Zarate may well be the smallest adult in recorded history. She toured
with the Barnum Circus, and throughout Europe
her family and the Mite family.
Lucia was one midget
who didn’t need to exaggerate how small she was. Billed as
the Mexican Lilliputian, she was easily one of the tiniest people who
ever lived. She was also
one of the largest drawing cards and highest paid human oddities of
her time, with museums
averaging seven hundred dollars a week during her engagements. Earning
as much as twenty dollars
per hour, Lucia accumulated a small fortune including enough to purchase
her own ranch near
Chihuahua, in her native Mexico. Quite an accomplishment given her relatively
Born in 1864, in San Carlos, Mexico, Lucia weighed eight ounces and
was only seven inches
long. At the age of twelve Lucia came to the United States accompanied
by her father, an
interpreter, and an attendant. By this time she reportedly weighed 5
pounds and was 20 inches
tall. Her arms were eight inches long with her waist being just fourteen
In her promotions, the famous Tom Thumb was described as being a "Giant"
compared to her. One
museum even offered the prize of a diamond ring to any baby who could
wear the same size ring.
This "Wonderful Mexican Pigmy" was billed as being "perfect
in form and feature." Modern
writings describe her as bright, animated and intelligent. A more likely
circumstance is that of
an 1890 report describing her as "wizened, wrinkled, and extremely
ugly." Her mind being
"underdeveloped" and being "unable to talk except on
the most ordinary topics." Close
examination of her photos reveals a very homely looking woman at best.
Lucia’s career came to an end in 1890 on her way to an engagement
in San Francisco. In the
mountains of the Sierra Nevada, near Truckee, California, the train
she was traveling on became
stalled due to blizzards and heavy snow. It took a week for the train
to be dug out, but
tragically, in the interim, the frail little woman died of exposure.
showhistory.com contributor Elizabeth Anderson,
Lucia died in 1889 and had a sister Evangelina
in 1878-- 14 years her junior, Evangelina
after her sister Lucia's death.
seeking more information and photos of Evangelina.
~ Photo above
courtesy Gerald Drewicz