Ear: Astorian

From the Saturday, Aug. 29, 1885 edition of The Daily Morning Astorian

Clara Louise Kellogg is said to have refused more offers of marriage than any other woman in America. 

Note: Ms. Kellogg (1842-1916) — described by Encyclopedia.com as an "American (high) soprano, impresario ... who worked to bring opera to the American stage" — was coming to Astoria with her troupe in the near future, so the publicity machine was already winding up. She is pictured, inset.

The woman had endurance, and was a true workhorse; for example, during the 1874-1875 season, she sang for 125 opera performances. It was quite a coup for Astoria to attract this internationally renowned diva. But, by the time of her 1885 appearance in Astoria, she was winding down.  

She married her former manager's nephew, Carl Strakosch, in 1887, and retired from the stage. You can read her autobiography, "Memoirs of an American Prima Donna" at bit.ly/CLKbio

• Coming to Astoria: The Largest! The Grandest! The Greatest! Old John Robinson's 10 Big Shows Combined!

Note: Aside from the unfortunate (and large) menagerie, and the Museum of Living Wonders, the extravaganza featured Occupational Safety and Health Administration nightmare acts such as: Zenobia ("hurled 200 feet through space by ancient Rome's terrific war engine, the catapult!); Aida ("who dives, head foremost, from the dome of the canvas into a net 100 feet below); Mademoiselle Ella Zola ("high wire queen, walks blindfolded with feet encased in baskets"); Mademoiselle Zerate ("ceiling walker); Tuila Family (unicycle riders and skaters on stilts"); Viola (the Hindoo snake charmer); plus so much more.

And, "don't fail to be on time to witness the $300,000 Free Street Pageant," with 31 chariots, bagpipers, four steam musical wagons, mounted trumpeters, 100 mounted knights, a calliope, steam organs, opera singers. … It must have been a helluva sight.

• Apropos of nothing: East Portland has passed an ordinance prohibiting cows from running at large …

Note: Positively sensible, compared to other Rose City rules, which also prohibit whistling underwater (is this even possible?), roller skating into bathrooms and walking down the street with your shoes untied. (bit.ly/oddrose)

Elleda Wilson is an editorial assistant for The Astorian and author of the award-winning In One Ear community column. Contact her at 971-704-1718 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com.

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