Cel­e­brat­ing 150 years: a visit from Miss Hurst

The Standard Journal - - LIFESTYLE - Staff re­ports

Edi­tor’s note: this week’s story, again pro­vided cour­tesy and with much thanks from Gre­gory Gray, in­volves a bit of won­der. Back in the late 1800s, Lula Hurst was known as “The Ge­or­gia Won­der” and was a stage ma­gi­cian. She was best known for her feats of what was con­sid­ered then “mys­te­ri­ous phys­i­cal pow­ers.” She later re­vealed her tricks were all just a stage per­for­mance, caused by her use of force di­rec­tion. Find a re­ally in­ter­est­ing bi­o­graph­i­cal his­tory linked with this ar­ti­cle on­line. Re­mem­ber to send in some of your fa­vorite sto­ries from the past or sug­ges­tions to [email protected]­stan­dard­jour­nal.net. There’s still 47 weeks left in the year to con­trib­ute! Note this week’s ar­ti­cle along with some from last week came from the Cedar­town Ad­ver­tiser, which later changed its name to the Stan­dard in the late 1880s.

Miss Hurst

Miss Lula Hurst, whose mys­te­ri­ous pow­ers have been of late de­vel­oped, gave an ex­hi­bi­tion at the Cedar­town Academy un­der the di­rec­tion of Prof. J. C. Har­ris and Mr. J. R. Bar­ber, on last Fri­day night.

Re­ports of her won­der­ful per­for­mances have gone abroad, per­sons were present from Rome, Cave Spring and Cartersville, while peo­ple of our own com­mu­nity lest their pres­ence right lib­er­ally. The au­di­ence num­bered about two hun­dred and fifty per­sons.

Miss Hurst was first given a stout walk­ing cane and plac­ing a hand so as to barely clasp the end; gen­tle­men from the au­di­ence were re­quested to hold it. The cane soon be­came so charged with the strange power that as many as could grasp it could not hold it.

The ex­per­i­ment was tried re­peat­edly with any num­ber of per­sons, from one to seven, grasp­ing the cane, and the power only var­ied in its ap­par­ent strength but at no time failed to be man­i­fest. Sev­eral canes were bro­ken were bro­ken in the at­tempts made to hold them. A chair was next ex­per­i­mented with, Miss Hurst lay­ing her hands lightly upon some part of it, while oth­ers at­tempted to hold it, but the power again man­i­fested it­self and baf­fled ef­fort.

She held in each hand a twig with loops formed by bend­ing their ends. These au­to­mat­i­cally, with­out ef­fort from her, came to­gether and in­ter­lock­ing, with vi­o­lence were bro­ken in­stantly into the small­est pieces.

The suc­cess of sev­eral feats was so pro­nounced as to con­vince even the most skep­ti­cal of the au­di­ence that she pos­sessed an un­usual and very strange power, and the ex­hi­bi­tion, withal, we be­lieve, was grat­i­fy­ing and sat­is­fac­tory to all wit­nesses.

From the Cedar­town Ad­ver­tiser, Jan. 24, 1884 -page 3

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