Con Artists, Stunts, and Pet Monkeys"
The Story of Miss Hazel Keyes and Jennie Yan Yan
This was the case for the next aeronaut to make the news in our county: Miss Hazel Keyes. Miss Keyes had a long and successful ballooning career, making 150 ascents during the 1890s. Miss Keyes had a couple of partners over her years as an aeronaut, including her first and second husbands, who sometimes posed as a rival, partner, brother or other character in their attempts to put on a show for the audience. She was mostly known, however, for taking a pet monkey named Jennie Yan Yan, on her ascents. Jennie Yan Yan had her own parachute and jumped alongside Keyes.
A Near Miss for "Professor" Hagal
In 1892 an aeronaut named Frank P. Hagal (also Hagle) made a series of balloon ascensions around the county. Beginning with a June ascension and parachute descent in Samoa, Hagal followed with two launches in Ferndale. The “professor” filled his balloon on the school house grounds and rose to a height of only four-hundred feet before parachuting to the ground, amazing and delighting the Cream-City spectators.
Humboldt County's Worst Balloon Accident
Summertime Entertainment: A Schedule of Performances Held in 1899
Tom E. Godfrey performed for Humboldt County audiences in 1899 as well, making balloon ascensions and parachute jumps at Campton’s Park near Rohnerville, and other locations around the county and state. Godfrey’s career seems to have lasted for quite a while; his name appearing in papers around the state with some frequency between 1898 and 1912, particularly in the Colusa area.