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High Camp

July 2024
1min read


Shriners on a picnic? No, just the Wyman Comedy Company—an itinerant Western theatrical troupe of the last century—posed in the summer of 1882 amid the splendors of California’s Yosemite Valley. Bridalveil Falls provides the dramatic backdrop for this vintage photograph, sent to us by John P. Talbot of Lodi, Calif ornia.grandnephew of Rose Graham, seated at the right. Faded press notices from her scrap book chronicle the successes of the troupe in small towns from southern California to British Columbia. The actors were enthusiastically received everywhere they performed, but it was apparently the dogs that stole the show. Placid, even somnolent, off stage, Rover (left) and Mose (far right) evidently became ravening fiends in the flicker of the gaslights, lunging after Eliza with awful realism as she fled across the ice in Uncle Tom’s Cabin . A jittery correspondent for the Bodie Miner went backstage to see for himself just how fierce they really were. From a “highly elevated position out of the way of the dogs during their scene,” he pronounced them “in earnest in every move they make on stage.” Ned, the perky dog posed next to the prop cookfire, was even more accomplished. “To hear that canine warble ‘Baby Mine,’” reported the Chico Record , “would cause some of our amateur vocalists to blush.”

We continue to invite our readers to send us unusual, dramatic, or “what’s going on here?” photographs—at least thirty years old—that they own. They should be sent to Geoffrey C. Ward, American Heritage Publishing Co., 10 Rockefeller Plaza, N. Y, N. Y. 10020.

As we cannot be responsible for original material, we request that a copy be sent at first. Under no circumstances should glass negatives be mailed. Pictures can be returned only if accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. AMERICAN HERITAGE will pay $50.00 for each one that is run.

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