Celebrating 150 years: a visit from Miss Hurst
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 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