has the courage to say so to all and sundry. "During nine years I believed I liked it, or rather I tried to make myself like it; those years were the bitterest of my existence."

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Hold Up of the Overland Flyer

By ALFRED BURKHOLDER.

The burial at Chadron, Nebraska, on May 12th last, of George Currie, as daring a bandit as ever operated in Western America since the days of the famous Jesse and Frank James, was the closing chapter in a career of crime which typifies the now well­ known motto of THE WIDE WORLD MAGAZINE that "Truth is stranger than fiction."

For six or eight years Currie and his band of desperadoes terrorized the law abiding people of Wyoming, Montana, Utah, and Western South Dakota. During that period their opera­tions were not confined to anyone line of depredations. Ten years ago Currie was a cowboy in the employ of a large cattle company whose range was near the eastern border of Wyoming. He was respected by his comrades, and soon gained the reputation of being one of the most experienced cattle " punchers" on the Western plains.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Death At Niagara Falls Captain Webb

There was a brave Englishman named Captain Webb who had faced the dangers of the English Channel.  He heard of the awfulness of the whirlpool rapids, and crossed the Atlantic to conquer them.  He was recognised as the greatest swimmer of the time, and his passage from country to country to display his ability created intense excitement on two continents.  No man had ever evinced such a disposition to battle with the waters of the Niagara gorge between the great railway suspension bridge of those days and the whirlpool rapids.  He would do it unprotected even by a life preserver.  He was praised as a hero by many, while other said he was a fool.  He viewed the gorge and waters.  He was undaunted.  He was a man of his word, and so he made arrangements to carry out his announced purpose. 

Carlisle D Graham Over Niagara Falls in A Barrel


In 1886 a Philadelphia cooper named Carlisle D. Graham became imbued with the idea that he would risk his life in the rapids in a barrel of his own construction. He built the barrel and traveled to Niagara. On Sunday afternoon, July 11th, 1886, Graham entered his barrel and made the trip in safety, going right away through the gorge to Lewiston. His success was applauded all over the world. His confidence in his own handiwork had not been misplaced. He was about thrity-five minutes passing down the river. Graham won great popularity, and all who knew him said he deserved it.