Monday, May 27, 2013

Buffalo Bill Comes to Cortland

Cortland Evening Standard, Thursday, June 13, 1901.

The Terrible Machine Guns to be Operated During the Performances.

   Buffalo Bill's Wild West has recently added a most realistic representation of a modern battle to its entertainment, and necessarily has had to bring into play machine guns, handled by some of the same men who worked them during the late fighting. The mechanism of the gun is easily described, but the impression it makes when seen at work is beyond description. It is simply fascinatingly terrible, and in the Wild West with 800 soldiers around it constantly firing their rifles, its tones are such that all else is a dumb show, and every faculty of the auditor is enchained by the machine gun as though it had some hypnotic power. There is just enough of it in the battle of Tien-Tsin to please an audience, and not enough to detract from the many other exciting, amusing and instructive features of this peculiarly unique and instructive entertainment.

   All the Indians, cowboys, Russians, Arabs, Mexicans, Magyars, Gauchos, English and German soldiers, and a couple of regular and volunteer ex-members of Uncle Sam's army, are component parts of the big company, and their daring feats of horsemanship, their reckless skill and magnetic personality, are as strong as ever.

   Incidents in American history, from a representation of an early wagon train of settlers crossing the prairie, to the most exciting scene of the war in China, are truthfully depicted by genuine characters, many of them participants in the original events. Every year sees an enlargement and an improvement of Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders, and more has been added to its attractiveness this season than ever. Buffalo Bill and the Wild West will be in Cortland tomorrow and will exhibit upon the fair grounds. Watch for the big parade in the forenoon.

Cortland Evening Standard, Saturday, June 15, 1901.

Buffalo Bill’s Show.
Great Crowd Filled the Tent at Both Exhibitions.

   Yesterday was Buffalo Bill's day in Cortland, and in respect to the crowd it was one of the greatest days the young city has ever seen. The town was full of people all day long. All railroads had extra coaches on their trains and all trains were crowded. The Traction company did tremendous business, its cars being crammed almost to suffocation. Every road leading into the city had a constant line of teams upon it and from the appearance of the horses the indications were that many of them came from a long distance.

   The streets were lined with thousands of people to see the parade in the morning, and before 1 o'clock there was a steady flow of people toward the show grounds, going on foot, in carryalls, in private conveyances and on the street cars.

   The tents made an imposing appearance upon the fair grounds. The dining tent occupied all the space at the left of the entrance and south of the hall where the "midway" is during fair time. Across the track in the center of the grounds was the big tent with side shows at the right and with the horse tent and dressing rooms at the extreme west end. The seats were arranged to occupy three sides of a rectangle and were covered with canvas, while all the exhibition w a s in the open air with uncovered sky.

   At the afternoon performance the seats were filled to their fullest capacity. The ticket man told a STANDAND reporter that there were 16,000 people In the audience. He said that the management was greatly pleased with the crowd and he felt very confident that they would not have to sell a horse to get money enough to g e t out of t o w n with. The evening audience wan an excellent one, though not quite as numerous.

   The Buffalo Bill show is unique. It is entirely different from a circus. It is in a class by itself. There is something to interest every moment and there is no delay for it proceeds with great rapidity. From the opening ground review of the Rough Riders of the world to the battle of Tien Tsin at the end the interest is sustained. As is to be expected much of the program is given to riding. Each body of horsemen gave an exhibition of the skill which is theirs, and in all the performances it would be difficult among these experts to find the best. The old feature of the Buffalo Bill show, the stage coach attacked by Indians, who in turn are repulsed by the scouts, was not missing, nor was the attack on the cowboys by the Indians.

   Annie Oakley, Johnnie Baker and Buffalo Bill himself gave exhibitions of shooting which, as in days gone by, excited the wonder of the spectators. Buffalo Bill shot glass balls thrown into the air while himself and the thrower were riding at a trot around the ring.

   The bucking bronchos, the buffalo hunt and some like features have been seen before, but the life-saving feature was something new. Buffalo Bill carries with him a life-saving crew, who in a realistic manner show how sailors are taken from vessels which are driven ashore during a storm. A life line was shot over a spar erected in the middle of the arena. The line is making fast and the sailors soon come gliding down the line in the breeches buoy to the shore. The life-saving crew have all the apparatus used in the actual operation. The tumbling and the feats of strength by the Arabs astonished every one.

   The military spectacle Is one of the most popular features of the show. Every one took pride In the skill and daring of the United States cavalrymen in their feats of horsemanship, and in the wonderful precision with which the artillerymen maneuvered, and finally the battle of Tien Tsin gave an idea of what happens when opposing armies line up for action. There was a lot of powder burnt and the machine gun, with which the walls of the old China city was defended, ground out a deal of harmless noise. This spectacle, participated in by several hundred men, is, as an educational feature, really a most important part of the performance.


   Buffalo Bill was In Cortland the last time on Monday, Sept. 10, 1895. The Buffalo Bill show is now a stock company, of which Buffalo Bill is himself a one-third owner. It was said yesterday by one of the clerical force of the company that Buffalo Bill himself draws a salary of 13,000 per week for the use of his name and his presence with the show.

No comments:

Post a Comment