Source: North Manchester Journal, October 21, 1880

A brief visit and close observation of the job of plastering just completed in Hamilton's Opera Hall will serve to convince the most particular judges of work that Mr. John Monfort, who has just finished the work is "no slouch" plasterer. When it comes to fancy and ornamental finish, Mr. M. is right in his element. The walls at the Opera bear a handsome dressed stone finish, nicely penciled, while overhead it is a most beautiful snow white. Mr. Monfort's ability and skill as a plasterer demands recognition among the first in this branch of mechanical industry and advanced skill.

Source: North Manchester Journal, December 2, 1880

The Townsend Troupe, who are to entertain our people with Dramatic representations at the dedication of the new Opera Hall next Monday evening, the 6th, were in our city last Saturday, between trains, on their way from Wabash to Columbia City, and while here visited the new Hall. The company present a very fine appearance. We had the pleasure of a brief acquaintance with Richard III, Harry Townsend, and think him fully qualified for the rendition of this character in an acceptable manner.

Source: North Manchester Journal, December 16, 1880

The regular course of Lectures under the auspices of the North Manchester Lecture Association was opened at the Opera House Friday evening with the lecture by Gen. Joseph H. Geiger, entitled "Snapping Turtles--Natural and Human". About 150 season tickets were sold and were represented respectively at the first Lecture besides a large number of reserve seat and single tickets. The hall was filled with not only the largest but most respectable audience yet addressed in this place by any lecturer, on any subject, and that would have done credit to a much larger place than North Manchester. All in attendance were highly entertained and well pleased with Mr. Geiger's lecture, and give credit for all that is said of it.

Source: North Manchester Journal, December 23, 1880

As has been already advertised by posters, Josh Billings, the wide famed humorist, will deliver the second lecture of the course under the management of the Manchester Lecture Association, at the Opera House on Monday evening, 27th. Subject: "The Probabilities of Life." The simple announcement of Josh Billings in this place is enough to fill the hall.

Source: North Manchester Journal, November 19, 1885

Hamilton's New Opera House.

It is now definitely known that Hamilton's opera house, recently destroyed by fire, will be rebuilt and fitted up as a first-class theatre though nothing more than enclosing and plastering the building will be done this fall. When this is done Mr. Hamilton will open a skating rink in it which will be continued through the winter and as much longer as is profitable. In repairing the damages done by the fire the architecture of the front will be changed somewhat and a gothic gable put on instead of the former style of mansard front. The words "Opera House" in large letters will be emblazoned on the front and when completed, from what we have been able to judge by the description given us, it will present a handsomer and more attractive appearance than the old building. Next summer he intends refitting the inside and as he has plenty of time in which to make up his mind he has not decided exactly in what manner he will finish it. At any rate we can say that its appointments will be much better than the old ones and as complete and costly as the town will need or afford. The stage will be larger and the lighting and seating much better arranged than was the case in the past. Truly this is good news to the people of North Manchester. The true worth of the opera house was never appreciated by many of our people until the night of the fire when they saw it swiftly devoured by the destroying element and were powerless to save it. We think the new one will be more highly prized and the public spirit of Mr. Hamilton in building such a structure better appreciated by everyone than it was at first. In rebuilding it Manager Hamilton will have the experience of the past to aid him and without a doubt a better hall both for public and private convenience will be arranged. The new opera house will be opened in about a year. After a year's rest our people will accord a more generous patronage to companies that visit the place, and especially so if they are deserving. In this connection we cannot refrain from extending a little gratuitous advice to Manager Hamilton about the selection of his attractions. Although the opera house has never been a paying investment we believe as much money and vastly more satisfaction to the public can be realized by securing better attractions, although they be fewer in number and farther between. When our play goers can be assured that a company is worthy of their patronage and that every company is a good one, they will turn out liberally and freely. Under the old regime they grew distrustful and the consequences were that a good company met with a very chilling reception because a very poor snap had just preceded it. Let this course be followed out and a first-class company secured for the opening night, and the new opera house will be a success.

Source: North Manchester Journal, October 7, 1886

While the new buildings are in process of erection on east Main street we would like to call the attention of the owners of the property to the fact that the place is more or less dangerous to passers-by after night and every precaution should be used to prevent accident. People who are used to passing by on that street do not think of the torn-up condition it is in at present and are liable to take a step that may break a limb or otherwise injure them and the result would be a suit for damages against the town. We speak of this for the reason that we have heard a number of persons talk in the same vein.


Source: North Manchester Journal, January 6, 1887

At present nothing except the "Soldiers of the Union" is booked at the opera house. Manager Hamilton will give the public a short season of rest.

...Thad P. Varney arrived in the city yesterday to prepare for the second presentation of "A Soldier of the Union" which will take place Saturday evening. The admission will be 10 and 20 cents and we predict a crowded house. Mr. Varney is a whole show himself and will prove a drawing card. The cast is the same as before.

...Chas. S. Davidson in "Hans, the German Detective" has written for a date at the opera house for the 25th. The play is well spoken of by the press and Mr. Davidson is said to be a good actor.

...The musical soiree to be given by Miss Maud Quivey and her class, will take place at the opera house, on Wednesday evening, January 19th, 1887. Besides Miss Quivey and her class the Misses Nellie and Hattie Eichholtz and Jessie Townsend, and Mr. J.A. Browne will assist in filling the programme, which will consist of a literary as well as a musical performance. The net proceeds of the entertainment will be given to Miss Quivey. The performance promises to be a treat seldom witnessed in the city, and as the price of admission is low, we predict a large audience.

Source: North Manchester Journal, September 22, 1887

The Standard Theater Company, a very good organization, supporting Walter Lawrence and Helen Vaughn, who in private life is Mrs. Lawrence, began its engagement at the Opera-house Monday night, but so far has played to many more empty chairs than the company deserves. ...

Source: North Manchester Journal, January 5, 1893

Gorton's minstrels appeared at the opera house last Saturday evening in an excellent programme of minstrelsy. Nearly every feature was new and every performer an artist. There were several things worthy of special notice had we the space devoted to a lengthy mention. The house was one of the best at any performance this season.

Source: North Manchester Journal, January 12, 1893

Luck was against the Villa company in the "World Against Her" last week and they relieved their feelings by indulging in a vigorous "kick" about the accommodations at the opera house. The company missed its train somewhere on the way here and had to take a freight train which did not arrive until time for the theatre to open. The consequence was that there was a small audience and a rather poor performance. The company seemed to expect a metropolitan opera house to play in and were very unreasonable in their demands. Hamilton's Opera house is as well equipped as any country theatre and will compare very favorably with houses in towns much larger, the Villa Company to the contrary notwithstanding.

Source: North Manchester Journal, January 11, 1894

The Mandolin Club will give a dance at the opera house tomorrow night.

Source: North Manchester Journal, January 25, 1894

The Mandolin club gave a very pleasant and successful dance last Friday night at the opera house. Some twenty couples were present and enjoyed themselves until a late hour. Supper was served at Newt's cafe and was one of the nicest spreads ever gotten up in the city. The tables were nicely set and the menu elaborate. Altogether both dance and supper was a great success.

Source: North Manchester Journal, January 11, 1894

The Saxton Sisters Concert Co., with ladies' brass band and orchestra, is booked at the opera house for Jan. 29.
...Everybody should get ready to attend the play of "Fate" for charity at the opera house in about two weeks.
..."Fate" is a fine play, full of humor and it will be well presented by home talent. There should be a large patronage.

Source: North Manchester Journal, January 18, 1894

F.M. Wolf of St. Louis, has been in the city for a week past painting an advertising drop curtain for the opera house. It is a very handsome piece of work and contains advertisements of a number of businessmen. The centre piece is a scene on the bay of Naples and altogether it shows Mr. Wolf to be a very good artist and is an attractive ornament to the opera house.

Source: North Manchester Journal, December 13, 1894

People who like to see a good show should go and see the  Burglar tonight and they will not be disappointed. We venture the prediction that it will be the best play of the season and as such should have a good house. The company appeared at Peru Monday night and this is what the Daily Chronicle has to say of them the next day: "People who failed to visit the opera house last night missed one of the best performances ever given by a theatrical company in this city. The Burglar is a drama of more than ordinary interest and there is not a weak place in its entire construction. The plot of the play has been referred to in these columns before. The company handling the Burglar is composed of some of the best people in the theatrical profession and it is a shame that they were compelled to exhibit their talents to a mere handful of people only. The company should be secured for a return date and a packed house should greet them."

Source: North Manchester Journal, July 20, 1905

Emergency Exit to be Put in Opera House.

The managers of the Hamilton opera house are arranging to conform with the orders of the factory inspector by putting up an outside stairway of iron which can be used in case of fire, or of a stampede. The stairway will be put on the east side of the house, and the south window on that side will be cut down even to floor, making a door of it. The stairway must be three feet wide, and constructed according to specifications furnished by the inspection department. They also have under contemplation the enlarging of the house. The wall under the gallery will be cut out, and the hall proper will be extended back to the head of the present stairway.

The Kinzie comedy company, which has played here for two years during fair week, has been engaged for this season. This is a good company and has always given good satisfaction.

Source: North Manchester Journal, September 15, 1910

Coming, "The National Troubadours."
Arrangements have been made with F.L. Fluke, of Chicago, for the "Troubadours" to be put on at the opera house Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, September 20 and 21. It will be played under the direction of Miss Line and Miss Deckard, of Chicago, and the proceeds will benefit the Pythian sisters. Fifty little children in white and gold costumes as butterflies and fairies and fifty young ladies in the costumes of the nations in colors, choruses, drills, musical and character sketches will produce one of the finest home talent entertainments ever staged here. The costumes and music for the play are furnished by the directors. Seats will be on sale Monday morning at nine o'clock at Burdge's book store.

Source: North Manchester Journal, April 30, 1914


William Hatfield announces that he has now finished remodeling the entrance to the opera house so that it now comes up to the requirements laid down by the state inspector. A number of other changes have been made in the interior of the building in the last two months. The rear wall beneath the balcony has been torn out throwing the narrow hall beneath the balcony into the main room.

A stairway has been built on the east side of the room leading to the balcony so that there are now two stairways. Two exits have been cut in the east wall and one at the rear providing in all four means of getting out of the house. Mr. Hatfield still has some other changes to make and yesterday had a deputy state fire inspector here to consult with him in order that he could be sure of not making a change in conflict with the state laws.

He says that as soon as the work of remodeling is completed North Manchester will have an opera house which will be as safe in case of fire as any in the state.