With Lynette Mullen, Historian
On May 13, 1907, 18-year-old Ida Ballard disappeared in broad daylight from the middle of downtown Eureka -- turning up the next day disheveled and in apparent shock over her terrifying ordeal. Hypnotized by a “witch-like” woman in front of Barry’s Grocery (currently the Lost Coast Brewery Restaurant in downtown Eureka), Ida said she had been spirited away by the old hag and imprisoned overnight in a shed behind a 4th Street bordello. Ida was confident that the owner had planned to force the girl into a life of shame. What happened next reminds one of the Salem Witch Trials, when Mamie Wright, the Eureka Resort’s black madam, was accused of orchestrating the crime and was arrested. Learn more about the Ballard abduction case, Mamie Wright, and other sporting women who populated Eureka’s Red-Light District in the early 1900s.
Thurs., May 20 • 6-8 p.m.
$20 • Class #: 24281
Lynette Mullen is an independent project manager and local historian. Her accidental discovery of historic documents, which described the brutal murder of a young mother in the presence of her children in Arcata in 1862, fostered an obsession with the settlement period in Northern California. Her research has since expanded and has been shared in articles, presentations, a TedX talk and multiple OLLI courses.