Exposing the lies of one of sports’ most successful frauds
Overview of Schoemmell’s Life and Career
Swimming/Recalling Lotty [1895-1966] (by Ray Bellande, Ocean Springs Archives)
1926, Sep - Becomes 3rd Woman to Swim Around Manhattan
1926, Oct - Swims Hudson River from Albany to Battery
Nears record (Salinas Daily Index)
Nears record (Brooklyn Daily Times)
Profile by Virginia Swain
“Claims She’s Male’s Superior” (includes photo with her children)
Description of her plans for an English Channel double; her belief about why sharks don’t bite Black people; why women are better swimmers than men; etc.
“Freezing Waters Bring No Chill Of Fear” (same as above)
1926, Dec - Lottie Crosses the Delaware
“Crosses Delaware Like Washington” (photo in front of monument)
1927, Jan - Wrigley’s Catalina Race
“Wall Street Bets On Big Catalina Swim” (from Dec 1926)
Race underway (Pasadena Evening Post)
“Swimmers Start in $40,000 Sea Marathon” (great photos of several of swimmers)
“They’re Off In the Catalina Channel Marathon Swim” (includes cartoon and poem)
1927, July - Lake George Marathon
Note: The photo above right purports to show Schoemmell about to enter “the choppy waters of the English Channel.” Since she never attempted to swim the English Channel, the magazine’s publishers or Schoemmell’s publicist probably added that detail.
1928, Apr - Floats
Floats for 31 hours (via The Porcupine Advance)
“Breaking Endurance Swim Record” (photos)
“Endurance Queen!” (photos)
1928, Jun 8 - Sued
1928, Oct - Sets Record
1929 - Gone fishin’
1930, Feb - Teaching Excercise In Miami
1930, Apr - Chicago/Detroit
1930, May - Detroit/Milwaukee/Pittsburgh
1930, June - Baltimore/New York
From a column that appeared all over the country, including Honolulu. Full of nonsense. For instance, the author (Frank Getty) writes that Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to cross the English Channel “after weeks of training.” He also implies that Schoemmell made a killing from her public appearances and swims.
Battery to Coney Island (photos)
on Joe Copps, Lottie Schoemmell’s promoter (about Ohio)
End B.V.D. Tour???
1930, Jul-Aug - Working at Lake George
1935-1937 - Teaching swimming in Miami
1945, Working in Houston
1946, May - Splash Day 5-Mile Race in Galveston
$150 Prize For Women Added (April)
Friday: “Gulf Swim Sunday”
Saturday: “22 Aquatics Set for Marathon”
Monday: Race Results and Pier Collapse
1946, Jun - Teaching swimming in Biloxi
1955 - Physiotherapist
1959 - Harold Schoemmell Meets Diane Struble And Sets Her Straight
“Diane Struble Swims Around Manhattan” (Philadelphia Inquirer)
“She Swims Around Manhattan” (NY Herald Tribune)
1962, May - Planning Catalina attempt
Says she’s 62. According to 1900 and 1910 U.S. censuses, though, she’s about 67.
1966, Aug - Dies in Miss.
Start of the Wrigley Catalina race, January 16, 1927. Lottie Schoemmell unwraps on the left. Via Chattanooga Times Free Press.
I am indebted to Ray Bellande of the Ocean Springs Archives for his interest in Lotty Schoemmell, for discovering many of the articles above, and for unearthing Schoemmell’s “Swimmingly Yours” BVD publicity photo.