Hotel NH Hires Sharpshooter
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Written by SeacoastNH Archive

Annie Oakley ?Library of Congress Presents
Historic Portsmouth #250

Can you name this famous summer employee? She worked at Wentworth by the Sea. Hint – she shoots. Another famous woman worker is also included below. She swims. Give up? (See below)

Just prior to World War I, the most famous "marksman" in the world taught society women to fire a rifle on the Wentworth golf links. Annie Oakley, then in her mid-fifties, was as accurate as ever. "Little Sure Shot" was known to blast the pips out of a playing card, even while she was on horseback. Having retired from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, Oakley made a comeback as a summer attraction for the Red Cross.

Little Sure Shot/ Library of Congress

Annie Oakley at 50/ Library of Congress

A decade later, Olympic diving and freestyle medallist Helen Wainwright offered swimming lessons to hotel guests and gave demonstrations in the large salt water pool at "The Ship" (now replaced by condos). While other employees were happy to take home $200 for a summer’s work, Wainwright reportedly signed a contract for $5,000. Her male counterpart, Olympic champion Johnny Weissmuller, later gained fame as Tarzan in the movies. (Photos courtesy Library of Congress, from Wentworth by the Sea: The Life and Times of a Grand Hotel, by J. Dennis Robinson)

Helen Wainwright / LIbrary of Congress

Helen Wainwright / Library of Congress