Martha “Wenonah” Learn — Vaudeville performer, San Antonio business woman, and treasure hunter.  She knew Harry Houdini.  For a few years she performed a rattle snake dance on the stage.  Spent the last 13 years of her life living in a shack near the mine site.  She, one of the most interesting women that Texas ever produced, is buried in an unmarked grave in the Menard cemetery.  The Menard museum (open Saturday afternoons) has some of her artifacts.


She was featured in a book by Gene Fowler, Mavericks A Gallery of Texas Characters. That book seems to have focused exclusively on her vaudeville snake act.  The source of Mr. Fowler’s information was apparently drawn from the notes of a San Antonio photographer who took some publicity photographs of her.  He seems to have confused her name with that of her daughter. Wenonah’s stage career only lasted a few years and was but a small part of her fascinating life.

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