Author Topic: Nellie Bly  (Read 20058 times)

wshawkins

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Nellie Bly
« on: March 25, 2012, 06:07:18 PM »
Nellie Bly was lot like the rest of us.  While she was working on a movie set near Mammoth she fell in love with the Eastern Sierra.  But she was a woman with a mind of her own and was not afraid to take chances and try new experiences.  She was the first licensed movie projectionist, first licensed fishing and hiking guide and women of vision.  She was a strong woman of her time and place and an inspiration to the young women of then and today!


Nellie Bly


Nellie Bly Baker O’Bryan, born in Oklahoma in 1893, moved to Los Angeles in 1917 and was the country’s first licensed women movie projectionist. She then embarked on a film career and appeared in 48 films working alongside big names such as Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, and Clark Gable, just to name a few.

During the filming of “The Thundering Herd” a western starring Randolph Scott near Mammoth Lakes she became enthralled with the Eastern Sierra and resolved that she and her husband should live there soon.  Not long after her stardom was launched she gave up her career and moved to the Eastern Sierra.

Nellie Bly bought property at Lundy Lake In 1939 and opened the “Happy Landing Resort”.  She knew at once she belonged in the mountains as it supported her passions for a rugged lifestyle.  She built her cabin in Lundy lake out of boards from remaining buildings and lived there year around.  For her resort she built four more cabins, a store and a restaurant.  She then became California’s first licensed fishing and hiking guide, and maintained the resort until 1952.  Then she sold the property to the Millers (Now Lundy Lake Resort) and moved to Mono Lake.  Her original Lundy Lake cabin still stands today.

Last Structure is the Cabin



In Mono Lake, she built and ran the “The Upside Down House” along US-395 north of the Tioga Lodge.  It was inspired by two children’s stories—“Upside Down Land” and “The Upsidedownians.”  It was Mono County’s first “man-made” tourist attraction that ran from 1956 to about 1968.  Upon her death in 1984 The Upside-Down House fell into disrepair until October 9, 2000 when it was rescued and moved to the Old Schoolhouse Museum in Lee Vining.

Upside-Down House



In 2009, Heull Howser's California Gold television series shown on PBS channels featured the “Upside-Down House”.  It’s free to visit and see the Upside-Down House and kid friendly with a museum and more exhibits to see. 

Nellie Bly



"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

Jackmac

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2012, 09:32:16 PM »
Glad to see somemore history story's keep them coming wshawkins And fly Girl keep the questions going....
I fish better with a lit cigar; some people fish better with talent.  ~Nick Lyons, Bright Rivers, 1977

Trev Dog

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2012, 08:45:41 AM »
Very nice wshawkins.

bstolton

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2012, 07:30:28 PM »
cool history lesson.

thanks wshawkins
gone fishn, hope to be catchn soon !

P A C

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2012, 10:30:07 AM »
WSHawkins - PLEASE keep the History Posts flowing, no matter if you feel they are 'old' or repetitious.  They are both educational and entertaining and I believe that alot of it has to do with YOUR personal retelling of the various history and stories you have learned and which you have added your knowledge and experience to the retelling of them, in your own words.

Please don't hold back re posting anything from the old board(s) for fear of being repetitive. I for one have a young son and look forward to utilizing these stories as his curiosity (and questions) grow as he experiences more of the Eastern Sierra.  Much of what I have learned about the area is from books that were 30 to 50 years old when I first read them back in the late '60's - now I can't even find them anywhere anymore.

Your knowledge combined with your personal style are a treat for all of us.

Thanks!

wshawkins

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2012, 02:52:12 PM »
She built her cabin and the resort right where the “Lakeview” Hotel was located.  The Lakeview House, as it was called in 1880, was built by Dave Hitchell, also known as “Tex”.  Later that year a fire destroyed the hotel.  Tex rebuilt the structure bigger and better than the original.  Years later high winds knocked the hotel down and he stacked the boards nice and straight under cover planning on rebuilding again soon.  Then he died.  There stayed the nicely stacked lumber until Nellie Bly bought the property.

For her cabins for her resort, she helped herself to the boards from the Montrose Family Home.  Rodney Montrose owned a saw mill and a hotel (“The Monte”) in town.   He was the “Homer Mining District Recorder” in 1884 and was “Sheriff” in 1888.  Also owned several mines in the canyon.


The Lakeview House (Hotel) before it blew down



The Montrose Family Home
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

wshawkins

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2012, 06:34:34 PM »
Yeah their old all right.  The Lakeview Hotel was built originally in 1880 and the Montrose Home in 1881.  The Montrose home was located on 2nd Street and Chicago Ave.
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

playingmenace

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2012, 09:25:37 AM »
Always appreciate your reports/contributions here wshawkins.

Paul
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wshawkins

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2012, 06:14:46 PM »
Nellie Bly was the first “Licensed” fishing and hiking guide.  There were many other guides around but just not licensed.  On day trips she would take them to Lake Canyon (Oneida Lake), Lundy Canyon or 20 Lakes Basin areas.  On longer trips, Yosemite was a favorite.
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

MARVIN

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2015, 12:52:09 PM »
I WOULD JUST LIKE TO SAY THAT NELLIE BLY BAKER WAS MY GREAT AUNT. HER FATHER'S NAME  WAS JASPER NEWTON BAKER, MY FATHER'S NAME WAS NEWTON D BAKER
THANK YOU,
MARVIN BAKER

wshawkins

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2015, 04:00:50 PM »
Welcome Marvin Baker to Rock Creek's Message Board!   It’s always good to hear from a family member and if you have anything new to add to this story I’m sure we all like to hear from you.

When I was researching Nellie Bly it showed her parents’ names as Jasper Newton Baker (originally from Kentucky) and Margaret Baker.  Her parents had 6 children: Ollie, May, Chester, Clyde, Stanley and Nellie Bly.  So one of the above names must have been your grandpa I’m guessing!

Update to the story of Nellie Bly:

Nellie Bly married John O'Bryan (originally from Kansas) and they moved to Hollywood, CA. in the late teens and early 20's.  John O'Bryan, her husband, was from Kansas and served in WWI overseas. Nellie attended a convent in Guthrie during the early 1900's and later A & M College (Oklahoma University), and Henry Kendall College (Tulsa University).
Nellie Bly Baker worked as secretary for Charlie Chaplin at the First National Studio.  Also appeared in several silent films including: The Kid (1921), A Woman of Paris: A Drama Fate (1923), The Goldfish (1924) How to Educate a Wife (1924) The Snob (1924), The Salvation of Hunters (1925), The Red Kimona (1925), That Model from Paris (1926), Breakfast at Sunrise (1927) Love and the Devil (1929), The Painted Angel (1929) The Bishop Murder Case (1930) and Sade McKee (1934).  John O'Bryan was working for Paramount at the time.

Nellie and John decided to leave the lime-light and move to Lundy Canyon in 1939.

Huell Howser also did a show about Nellie Bly in the town to Lee Vining to see the Upside Down House some years past.
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

wshawkins

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2015, 04:02:06 PM »
Nice picture taken in 1925 of Nellie Bly


 
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

Sierraslam

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2015, 01:08:04 PM »
Thanks for this thread! I love the history of the Sierras. She must have been one tough lady to live up there year round. They had some brutal Winters back in the day.

John Harper

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2015, 02:23:01 PM »
Funny, I just saw that cabin at Lundy Lake last summer.  I wondered who might have been the first to build cabins there.  There are still some timbers from what looks like an arrastra structure and some other buildings that probably pre-date those cabins.  That's probably where the wood came from, maybe even hauled down from the May Lundy mining area?

On another note, one of our environmental science teachers was showing part of a PBS(?) series today in class called the "Cadillac Desert" about the building of the LA aqueduct.  He told me there is a book of the same name.  I'll have to see if I can get ahold of both.

John
« Last Edit: January 08, 2015, 02:25:12 PM by John Harper »

wshawkins

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2015, 07:40:08 AM »
Funny, I just saw that cabin at Lundy Lake last summer.  I wondered who might have been the first to build cabins there.  There are still some timbers from what looks like an arrastra structure and some other buildings that probably pre-date those cabins.  That's probably where the wood came from, maybe even hauled down from the May Lundy mining area?


John


Yeah, the cabin is still standing, pretty cool to see it.  But your right that other structures pre-date anything Nellie Bly built.  I beleave I did a topic on Lundy Lake town site and the May lundy Mine some years back.  There is a arrastra structure still there too but few people see it or even know what there looking at.
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

LundyLake71

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2015, 07:03:23 PM »
Nellie Bly is my great grand aunt. I got to know her growing up.  I have quite a few pictures of her cabin, her hunting groups, mono lake,  upside down house at its original location.  She also painted few rocks but only know the two of them which probably is long damaged.  I have not gone back up to Lundy Lake since summer of 1991.  The two painted rocks were Indian and a frog.  I have not been able to find the pictures of those as I have boxes and boxes of pictures.

I was given lots of shot stories written by Nellie Bly by my grand aunt, Juanita, who knew I was fasticated by her stories.

Upon researching the family tree. Some says Jasper Newton Baker and Margaret (Gray) Baker had 8 children but I found 9 children.  Ollie May, Chester Arthur, Jasper Clyde, Stanley, Earl, Nellie Bly, Adeline Bell, Thedore and Freemont.

Hopefully this helps.

wshawkins

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2015, 07:06:18 AM »
Thanks for the info LundyLake71.  Always nice to hear from a living relative of Nellie Bly.  I would love to see what pictures you have.  You can post them on this site.

I have seen several painted rocks in the area, especially in Lundy Canyon.  Even the old timers I talked to did not have a clue who painted them.  I’ll look through my photos and post them here when I find them.
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

saudust

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2015, 05:27:55 AM »
Thanks for the input, LundyLake71.  It would be a real privilige to see your pictures if you can locate them.  Just the fact that you are a descendant of Nellie Bly is incredible and that you found us here on the RCL Forum.  Welcome to the Board,
Let me wake laughing from a nap in the afternoon under the aspens in the fall.

wshawkins

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2015, 07:11:21 AM »
  She also painted few rocks but only know the two of them which probably is long damaged.  I have not gone back up to Lundy Lake since summer of 1991.  The two painted rocks were Indian and a frog.



I’m not a big fan of “Painted Rocks” in the Eastern Sierra, but these Painted Rocks have been here since the 70’s or probably much earlier.  When “LundyLake71” mentioned Nellie Bly painted an Indian and Frog rocks, I knew I seen them before.  There both are located in the Lundy Canyon area, but the “Frog” is a bit more isolated.  One more piece of history solved!


Painted Indian
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

wshawkins

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2015, 07:12:17 AM »
Painted Frog

"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

John Harper

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2015, 08:30:42 AM »
I saw the Indian last summer, but missed the frog.

John

LundyLake71

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2015, 03:45:10 PM »
Im so glad to see those two rocks aren't damaged.  My mom told me that Nellie painted them.  I will ask her again to be sure.  I will need to run back up to Lundy Lake this summer!

LundyLake71

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2015, 04:12:41 PM »
Here's picture of Nellie - her days at Lundy Lake

LundyLake71

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2015, 04:13:58 PM »
Im sorry for the picture being so small.  I don't know how to make it bigger.  The bigger I did the more it kept saying the file is too large!

wshawkins

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Re: Nellie Bly
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2015, 04:39:09 PM »
Im so glad to see those two rocks aren't damaged.  My mom told me that Nellie painted them.  I will ask her again to be sure.  I will need to run back up to Lundy Lake this summer!



Actually local artists touch-up the paint on the large rocks about every century or so, otherwise it would of faded away by now.
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."