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Harry & Bess Houdini in Cherryvale, KS and A Fire!

The next stop on my recent exploration of towns Houdini visited during the winter of 1897-98 was Cherryvale, Kansas. Bess & Harry were just about done with their stint with the California Concert Company when they arrived in town on February 3rd , 1898.

While the original opera house building is long gone, a wonderful treasure does still exist from 1898, the Santa Fe train depot! I have included a circa 1900 postcard photo and a photo I took. It’s incredible just how original this depot has remained! It was easy to imagine all the performers getting off the train and assembling just outside and making their way to a hotel located just across from the depot.

Speaking of the local hotel, I discovered a fascinating bit of information that appears likely to correspond to a hotel fire described by Mrs. Houdini in a 1928 book and a certain little boy who would become nearly as famous as Houdini years later! That story and the hotel details will be saved for the book.

Until then, enjoy the photos.

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