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 Lotta Mignon Crabtree

Lotta Mignon Crabtree

Original Name Charlotte
Birth
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 25 Sep 1924 (aged 76)
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
Plot Juniper Section
Memorial ID 239 · View Source
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Actress. She is remembered as one of the most beloved American entertainers of the late 19th century. Born Charlotte Mignon Crabtree to English immigrants, her father was a bookseller who left for San Francisco, California in 1851 to join those seeking their fortune in the California Gold Rush. Two years later she and her mother followed, settling in the boomtown of Grass Valley, California where they operated a boarding house. She became intrigued by a neighbor, the dancer and actress Lola Montez, who encouraged her enthusiasm for the performance. Her family moved again to Rabbit Creek, California and set up another boarding house, where she soon made her first professional appearance at a tavern. She began touring throughout California, and Nevada, making a name for herself as a dancer, singer, and banjo player in the mining camps. In 1856 the family moved back to San Francisco and by 1859, she had become "Miss Lotta, the San Francisco Favorite." in 1863 she left to tour the East Coast where she began acting in plays such as "The Old Curiosity Shop," "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and "Little Nell and the Marchioness." With her petite size, she became a favorite for her portrayals of children. In the late 1860s the "Lotta Polka" and "Lotta Gallup" were quite the rage in America and by age 20 she was a national star. By 1875 she was touring the nation with her own theatrical company, achieving the height of her success in the 1870s and 1880s. The 1880s saw her perennially as the highest paid actress in America, earning sums of up to $5,000 per week. Her mother managed Lotta's affairs and invested her earnings in local real estate, race horses, bonds, as well donating to support local charities and build fountains. Lotta's Fountain, the most famous of these fountains, still stands at the intersection of Market and Kearny Streets in San Francisco, and is the site of meetings every April 18 marking the anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. In 1885 her mother had an 18 room summer cottage built in the Breslin Park section of Mount Arlington on the shores of Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, which was called Attol Tryst. The house, designed by noted architect Frank Furness, stands today and in recent years has been beautifully restored. In May 1889 she was forced to retire as a result of a fall in Wilmington, Delaware. After recovering, she attempted a comeback in 1891 and decided to retire permanently from the stage at the age of 45, the richest actress in the US. Following her retirement, she traveled, painted (including studying in Paris, France in 1912) and was active in charitable work. In 1915 she made one final appearance in 1915 for "Lotta Crabtree Day" in San Francisco at the Panama-Pacific Exposition. Later she moved to Massachusetts where she owned land in the southern part of the Squantum section of Quincy, Massachusetts. She spent the last 15 years of her life at the Brewster Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts, which she had purchased. She died at the age of 76. After her death, she left an estate of some $4 million in a charitable trust for such causes as veterans, aging actors and animals. In 1951 20th Century Fox released the musical film "Golden Girl" that starred Mitzi Gaynor in the role as Lotta Crabtree.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 239
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Lotta Mignon Crabtree (7 Nov 1847–25 Sep 1924), Find A Grave Memorial no. 239, citing Woodlawn Cemetery and Conservancy, Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .