Cliff House Project

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Tightrope Walk
September 24 - 27, 1865

According to Marilyn Blaisdell's book on the Cliff House...

"James Cook, a circus performer, who The Alta California says could not swim, attempted a tightrope walk from South Seal Rock to the land beside the Cliff House on Sunday, September 24, 1865.  He disappointed the crowd of thousands when the bad weather forced him to reconsider the balancing act.  A rowboat brought him back to shore.  Three days later however he successfully made the approximately 150 yard journey.  A year later Miss Rosa Celeste, eighteen, performed the same feat and better -- round trips  --  on three occasions.  For these promotions the Cliff House sold reserved seats on its balcony for a dollar.  Another publicity stunt featured stiff upper lipped Millie Lavelle, who, gripping a bit between her teeth (the bit connected to a trolley on a wire cable), coasted under the wire across to Seal Rocks."




 


Daily Alta California - 20 Sept 1865

 


Daily Alta California - 28 Sept 1865

 


Marysville Daily Appeal - 28 Sept 1865

 


Sacramento Daily Union - 29 Sept 1865

 


Daily Alta California - 30 Sept 1865

 

More on James Cooke:  http://www.circushistory.org/Olympians/OlympiansC2.htm