Local History Collections

Collection ID: LH-MSS
Location: LH-MSS

(Description ID: 594704)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums

Fremont [Ohio] Opera House


Agency History
Scope and Content

The collection of programs was donated to the Hayes Presidential Center in 1986 by the Birchard Public Library, Fremont, Ohio.

Agency History
The Fremont Opera House was erected at State and Arch Streets in Fremont, Ohio, in 1890. Its construction was financed by sixty shareholders, who raised an estimated $30,000. The three-story brick structure was designed by Fremont architect J. C. Johnson, one of the Midwest’s most prominent Victorian architects. Local businessmen Samuel Brinkerhoff, Frank Heim, William Haynes, and Fred Fabing were the principal stockholders and directors of the company. The building was considered by many to be the finest structure of its kind between Cleveland and Toledo, Ohio, and for many years was one of Fremont’s principal landmarks. Total capacity was 1,380. On January 15, 1891, the opera house opened with Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic opera "The Gondoliers." During its heyday, operas, musicals, minstrel shows, dramas, melodramas, comedies and variety shows were performed on its stage. The Fremont Opera House attracted a number of national and international stars. Gertrude Andrews, Effie Ellsher, Kathryn Kidder, Lewis Morrison, Robertal Matell, John Philip Sousa and Victor Herbert were but a few of the entertainers who performed at the Fremont Opera House.

During the 1920s, the Fremont Opera House became the Fremont Theater. Carl F. Miller became its proprietor and manager. For the last twenty years of its existence, the building remained vacant. In the late 1950s, Fremont attorney Henry Stahl sold the property to Liberty National Bank The Fremont Opera House was razed prior to the new bank’s construction, which began in October, 1959.

Scope and Content
The collection contains twenty-one theater programs from performances held at the Fremont Opera House March 26, 1892 - December 13, 1897. In addition to providing information about the performances, the programs also contain advertisements from various Fremont merchants. For a complete history of the Fremont Opera House, see A History of the Opera House at Fremont, Ohio, From 1890 to 1900 by Lee Miesle in the Library Reading Room.

Ac. 4964
21 pieces

March 26, 1892                "St. Marc, the Soldier of Fortune"
March 31, 1892                "Master Chas.Carter"
October 10, 1892             "Fritz in Ireland"
November 22, 1892          "Nelson’s Great World Comedy Co."
December 12, 1892          "The Vagabond"
December 13, 1892          "Polly and I"
December 17, 1892          "Falsely Accused"
December 28, 1892          Crawford Bros. Minstrels
March 20, 1893                "My Aunt Sally"
April 5, 1893                     "Er ist Baron!"
May 18, 1893                   "Oh! What A Night"
November 27, 1893          "Rip Van Winkle"
January 5, 1894                 "Robin Hood"
February 21, 1894             "Doris"
March 17, 1894                 "Faust"
1894-1895 Season, #24    "Devil’s Auction or the Golden Branch"
1894-1895 Season, #26    "Hamlet"
1894-1895 Season, #30    "Chimes of Normandy"
1894-1895 Season, #34    "Bohemian Girl"
December 13, 1897           "My Friend from India"
June 17, 1897                    "Our Domestic"