Lost Butte, Montana, a book by Richard I. Gibson, is in stores and museum gift shops around Butte. Or order from the publisher. It's also in E-book formats at all the usual places. And read an interview with Gibson, here, and on KXLF here. The Facebook page has many historic photos of Butte, and the Butte-Anaconda NHLD project showcases many historic buildings. Location-oriented posts can be found on HistoryPin. On Mondays beginning in January 2016, look for Gibson's "Mining City History" column in the Montana Standard.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hazel Earle, Clairvoyant

“In all ages and in all times man has sought to pierce the veil of the future, and with the advance of civilization and progress the occult exercises a still greater fascination for mankind…”

By Richard I. Gibson

In Butte, Rev. Hazel Earle practiced as a spiritual medium in her office at 47 West Park in 1901. She was an ordained minister, at least as far as the First Spiritual Progressive National Association of Utah was concerned – they gave her a diploma – and she was legally allowed to perform marriages and funerals. Her effort led to “no less than twenty-seven professional men, including lawyers and physicians” being converted to a belief in spiritual phenomena.

Rev. Earle reportedly pegged the time of Queen Victoria’s death in 1901 to within 75 minutes, two years before the fact. She conducted public meetings Sunday and Wednesday evenings, apparently including “life readings that would satisfy the most skeptical.”

The Thomas Block where Earle held forth (probably upstairs) burned down in 1912, but its 1913 replacement still stands on West Park Street. Some of her large public evening sessions were also conducted a few doors west, in room 36 at the Washington Block, which is gone today. Hazel Earle lived at 201 E. Granite Street, the Jacobs House on the corner opposite the Court House. Among her seven local competitors was Madame Vera Zazell, a clairvoyant and palmist who lived in Room 5 of the Stephens Hotel in 1902. She also reportedly assisted with mining exploration: she “is positively unexcelled and more than a few individuals have acquired large fortunes through following her advice.”

Earle practiced in Salt Lake City (258 Main Street, Room 2) in the summer of 1898 before coming to Butte. Uncertain records suggest that she was from Fayette, Iowa, and that she died in 1923. Despite her powers, she was only in Butte about a year, listed only in the city directory for 1901.

Image and quotes from Western Resources Magazine: Butte at the Dawn of the 20th Century (1901). Digitized by Butte Public Library, at Butte Digital Memory Project.

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