“Chin Chin” – Colonial Theatre – Pittsfield, MA – 15 May 1920.

Donna Montran and “Chin Chin” play at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA, on 15 May 1920.

Vaudeville
Chin Chin
Donna Montran

“Chin Chin” played at the Bennington, Vermont, Opera House on May 13th and the Empire Theater in North Adams on the 14th. Then the show moved the 20 miles south to play at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA on Saturday, the 15th.

Advertising for the show began on the 8th of May with an ad showing “Chin Chin” would be coming for “One Night Only” on May 15th. On the 10th, a quick little note said, “’Chin Chin’ at Colonial – Manager Raymond has booked Charles Dillingham’s ‘Chin Chin,’ with Walter Wills and Ray Binder for the Colonial Saturday night.”

The Berkshire Eagle reported Monday, after the show:

The Berkshire Eagle – May 17, 1920

“Chin Chin” with Walter Wills and Roy Binder in the leading roles played to a good-sized audience at the Colonial theatre Saturday evening. It was the second one night stand in two days despite this that there was a large attendance. Like other Dillingham shows it was a wonderful production.

The play is a modern version of the famous old Arabian Nights tale of “Aladdin, or the Wonderful Lamp.” Messrs. Wills and Binder become a couple of Chinamen who have more or less adventures in the pursuit of the lamp which brought its possessor all kinds of happiness. The musical numbers were very sweet and catchy.

Among the many features in this gigantic show are the Teddy Bear dance, Tom Brown’s Saxophone band, a real circus tent with an honest-to-goodness big white circus horse circling around the ring, while Mlle. Falloffski performs the most daring and screamingly funny bareback stunts. Tom Brown’s band was one of the big hits of the evening.

Theater

Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield, MA – (Photo courtesy of Granola via Cinema Treasures)

The Colonial Theatre was built in 1903 but burned in 1912. It underwent extensive renovation and reopened with state-of-the-art theatrical technology, in 1912.

The 1921 Julius Cahn-Gus Hill Theatrical Guide and Moving Picture Directory indicated that the Pittsfield Colonial Theatre was operated by the Goldstein Bros. Amusement Co. and managed by L. H. Raymond. The theater played legitimate theater, stock, and picture attractions.[i] It had a seating capacity of 487 on the main floor, 309 in the balcony, 350 in the gallery, and 72 in the Box seats for a total capacity of 1218.

Specifications for the Colonial Theatre

Proscenium opening: 32 ft
Front to back wall: 45 ft
Between side walls: 58 ft
Apron 5 ft
Between fly girders: 46 ft
To rigging loft: 64 ft
Between fly galleries: 40 ft
The theatre had 8 Dressing rooms

Photo courtesy: Massachusetts Office Of Travel & Tourism via Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/masstravel/ (CC BY-ND 2.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
Photo courtesy: Massachusetts Office Of Travel & Tourism via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0).

The theatre operated until 1934 when it closed due to the Depression. It reopened in 1937 as a movie theater with occasional community performances. It closed in 1952 and became a paint and art supply business. In 1998, the theatre was designated a National Historic Treasure. In 2001, the Colonial Theatre Association began a restoration of the building. In 2006, the theatre reopened to the public with its vaulted gilded enterence, elaborately decorated boxes and balcony, and exquisite ornamental detail.[ii]

Today

The Colonial Theatre of Pittsfield, MA, is a beautifully renovated facility.

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Endnotes

[i] (1921). The Julius Cahn-Gus Hill theatrical guide and moving picture directory. New York, N.Y.: Julius Cahn-Gus Hill via Hathi Trust – https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924063709764&view=1up&seq=7 – Accessed 21 July 2020.

[ii] Internet: Berkshire Theatre Group website, “History of the Colonial Theatre” https://www.berkshiretheatregroup.org/berkshire-theatre-group/history-of-the-colonial-theatre/ – Accessed 21 July 2020.

Nelson Barnes & the 1840 Census

Census Sunday
Roberts-Barnes
By Don Taylor

Previously, I had looked at the lives of Nelson Barnes and his wife, Mercy Eliza Taft. (See Endnotes Below.)  I was unsuccessful in finding them in the 1840 Census. I thought I’d try again as part of my examination of the life of Joel Barnes.

Expectation:

In 1840, Nelson would have been 24 years old. He had married Mercy Eliza Taft in 1839 in New York. Mercy was born in 1822, so she should have been 18 at the time. They were in Sullivan County in 1845, but their whereabouts in 1840 is unknown. In 1840 I would expect them enumerated as:

Male 20-30
Female 15-20
Possibly a child under 5, but probably not.

There were five different Nelson Barnes enumerated in the 1840 Census.

1840 Censuses Entries for Nelson Barnes

  1. Indiana, Switzerland County, York Township, Page 352, 10th Name

– – – – – 1 |2 – – – 1
Male 20-30     – Not consistent.
Female 20-30  – Not consistent.

  1. Indiana, Allen County, Wayne Township, Page 46, 3rd from bottom.

– 2 – 2 1 – 1 | 1 1 – – – – 1
Male 40-50 – Not consistent.
Female 40-50 – Not consistent.

  1. Rhode Island, Providence, Burrillville, Page 1, 9th from bottom.

2 – – – 1 1 | – – – – – 1
Male 30-40 – Not consistent.
Female 30-40 – Not consistent

  1. New York, Steuben County, Lindley, Page 2, 21st from top.

– – – 1 2 1 | – – – 1
Male 30-40 – Not Consistent
Female 15-20 – Consistent

  1. New York, Delaware County, Franklin, Page 2, 11th from bottom.

– – 1 – 1 | – – – – – – – 1
Male 20-30 – Consistent
Female 60-70 – Not Consistent

Conclusion

None of these entries are wholly consistent with expectations, so I believe that either Nelson and Mercy were missed in the 1840 Census or they were enumerated in another household. Next, I’ll look closely at the various Joel Barnes in the 1850 Census.


Endnotes:

20. Nelson Barnes (1816-1884)
– – – * Nelson Barnes – Civil War Veteran?
– – – * Memories of Martha Barnes Conner – Nelson Barnes and Mercy Eliza Taft
21. Mercy Eliza Taft (1822-1884)
– – – * Surname Saturday – Taft

Donna Darling Collection – Part 68

Four Orpheum Theaters

Treasure Chest Thursday,
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at ten clippings from seven different pages. Nine of them relate to the Orpheum Theaters in various locations. But first, there was a “Donna Darling Review” trade advertisement. It clearly was a clipping from a magazine. It didn’t provide anything about a theater. It gives the title of their show and who the director was.

DONNA DARLING Revue.
With SAMMY CLARK
A Novel Revue in Five Scenes

Entitled

FROM HEAVEN – TO HADES
Singing—Komedy—Dancing

Direction: Lew Holleb
Lew Goldberg Office, Chicago

I think I can use this ad as a graphic for the entire show period.

Racine

Next, there were two clippings of “California Motion Picture Bathing Beauties” featuring Donna Darling. The theater is the “Orpheum-Racine’s Play House Deluxe” and the date is Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving was the November 27th in 1924. I had already determined that Donna played at the Racine Orpheum theatre on Nov 27, 28, & 29, so I am able to add the date to these two clippings.

Des Moines

There are three clippings that show another Orpheum theater. They are identified as under “Direction of Alexander Frank.” Alexander Frank provided direction to several theaters in Iowa during the 1920s. One of those theaters was in Des Moines. I had already established that Donna played the Des Moines Orpheum on January 2nd to the 5th, 1927; so, I’m sure this show is the show the clippings are related to.

Tulsa & Oklahoma City

The last three items include an Orpheum Theater Program. There is no date nor location with it. However, another clipping shows the Orpheum theater with the same acts also on the bill and had hand-written on it “Tulsa Okla.” Also, is a short ad showing the Donna Darling Revue “this W’k, Orpheum, Tulsa & Oklahoma City, Okla.”

Donna played the Orpheum Theater in Oklahoma City on December 9, 1923 and the Orpheum in Tulsa on December 13-14, 1923. At first I thought this venue must have been one of these two. Further research on line found acts different from the ones in the clippings played on those dates. Finally, a search for “Sie Tehar Troup” found they played in Oklahoma City with the “Darling Revue” starting Thursday, 12 August 1926. It is possible the same group played in Tulsa sometime in August 1926, however, I have not been able to find any papers for that time period and location, yet.

Conclusion

November 27-29, 1924 – Racine, Wisconsin – Orpheum – Bathing Beauties with Donna Darling. Newspapers.com – DDC-68

January 2-5, 1927 – Des Moines, IA – Orpheum – Donna Darling Revue – Newspapers.com – Archives.Com – DCC-68 

Two New Venues Discovered:

August 12, 1926 – Oklahoma City, OK – Orpheum Theater. Newspapers.com

August ??, 1926 – Tulsa, OK – Orpheum – Darling Revue – DDC-68

Hiram Vincent in the News

In the News
Howell, Vincent (Vinson)
By Don Taylor

“In the News” is my reporting of newly discovered newspaper articles regarding the ancestors I am researching. The information found in newspapers often raises more questions and more research areas, but invariably suggests new avenues for research plus providing texture to the life of an ancestor.

Hiram Vincent Appointed Guardian

Hiram Vincent is my wife’s 3rd great-uncle. He is the son Berkett Vincent (c. 1776 – c. 1845) and the brother of  John Vincent (1817-bef. 1870), my wife’s 2nd great-grandfather. This set of four articles show Hiram being appointed and maintaining his guardianship for two of his sons.

Article

newspapers.comFrom the Bolivar Bulletin (Bolivar, TN) dated Friday, 6 March 1874.

“Synopsis County Court, March Term | 1874.”
Guardians Appointed.

Hiram Vinson Guardian of his children.

It seems strange to me that Hiram would be granted guardianship of HIS children. I wonder if it was a legal thing or if there is more to the story. Certainly, the County Court Records should talk about what may have occurred.


Two years later, the following ran in:

The Bolivar Bulletin (Bolivar, TN) dated Thursday, 13 April 1876.

Guardians Appointed.

Hiram Vinson for J H and T A Vinson.

“J H Vinson” and “T A Vinson” must be Hiram’s two sons, Joseph Hiram Vincent and Thomas Anthony Vincent. In 1876, Joseph, the older of the two, would have been 15 years old and Thomas, 13. Yes, they are minor children, but I would not expect that a formal guardianship by their father would be required. There must be something else causing this. Court records should tell the story.


Two years after that, the following ran in:

The Bolivar Bulletin (Bolivar, TN) dated Thursday, 11 April 1878.

County Court
Synopsis of Proceedings April Term 1878

Hiram Vinson renewed his bond as guardian of his children.


Finally, two years later the following ran:

The Bolivar Bulletin (Bolivar, TN) dated Thursday, 15 April 1880.

Venire July Circuit Court

Hiram Vincent renewed bond as guardian J H and T A Vincent.

Once again, the articles highlight that the surname Vinson and Vincent are used interchangeably. As a note, I use Vincent when speaking of the family line and use Vincent when talking about an individual. I use Vinson when a particular document uses the name. In 1880, the two boys would have been 19 and 17 respectively.

Follow-up:

Determine why Hiram needed to be granted guardianship of his children in 1874. (Get copies of the court documents.)


Endnotes

All “In the New” entries used in this posting came from Newspapers.Com, their Tennessee Newspapers collection.

William Hiram Vincent & the Early Censuses

Howell-Vincent Line
Census Sunday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.My wife’s third great-grandfather, Burkett Vincent, may have had 12 children, or he may have had eight.  He apparently had two wives, Elizabeth Rose and an unknown first wife. To attempt to understand the Vincent family of Halifax, North Carolina, I thought I’d look closer at the children of Burkett (and Elizabeth).

Known Children of Burkett & Elizabeth Vincent

    • William Hiram Vincent
    • John Vincent
    • James Vincent
    • Elisha Vincent
    • Susan Vincent
    • Nancy Vincent
    • Burkett Vincent

There were also two boys and two girls who were born between 1810 and 1820.  It is unclear if these are William, John, Elisha, and a heretofore unknown girl.  There was also another girl born between 1804 and 1820 that is presumed to be Burkett’s oldest daughter.

I’ll take a look at each of the children, in turn, starting with:

William Hiram Vincent (1814-1893)

1890 Census (Not Available) 

Hardeman County Courthouse in Bolivar
Hardeman County Courthouse – Photo By RealElectrical, CC BY-SA 3.0

1880 Census[i] – Hiram Vinson was a farmer living with three of his children in District 9, Hardeman County, Tennessee. With him are his daughter, Francis, and two sons, Joe and Tom.

1870 Census[ii] – Hiram Vincent was a farmer living with seven implied children.  The oldest one and the youngest two were his children according to the 1880 Census, so I’m confident ascribing the other four children as his. This adds, James J., William, McAllister, and Martha to his list of children. It also provides a first name for his daughter Mary Frances, and middle initials for Joseph and Thomas. All the children were born in Tennessee, so I’d expect to find the family in Tennessee during the 1860 Census. 

1860 Census[iii] – Hiram Vintson [sic] and his wife Catherine are living in Hardeman, Tennessee, with their children, Mary, James, William, Elisha, and Martha. Elisha wasn’t enumerated in the 1870 Census, so he is assumed to have died between 1860 and 1870. Mary and James attended school. All were enumerated as having been born in North Carolina, although later censuses all suggest they were born in Tennessee. 

1850 Census[iv] – Hirum Vincin [sic] and his wife Catherine are living in Hardeman, Tennessee with their daughter, Mary. Hirum and Catherine had been married within the past year. Hirum is listed as “Overseer” for an occupation. Of Interest, Hirum is listed as 32 years old, suggesting birth between 1827 and 1828, where other census records suggest he was born between 1825 and 1826. 

1840 Census – In my initial review of Burkett Vinson, I ascribed the male, 20 to 29 years old, as presumed to be John Vinson. Upon further research, I have learned that John had two brothers also born between 1810 to 1820, Hiram and James. The male, 20 to 29 years old in the household of Burkett Vinson could easily have been any of the three. A look through the other Vinson’s in Halifax County yielded four results. Only Burkett and Robert had households that included a 20 to 29-year-old male. Further, Paul Vincent of Hardeman County, Tennessee was the only household with a 20 to 29-year-old. So, Hiram could have been the young man in the household. Alternately, Hiram could be elsewhere, or he could have been missed completely.

1830 Census – In my review of Burkett Vincent, it appeared that the teenager, age 15 to 20, in the household of Burkett Vincent is Hiram (William Hiram Vincent).

1820 Census – In my review of Burkett Vincent, it appeared that one of the children, a male under 10, in the household of Burkett Vincent is Hiram (William Hiram Vincent). 

Conclusion

William Hiram Vincent is in the FamilySearch tree as ID LHCZ-XB8. Census records before 1850 do not appear to clearly identify William Hiram Vincent as being enumerated. No new information regarding his parents was discovered.


Endnotes:

[i] 1880 Census, Family Search, 1880 Census – [William] Hiram Vinson – District 9, Hardeman, Tennessee. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MD7D-QFM : 15 July 2017), Tom Vinson in household of Hiram Vinson, District 9, Hardeman, Tennessee, United States; citing enumeration district ED 58, sheet 474A, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,255,260.

[ii] 1870 Census (FS), Family Search, 1870 Census – Hiram Vincent – Bolivar, Hardeman, Tennessee. “United States Census, 1870”,
 database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M VD7 : 14 June 2019), Hiram Vincent,
1870.  https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MDD3-VD7?from=lynx1UIV8&treeref=LHCZ-XB8.

[iii] 1860 Census, Family Search, 1860 Census – [William] Hiram Vintson [Vincent] – 7th District, Hardeman, Tennessee. “United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M8TD-4ZK : 18 March 2020), Martha A Vintson in an entry for Hiram Vintson, 1860.

[iv] 1850 Census (NARA), 1850 Census – Hirum Vincin – Hardeman, Tennessee. “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MCDF-P2G : 4 April 2020), Mary Vincin in household of Hirum Vincin, Hardeman county, Hardeman, Tennessee, United States; citing family 676, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).