Thursday, July 7, 2016

Williamsport honors their "Wild Man" with historical marker

A new historical marker commemorating Houdini's two appearances in Williamsport, Pennsylvania was dedicated last Friday at the corner of Pine and North Streets. The plaque stands not far from the original site of the Pine Street United Methodist Church where Houdini once gave his anti-spiritualism lecture.

Dorothy Dietrich (picture right) and Dick Brookz of the Houdini Museum in nearby Scranton played a key role in uncovering Williamsport's Houdini history. They performed magic and escapes during the dedication ceremony.

Coincidentally, Friday marked 126 years to the day that Houdini first appeared in Williamsport's as part of the Welsh Bros. Circus. You'll recall that it was during this first tour with the circus that Houdini doubled as "Projea the Wild Man of Mexico" in the sideshow. It's very likely he appeared as the Wild Man while in Williamsport. Quite a journey to go from circus freak to historical honoree.

The Williamsport Sun-Gazette, who covered Friday's event (which you can see at their Facebook page), also covered Houdini's first appearance on July 1, 1895.


Thanks to Dorothy Dietrich and Dick Brookz.

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4 comments:

  1. Reminder-Doyle & Houdini Mysteries at the Museum July 16 8am|7amC Dick Brookz Saturday
 Thanks
    The Houdini Museum, Scranton, PA
    The Only Building in the World Dedicated to Houdini

    ReplyDelete
  2. Houdini follows us around it seems. We hardly ever buy newspaper clippings on ebay. They fall apart. We bought a few grouped together a few years ago not knowing what they were. Lo and behold a full article about Houdini in Williamsport at the Methodist Church that started this all.
    The Houdini Museum, Scranton, PA
    The Only Building in the World Dedicated to Houdini

    ReplyDelete
  3. Houdini follows us another example. TCM flew us to Hollywood to introduce The Grim Game. We had nothing to do with the flight arrangements. The plane made one stop, in Detroit, the city in which Houdini died. The first full day we would spend in Hollywood would be on Houdini's birthday! John Cox wes nice enough that day to take us to all the Houdini spots in LA and Hollywood. What a treat!
    The Houdini Museum, Scranton, PA
    The Only Building in the World Dedicated to Houdini

    ReplyDelete
  4. Houdini follows us! Stayed at historic Lasky Players Apts by accident??? We looked on internet for a place to stay we found a nice place on right on the strip. When we click "buy" it was taken. So we settled for what we felt was our second choice. We did not know it but found out when we checked in, it was a building built by Lasky Players that they built on the Boulevard because no one wanted to rent to actors. Renters had signs that said "No dogs or actors". Turns out some who stayed there were Gretta Garbo, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, etc. Rudy Valentino had a speakeasy in the basement and Chaplin even owned it at one time. There is a good chance Houdini stayed there as well when they brought him to Hollywood.
    The Houdini Museum, Scranton, PA
    The Only Building in the World Dedicated to Houdini

    ReplyDelete

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