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Lincoln Beachey at Jamestown

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Three years ago we had a topic on this board concerning the aeronautical exploits of early fliers Art Smith and Lincoln Beachey at the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco.

This topic included plenty of photos, including the tragedy of Beachey's death.

Flash forward three years from this 2008 topic to now... last night I was sorting through a stack of postcards from the 1907 Jamestown Exposition, with most being tossed into a duplicates box (the ones in poorer quality). I was actually in the motion of tossing one into the box because it was a dupe and 'well used', when I glanced at the handwritten message on the back. It says "With best wishes from Mr. and Mrs. L. Beachey", and was addressed to a Mrs. Julia M. Gates in Morenci (spelling?), Mich.

Of course the name jumped out at me. Could it be the Lincoln Beachey? Or might it be a hoax autograph, or just a name coincidence? Maybe it was Larry Beachey or Lars Beachey, or Lewis or Ludwig.

I decided to do a little digging to see if I could corroborate anything with this postcard. I quickly found that he was born in early 1887. That would make him 20 at the time of the Jamestown Exposition. The card is signed "Mr. & Mrs. L. Beachey". Is there any documentation that he was married by age 20, or any evidence to the contrary? I couldn't find anything one way or another about his marriage status. But I did find that he didn't learn to fly a plane until about 1910. Bummer... that would seem to rule out his doing stunts at Jamestown like he did at the PPIE. But I *did* find out that he had started flying dirigibles for audiences, as early as 1905 (age 17), and did that for several years.

So the question then became, if he visited the PPIE in 1915, did he have an interest in big World's Fairs, and might have pursued that interest by traveling to Jamestown in 1907 to see the Expo?

I did a google search on the combination of Beachey and Jamestown, and lo and behold it came up with one of those Amazon book extracts. This one is from the book Jamestown Exposition: American Imperialism on Parade, by Amy Waters Yarsinske, published by our own Bill Cotter's publisher of choice, Arcadia. It includes this picture---- of Beachey at Jamestown!

Beachey-Jamestown.jpg

Okay, so the caption even has a date- August 15, 1907. Naturally I had to check to see how that corollates with my postcard.

Beachey didn't date what he wrote. But the postmark tells the story! August 14, 1907.

Beachey-Jamestown2.jpg

So it seems I have a bit of a historical item!

The best thing is, I got this postcard about 12 years ago in an auction lot of about 20 Jamestown postcards, for something like 5 dollars. The seller didn't realize the Beachey connection, and neither did I until now. Gems are to be found in our landfill... so keep looking! (and share your finds on this board!)

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Posted · Report post

Great story - and find!!

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Posted · Report post

Beautiful!

I googled Morenci - pop 2398 in Y2k, and you can walk to Ohio in a few minutes.

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Posted · Report post

Beautiful!

I googled Morenci - pop 2398 in Y2k, and you can walk to Ohio in a few minutes.

That starts to make sense. I think I saw somewhere that Lincoln Beachey was originally from Toledo, Ohio. So the addressee on this postcard may have been a friend from growing-up-days.

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Posted · Report post

Some interesting info on the 19 original buildings ( :o) which still survive from the original 1907 Jamestown Expo.

Jamestown Exposition Buildings

And a Google Satellite pic of the site today...

post-585-0-08058700-1302633031_thumb.png

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