The History of Taylor County Chapter Three Hundred-Forty-Eight

Movies Come to Grafton

Frank Holland’s romantic drama “The Lily and the Prince” drew a fair-sized audience to the Opera House November 18, 1907. This play whose title dealing with the romance of love affairs of a highborn and aristocratic ruler of an imaginary principality and a maiden of lowly rank. The play was admirably acted and the plot cleverly written.

Machinist’s Union No. 618 entertained their members, wives and friends Eddie grand ball and Brinkman Hall November 21, 1907. Charles D. Powell acted as ballet master at this affair and called figures in the quadrille numbers at which he was a master. He saw to it that none lacked for a partner and that all present had a most enjoyable time period Vincent orchestra provided the music for the evening.

The Mountain State lumber company established a mill at Fetterman for producing building materials to supply the demand for company contracts for homes and other building under contract and in progress of construction. Edward Glenn was in charge of operations of the mill.

Edward R. Salters production “Nip and Tuck,” a comedy drama came to the Opera House November 23, 1907, ended fairly well and please those in attendance.

Mr. A. Belt least the Compton room on West Main Street and fitted it with appliances to produce moving pictures. He nailed up his sign above the front proclaiming the best feature pictures on the screen at this new amusement house.

Mr C. S. Williams’s production entitled “The Arrival of Kitty,”  set this play with an unusual title to the Opera House November 23, 1907 and while the plate and cast were pleasing it failed to draw a very large audience into the house but those who witnessed the comedy drama were highly amused at its witty and sparkly play.

Grafton lodge No .308 held their annual lodge of sorrow and the Opera House Sunday, December 3, 1907. Two members, Charles A. Faust and James W. Jacobs died within the year. The roll call of deceased members revealed that 19 had passed away since the organization of the order and the virtues and good deeds they performed under the spreading antlers of elk dumb works trolled at this service.

Mr. Jules Murray, in New York theatrical producer sent his fine college play at Yale to the Opera House December 4, 1907. This production carrying all the scenic and property effects gave a fine performance to an overflowing house. The musical numbers were very tuneful and voice is excellent.

The family of Nathaniel Hefner of West Grafton, sincerely mourned the passing of the wife and fine mother of his family who died December 1, 1907. She, with her husband came to Grafton in the early 70s and established their home on West Main Street on the site occupied by the residents of the late Lafayette Ward. Mr. Hefner secured employment and the transportation department of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, a position he maintained until retirement. Weed Hefner, the eldest son attended the old Central School on Wolford St and during vacation time was employed as a printer on the Grafton Sentinel.

Nixon in Zimmerman, theatrical producer sent the big musical comedy, “Miss Bob White,” to the Opera House December 10, 1907. The work of Lee McClure and Frank Deshon was very clever and added greatly to the enjoyment of the evening. Miss Loris Scarsdale as Miss Bob White was exceptionally clever as the leading lady and her singing and acting was delightful. Frank Deshon who did the comedy part in Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera, “Pinafore 2” which came to the Opera House in 1886 Speaking of an incident in Grafton said. “With A party of young sports of those days we visited some of the speaker sees a long old railroad St and while the party was making whoopie of the 80s the town constable rated the joint. It would never do for me to have been caught in the raid as I had no understudy to fill in my part in the opera and making this known to the young sports, when the constable force was and entrance the sports surrounded him and permitted me to escape and leave with the company on the following morning. I often wondered what happened to the young fellows who were with me that night and if any were living, I would like to meet and thank them for what they did for me.” On being told that all were either dead or had departed for other fields he expressed his sorrow for the dead and hoped that some time to come into contact with the living during his engagements with this and other productions with which he might be connected.

Not many recall the warm beautiful Christmas Day of 1907. It seemed more like a June play than one in late December. Practically the entire town attended church services to celebrate the birth of the Redeemer. The skating rink over in West Grafton glided over the floor to the music of Vincent band. The casino, Amuse U. and the Opera House should feature pictures during the afternoon and evening. Henry and Mamie Pracht entertained their dancing schools in friends in brinkman hall and distributed presents from two large Christmas trees to their guests during the event.


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