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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
December 17, 1998     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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December 17, 1998

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8 SPIRIT OF JEFFERSON Farmer's ADVOCATE - Thursday, December 17, 1998 Engagements Weddings Announcements Phone 725-2046 By Elizabeth Frater Allen The Silver Anniversary season of the Old Opera House Theatre began with a reprise of "Play It Again, Sam" and ended with the brilliant production of "The King and I". The reception honoring Dixie Kilham on opening night brought many of those who had worked so hard helping rescue this magnificent old building together for a reunion All those who at- tend this theater should appreciate their tbresight and dedication. The historic building was given to the Old Opera House Theatre Company in May of 1973 by Mr and Mrs. Augustine Todd. Mrs. Annie Packette (mother of Mrs. Todd) and a direct line de- scendant of Charles Washington, wanted a center for the arts in Jefferson County. She raised $50,000 and in 1910 commissioned a Washington, D.C architect, T.E. Mullett, to construct the New Op- era House, and, if your interests didn't run to the arts, a bowling al- ley next door. The first show presented Febru- ary 11, 1911, at the New Opera House was a comedy by "home,tal- ent" and proceeds went to the Daughters of the Confederacy for the benefit of indigent Confederate veterans. That same week, Mrs. Hanibal Williams, "noted literary artist and Shakespearian inter- preter", gave a recital at the New Opera House. Mrs. Packette's cen- The "Old Fashioned Christmas Sing-A-Long" directed by Mary E. Anderson, scheduled for this Fri- day night at the Old Opera House at 7:30 p.m is a "sellout" and promises to reveal some new and shining stars to the OOH stage. It is suggested that anyone needing to pick up tickets at the door do so early to avoid confusion and congestion in the lobby. As announced earlier, West Vir- ginia Senator Robert C. Byrd has accepted an invitation to perform for this occasion. Joining him on stage will be the Asbury United Methodist Church Choir, the Rusty Hinges Quartet, Sarah Manuel, Laura Keeton, Anne Portrey, Bar- bara Stenger, Guy Frank, Joe Mayer, Marty Kable, Roger Perry, Randy Hilton, Dr. Robert Webb, Francina Stonesifer, Fonda Jack- son, Barbara Benner, Mary Ann Hammann, Richard Neal, Teresa McCabe, Katie, Addle and J.B. Crawford and Catherine Royka. The Old Opera House is grate- ful for the continued support and hours of talent given to the com- munity by Mary Elionor Anderson over the last two decades. ter for the arts was on its way. While the use of "opera house" as a name lent a sense of dignity, operas were hardly the focus. Through the years, the New Opera House was used for wmdeville, town meetings, silent movies, po- litical conventions, religious speakers, a prize fight, church ser- vices, basketball practice, "talldes" in 1929, and, in its dying days, it had a short run as a food distribu- tion center. After the movie house closed, it was years before the local commu- nity became involved in the rescue of the abandoned Opera House. Condemned in 1958, the old build- ing stood only as a ff)rgotten hit of yesteryear, deteriorating and use- less. The owners agreed to the cleaning of the structure and arousing community interest in a theatre. It took a year of back- breaking labor to clear the audit()- rium. No one could be certain in 1973, when Mr. and Mrs. Augustine Toad generously donated the land and building, that live theatre would ever again fill the 28-foot high proscenium stage The years had taken a toll on the structure The root' leaked badly, hundreds of pi- geons used the building as a roost, the floor was precarious, windows were missing, wiring and plumb- ing were virtually unusable. A start was made even before the theatre itself could be used. The first show, "Sandburg in the Park", was produced in the spring of 1973 at the Jefferson Memorial Park in Charles Town. The fi)llow- ing show was staged at Wright Denny Elementary School audito- rium. In 1974, the former pool hall adjacent to the Opera House audi- torium, was converted to a threequarter round, 90 seat: the- atre so that, productions could be- gin while work was being done on the main auditoriurn next door. In addition to its bowling alley and pool hall days, the building had been a bar, a place for a spot of gambling, a restaurant, and a flower shop. But in 1974 it became a theatre, and it was a splendiqt moment for many when "Play It Again, Sam" opened in the Theatre Workshop. "My Fair Lady" was the production that brought up the curtain at the Old Opera House at: ter 25 years of darkness. Community involvement, nur- tured by continued Old Opera House successes, continues. Fund- ing has come from individuals, l(> cal organizations, some tram gov- ernmental sources and foundation grants. In 1976 the Old Opera House Theatre Guild was started and lends assistance in many ways. The Op Shop, run exclusively by volunteers, is a special project of the Old Opera House Theatre Guild, offering items of clothing and household goods for sale. Ar- ticles to be sold are accepted either on consignment or by donation, and lhe profits go toward the reno- w~tion of the Old Opera House. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gregory Lance Pamela S. Kisner, R. Gregory Lance Married November 15th Pamela Shiner Kisner and Robert Gregory Lance were united in marriage on November 15 in a ceremony at Cress (;reek (}()If and Country Club in Shepherdstown. The Rev. James Chambly, pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church, performed the ceremony. The bride is the daughter of Eugene I). Shiner and Mary Frances (iaynm; of Charles Town, and the groom is the son of ()live Nelle I,ance, of Ransom and the late James Kelley Lance. Bridesmaids were Tiffany l,eigh I,ance and Natalie Brooke Kisner and best man for the nuptials was l)ouglas Lance. The groomsman was Larry Rufther, ,Jr. Serving as ring bearer was Kaden ,Joseph Hopfer, grandson of the bride, and the flower girl was Emily Elizabeth Dillow, niece of the bride. Tara IZdsner Hopfer, daughter of the bride, attended the guest: book. A reception followed the ceremony at Cress (;reek. The bride is an optician at Pearle Vision in Frederick, Md and the groom is with Wyeth Laboratories. He currently is president of the Jefferson County Commission. Mr. and Mrs. Lance arc residing at 428 South Samuel Street in Charles Town. The November meeting of the Mecklenburg Homemakers Exten- sion Club was held at the home of Reva Kave with ten members and one guest present. President Jean Eberhardt opened the meeting by leading the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. Agnes Tabler pre- sented devotions reading "Happi- ness" from Ideals. During the business meeting Gretchen Weigel discussed the Bloodmobile to be held at the Shepherdstown Fire Department. Lee Small, Charles and Keitha LeMaster, Joanne Parker and Jean Eberhardt volunteered to work. The members picked the menu for the dinner at the Clarion Hotel for the December meeting, President Eberhardt reviewed the minutes of the October County Council meeting stating that the Press Book received a Blue Ribbon at Jackson's Mill; that the new name of the State organization will be West Virginia Educational Outreach Service; that Homemak- ers Cookbooks are available from the County Office. She stated that at the January meeting of the Council the County Constitution will be changed. Members are asked to call Wallis Ann Magaha if they are interested in serving on the revision committee. Eberhardt announced that the 50th anniversary of the Folk Fes- tival will be held at Glenville on June 20. The Club members de- cided to send a donation to the West Virginia University Founda- tion for the Guatemala project for school desks. Due to health reasons, Jean Eberhardt resigned as president of the club for 1999. Agnes Tabler was elected president and Jean Scott was elected vice president for 1999. After adjournment of the business meeting, member Joanne Parker instructed the members in nmking boxwood trees. Dues for the 1999 club year will be collected at the December meeting which will be held at the Clarion Hotel, Give the United Way 1st Star at Old Opera Honors the late Dixie Pictured, left to right, above, on each side of the first unveiled at the 25th Silver Anniversary Reception in menmry D. Kilham are Blanch ,lames, John C. Newcomer, Anita Brown C. Master and William E. Morgan. The Board of Directors of the Old Opera House Theatre the Old Opera House Theatre Guild and the Op Shop hosted al tion prior to the opening night of "The King and I" to honor people who were instrmnental in restoring the Old Opera for keeping the theatre thriving fbr tim past. 25 years. A special tribute was made to honor the late Dixie I). Master, honorary chairman of the anniversary celelwation, how it all began more than 25 years ago and how Mr. sioned what the theatre was to become. Anita Brown plaque and William E. Morgan read the tbllowing inscription: q Opera House Theatre (Jompany 1998, 25th Anniversary Year, ing 'First Star' Dixie D. Kilham, Cominunity The evening honored the contributions and hard work that made the past 25 years possible. Following the rece 250 patrons saw the opening night presentation of "The directed by Williain E. Morgan. Jean Hartgroves, member of the ()()H Board and president Theatre Guild, chaired the committee organizing the tribute ception. SHANNONDALE WOMEN'S CLUB The Shannondale Women's Club met Thursday, December 3, in the dining room of the Shan- nondale Clubhouse with 34 mem- bers present. Lillian Viana discussed the decorations of the ballroom for the dinner dance on Saturday, Decem- ber 5. Gall Tapper, corresponding secretary, reported on cards sent and received and led the group in singing Happy Birthday to mem- bers with Tapper, bazaar chair the past two years, a: that Ellie Leathers year's chairman. nounced members of the 1 ing committee for 1999: per, Stormy Steed, and Bertye Riecks. Dottle Gillwald re delivery Ridge Elementary week. Members exchanged gifts and enjoyed lunch SPECIALS: Specializing in Seafood I Resmations Stuffed Trout wl Champagne Sauce Jack Daniel's Honey Crusted Rack of Lamb Prime Rib Au Jus You can purchase a Gift Certificate with $50 face value for $40 until 12/23/98 OPEN "rue. thru Sun. 11 A.M. 1270 Washington St. Bolivar/Harpers Ferry Reservations Recommended MaJer Credit CanlsAccepted Kabletown CEO Club Meeting The Kabletown CEO Service Club met November 19. Ten mem- bers and one guest completed the filling of ditty bags with toilet ar- ticles and candy canes and tied with red ribbon. They will be dis- tributed at a rest home for Christ- mas. Peggy Price helped members make doves, angels and decorated the Christmas notes. Helen Dailey hosted the meet- ing and for devotions used the 100th Psalm and a poem "Thank You God For Everything." She closed with prayer after members voiced things they were thankful for, Jolene Stanton chaired the meeting in the absence of the president. She reported donations will be forwarded to the "Commu- nity Bathroom Project", "Opera- tion Santa Claus", "Lite-a-Lite" for Hospice, "Warm the Children" and "The Boys and Girls Center." Peggy Price reported on "Stitching With Mary", the club Mary DeFries, started at the Se- nior Center. They meet every Wednesday and anyone is wel- come. Call Peggy for more inibr- mation. ON THE POTOMAC SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV Don't Miss Our Annual Gala BY ADVANCE RESERVATIONS ONLY Starts at 9:30 PM (Regular New Year's Dinner Served from 5 to 7 PM) SPECIAL NEW YEAR'S MENU INCLUDES Shrimp Cocktail * Festive House Salad Filet Mignon "Bouquettiere"or Grilled Filet of Salmon New Year's Eve Parfait, Coffee For Advance Reservations Please Call: (304) 876-2551 All Major Credit Cards Accepted