Era Coming To An End For Cold Spring Opera House
COLD SPRING (WJON News) -- It's the end of an era for one old building in Cold Spring. Built in 1885 the Cold Spring Opera House is scheduled to be torn down this year. The building hosted Vaudeville Acts, Minstrel Shows, dances, and more up until 1932. From 1932 until the mid 1990s it was home to a hardware and a heating and air conditioning business. The Stearns History Museums's John Decker says until the schools were built in Cold Spring the opera house was the place to be:
"This place was actually a social gathering place for a lot, up until the 30's or 20's. When the schools were built, it kind of moved over to the schools but this place before 1920 was the hopping place in town, you know if you we're gonna have a dance, if you we're gonna have any type of you know event there that's the place that you would go."
In 1884, Marcus Maurin led a group of 6 other businessmen who invested in the opera house in order to build it. Decker says the opera house was used for almost everything:
"They had the arts. You had the across the board drama, music they had card,, they had state tournaments or card games there. The Scott Tournaments were there before the grade schools were open, the grade school and high school were built, so I mean it kind of went across the board for everything."
Decker says Marcus Maurin invested a lot in the Cold Spring community and besides the opera house, he had a business and helped bring the Catholic Church to Cold Spring. He says the railroad being nearby played a big part in the opera house's success because South of it was an elevator and a mill. Decker says the Opera House featured a variety of acts:
"They had mostly local groups but they did have people coming, some of them, I know they did Rosa von Tannenburg which was a big German opera at that time, and this is German Cold Spring so and this was also in German so you had to know the language in the 19th Century."
Decker says the last event held in the opera house was the George and Bobby Theisen wedding dance in 1932 The opera house has been located at 318 1st Street South in Cold Spring since it was built.
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