Places A Tourist Should Go in 1905? Bellevue And The Morgue.
Visiting New York City today there are things that most tourists go and see: The Empire State Building, Times Square, The Statue of Liberty and other typical touristy places. A hundred years ago you might be surprised at what sights people would go and visit. In 1905 for one New Yorker, Miss Laura Magner, taking an out-of-town friend to Bellevue and visiting the morgue seemed like an interesting, if not macabre way to spend the day.
They say truth is stranger than fiction, so we’ll let The New York Evening World of September 11, 1905 pick up the rest of this strange story:
SAW PICTURE AT MORGUE OF DEAD BROTHER
Miss Magner, Showing a Friend the Sights, Identifies Photograph.
This isn’t a very big world since the railroad, the telegraph and the telephone annihilated distances, but here is the strange story of what happened at the points of a triangle with sides only a mile long.
On Feb. 26, 1904, the body of a young man was found on the doors of No. 269 Ninth Avenue, dead. No one knew him. At the morgue the body was photographed and a complete description taken. The breast and arms were tattooed with the form of a woman, the emblems of Faith, Hope and Charity and the initials “J.M.”
After a few days the unidentified body was burled In Potter’s Field, where it has lain for nineteen months. Last Saturday Miss Laura Magner, of No. 354 West Forty-sixth Street, who was entertaining a visiting friend from out-of-town, took him to see Bellevue Hospital and the Morgue.