February 8, 2017
You are reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.
A large stone, which was sitting outside the Aurora Theater on Junction City’s Washington Street in February of 1908, caused many people to inquire about it. Why was it there? What would such a large stone be doing just outside the theater? Who left it there? And many other questions.
Some thought it was only one of many others which would have been used for building purposes and was left there without construction personnel noticing it. Others suggested the theater manager was going to start an amateur rock pile.
However it turned out that none of them were right. The rock belonged to “Kelly and Kelly”. They were an act that had been performing at the theater that week and used the rock in the act. Kelly and Kelly were a husband and wife act that performed to show physical strength. The husband had advertised that the stone would be broken during the first performance of the evening. He would lie down on the stage floor with nothing but his heels and the back of his head touching the set of boards. The rock, which weighed at least a couple of hundred pounds would be placed on his stomach and pounded to pieces with a 17 pound sledgehammer. A large crowed turned out on a rainy evening to witness the event. It apparently took quite an effort from the gentleman wielding the hammer, but the rock did break as promised. However, the condition of Mr. Kelly’s stomach or any other parts of his body, were not reported as a result of this act.
The things people do to entertain others and earn a living at the same time can sometimes be amazing.
Thanks for reading “Our Past Is Present” from the Geary County Historical Society.