Women’s History Month 15: Lotta Crabtree

Women's History Month 15: Lotta Crabtree

Lotta Crabtree

The tiny, brown-eyed redhead known to her many fans simply as “Lotta” was one of the most successful entertainers of the 19th century. Her family moved to California after the 1849 gold rush, when Crabtree was six, settling in Grass Valley.  There, Crabtree reportedly befriended a neighbor, the notorious actress, dancer and courtesan, Lola Montez, who gave Lotta dancing lessons. Lotta appeared in light melodramas that showcased her talents as a banjo player, clog dancer and mimic.  Crabtree began performing in the mining camps and small town variety theatres, singing ballads and clog dancing. The miners were said to have showered her with coins and gold nuggets, which her mother collected. When she retired at 45 she was one of the richest women in America.

Learn more about Lotta Crabtree

Learn about more Women In History with these encyclopedia from Dr. Rosanne Welch and Dr. Peg Lamphier

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