Sunday, March 22, 2020

1893 Journal of an Opera House, possibly in Maine or New Brunswick

1893 journal that recorded talent bookings and expenses for what appears to be an opera house, possibly in Maine or New Brunswick.

There are no direct clues in the journal to the locale, other than names and the fact several of the performers happened to be appearing in Maine and/or New Brunswick close to the date of their booking.  For example:
  • Tyrone Power Sr. [as he is known, but he was actually a Jr.], the British-born father of the American actor of the same name, appeared in at least two venues in New Brunswick in June of 1893. One of the pages notes a cancelled booking for June 27, 1893.
  • The future performance of Frederick Bryton is mentioned in the Courier-Gazette of Rockland, Maine, issue of June 20, 1893.  The journal notes several books for Bryton in late July.
  • The Louise Hamilton Company, according to a mention in the Courier-Gazette of Rockland, Maine, issue of July 4, 1893, which would make the performance in late June of 1893.  The journal notes a booking on July 24, 1893.

Fifty Years in Theatrical Management, written by Michael Bennett Leavitt and published in 1912, contains information on several of the touring companies and performers mentioned in the journal.

The bookings reflect the touring acts of the era, including:
  • the Lillian Tucker Company - numerous performances in May of 1893
  • magician and ventriloquist Zera the Great - Zera Babel Semon
  • Billy Burke Comedians
  • the Shepard family
  • Lucius Minstrels
  • Perkins Jubilee Singers
  • Dan McCarthy and his play "True Irish Hearts", which was staged mostly in the northern US and in Canada
  • Tyrone Power Sr.
See a full list farther below.

The several pages of "Cash Account" entries might jog a reader's memory.

If you have  theory as to what opera house this might be, or if you have information on any of the people mentioned below, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

Names mentioned in the Journal, in order - although some appear multiple times throughout the journal:
  • Lillian Tucker Co.; multiple references.  Possible information here.
  • J. S. Campbell; multiple references
  • Dames Co. or Davies Co.
  • Stetson - "Uncle Tom's Cabin".  See a poster of a performance, no date or location.
  • Lucius Minstrels
  • A. P. Gilligan, or A. T. Gilligan - "Jed Prouty"
  • School Ex., presumably School Commencement
  • George H. Turner, English Opera Company
  • Charles Banks, Dance
  • Tyrone Power - Tyrone Power Sr., the actor father of the famous American actor
  • Prof. Harrington
  • Prof. Gardner
  • Greenlaw & Bowman
  • Sparring Exhibition
  • Zera Semon; multiple references. Vaudeville ventriloquist and magician "Zera the Great": Zera Babel Semon (1847-1901)  More information here.
  • Louise Hamilton - presumably the Louise Hamilton Company
  • Bryton Dramatic Company; multiple references; presumably Frederick Bryton
  • Muldoon
  • Unitarian Society - multiple references
  • Pat Moloney
  • Billy Burke Comedians
  • Leavitt's Burlesque Company; multiple references
  • Holmes for Good Templars
  • John C. Fox - "My Aunt Sally"
  • Shepard Family
  • Patterson Dance; multiple references
  • H. Price Webber of the Boston Comedy Company.  
  • Perkins Jubilee Singers
  • Dan McCarthy and his play "True Irish Hearts", which was staged mostly in the northern US and in Canada. Mentioned in here.
  • Sine Dance ?
  • C. S. P. Union Dance - multiple references
  • Reno & Ford - "Squire Haskins"; a New England comedy drama
  • Can Makers B Assn Dance -  presumably Can Makes Benevolent Association
  • Catholic Society '94 (future booking)
  • K of P. Uniform Rank - '94 (future booking)
  • M. White
  • Mealey - payment for labor
  • Turners English Sports - Profs Harrington and Gardner - see separate listings
  • Wallace Hopper
  • S. Frost
  • Frontier Guards
  • Father O'Dowd

Thanks for stopping by!  

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