Donna at Family Theatre, Mahanoy City, PA – 30 Apr 1920

Donna Montran and “Chin Chin” play at the Family Theatre in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania on 30 April 1920.

Vaudeville
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.It is not clear where Donna and “Chin Chin” played in the days before they played in Mahanoy City. We know they played at the Hippodrome in Pottsville, PA on April 26 & 27. It is unlikely the cast would have off two days in a row, particularly a Wednesday and Thursday.

Preshow Advertising

Advertising for the show began on April 24th with a page 1 announcement that the show was coming, on page 3 there was a official notification to “The General Public,” and on page 5 was a typical “Chin Chin” advertisement.

CHIN CHIN” COMING TO MAHANOY CITY FRIDAY, APRIL 30

Rich in color, pretty girls, artistic settings and the playfulness that goes with good musical comedy is “Chin Chin,” which comes to the Family Theatre, Mahanoy City, Pa., on Fricay, April 30th, night only.

A testimony of its worth is supplied by its past record of a solid two-year run at the Globe Theatre in New York City, and the summing up of the box office receipts in both the Metropolis and on tourr [sic] are convincing proofs of public estimation.

Ivan Caryll, composer of the music, is also responsible for the music of “The Pink Lady” and “The Little Café.” Anne Caldwell and R. H. Burnside wrote the libretto; Walter Wills and Roy Binder will be seen in the leading roles.

In this gigantic production of “Chin Chin” Charles Dillingham, the producer, offers more for the admission price than any other dozen musical shows ever seen. Seats on sale Tuesday.

On April 26th, the following article ran in the Republican and Herald.

“CHIN CHIN” AT MAHANOY NEXT FRIDAY

Charles Dillingham’s sumptuous and only production of “Chin Chin,” as seen for two years in New York, comes to the Family Theatre, Mahanoy City, Friday, April 30th.

This delightful and famous entertainment will be presented in its original entirety with Walter Wills nd Roy Binder in the lead. In this musically rich show such numbers as “Violets,” “The Grey Moon,” “Love Moon,” “Goodbye Girls, I’m Through” and the comedy song, “Go Gar Sig Gong-Jue” always receive hearty applause.

The book is by Anne Calddwell and H. H. Burnside, the lyrics by Anne Cldwell and James O’Dea and the music by Ivan Caryll, so well remembered for his ingratiating melodies in “The Pink Lady” and “The Little Café.”

Seven gorgeous settings make up this stupendous production—dresses, swift and grotesque dancing and lots of prankish amusement, including Tom Brown’s Clown Band as the famous Saxophone Sextette. Seats on sale Tuesday.

The newspaper on the 27th carried the exact same article.

On the 28th, a new article was presented. Much of it the same as the 26th and 27th. And on the 29, the exact same articles as what ran on the 28th ran again.

Finally, on April 30th, the “Republican and Herald” ran an abbreviated article which contained the same information as previous articles.


Family Theatre

Photo courtesy the Mahanoy Area Historical Society.

The theater was originally built in 1895 by John Hersker (Schone Horsker) and named the Hersker Opera House.  It also went by the name of Hersker’s Family Theatre and had a seating capacity of 1,250. In 1909 the theater was renamed the Family Theater. Later it was renamed the “State Theater.”[i]

Specifications for the Family Theatre

Proscenium opening: 34 ft
Footlights to back wall: 83 ft
Between side walls: 48 ft
Apron 5 ft
Between fly girders: 42 ft
To rigging loft: 63 ft

Nearby info

Nearby hotels included the Mansion House, Pennsylvania Hotel, and the City Hotel.

Today

After the building stopped being used as a theatre, it was a furniture store for several years. Today it is a gas station and mini-mart.


Disclaimer

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Endnotes

[i] “Mahanoy Area Historical Society”. 2020. Mahanoyhistory.Org. Accessed January 15, 2020. http://www.mahanoyhistory.org/charter.html.

The Britt’s of New Brunswick, Canada

Photo Friday

It was a good week for my photos. I was able to scan and identify 40 new images and was able to begin to analyze them.  I had eight photos that related to the Britt family of Pearl, New Brunswick, Canada. I was unable to find “Pearl,” but I did find the individuals in Canada Census records as living in Perth, New Brunswick. Near Perth, I found a “Pearl Road,” so I’m sure I have the correct family and people. There were photos of Philip J. Britt, his wife Florence (Leighton) Britt, and his sister, Maude (or Maud) Britt.  Also, there were two photos of the house. I was able to find the individuals in Family Search’s Family Tree and posted the photos to the Memory sections for them. I posted the images to my Flickr Account.  I also contacted the Perth Historical Society (via Facebook) and shared the posting with them.

Photos of the Britt Family of Perth, New Brunswick, Canada

If you are related to this family, I’d love to hear from you and learn if you had seen these photos before.

 

Letter of Elizabeth Jane (Swayze) Darling – Kalamazoo First Methodist Church

Darling
Transcribed by Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Another article discovered on Genealogy Bank
that provides insight into the lives of the Darling family of Kalamazoo during the mid-1800s. The Darling’s and the Swayze’s were involved with the First Methodist Church of Kalamazoo.

Kalamazoo Gazette (Kalamazoo, MI) – August 14, 1916, Page 6

Pioneer’s Letter Tells History of Kalamazoo first Methodist Church

MISS EMMA DARLING FINDS
EPISTLE PENNED BY HER MOTHER YEARS AGO.

Kalamazoo Gazette 14 August 1916, Page 6.

In looking through some treasures in her desk the other day Miss Emma Darling*[1] came across, a paper in the handwriting of her mother, who had jotted down a few incidents in the history of the First Methodist church that are of moment and are certainly not known by many today though familiar facts In pioneer days.

Miss Darling’s parents and grandparents were pioneers and did much to make history for this section of Michigan. And today Miis Darling resides on a portion of the land purchased by her father Rufus H. Darling*[2] when he came to Michigan in (hose days when hardships were aplenty and luxuries a. thing unknown.

Of the Methodist church Mrs. Darling*[3] writes:

“My father’s family came here in the spring of 1840 and united with this church by letter. This Methodist people were then holding- service in a little old schoolhouse on ‘ South Rose street where the Jewish synagogue now stands. Mr., Richards came here as pastor the next, fail after we did and.the church then began plans for building a church.

Gen’l Burdick Gives Lot

“Their means were limited for their number was small and they met with many discouragements. The sister churches thought we never could build and pay for as large a church as we planned to have. But these things only made us more persevering.

General Burdick gave the church the lot where the Dutch Reformed church now stands and, Mr. Wiseman*[4] drew the plan for the church hut he died before the church was completed. But he made a request that they would use hie Bible at the dedication.

“Mr. Richards stayed hero two years in all and Rev. Range followed and the church was completed during this time, for the church was dedicated in the year 1842. If was not entirely free from debt until 1850.

“Mr. Watson preached the sermon at the dedication.’ There was only one class at this time, led by my father, David Swayze*[5], and father and sister, Emily*[6] led the singing.”

The late. George Torrey in his history of Kalamazoo says in regard to the Methodist church: “The first sermon preached in the town, was by Rev. James Robe, who was appointed to the Kalamazoo mission by the Indiana Conference, in “1822; and who is, now, a resident of the place. (This history was published to 1867).

Service in Titus Bronson home

The service was held in the house of Mr. Titus Bronson after whom tho place was named. The first-class was organized in the Year 1832 and was composed of eight members of whom Harrison Coleman was leader.

“The first board of trustees was organized at the house of Mr. C. Walters, on February 8th, 1841, and consisted of, David Swayze, C. Walters, Luke Olmsted. Isaac Tewkesbury, Amos P, Bush, Isaac Wiseman, William E. White, and David J. Davidson.

The 1842 Methodist Church on Academy St. – Photo Courtesy of the Kalamazoo Public Library

“The first church edifice was dedicated in 1842 on the church square, Church and Academy streets, and was occupied until the spring of 1866 when it was sold to the Dutch Reformed church.

“The society are now erecting what is intended to be one of the largest and most costly churches In the state, which will be completed during the year. They have flourishing Sunday school of about 250 scholars under the superintendency of Mr. Geo. H. Lyman, and a membership of nearly three hundred communicants, under the pastoral, care of Rev. Charles Shelling. The Kalamazoo District is In charge of Rev. R. Sapp, presiding elder.”

Facts:

  • The [Swayze] family came to Kalamazoo in the spring of 1840.
  • David Swayze led a class at the church (ca. 1842)
  • David Swayze and Emily [Emily Ann Swayze] lead the singing at the church (ca. 1842).
  • David Swayze was a member of the first board of trustees for the First Methodist Church in Kalamazoo in 1841.
  • Isaac Wiseman was a member of the first board of trustees for the First Methodist Church in Kalamazoo in 1841.

Sources:

  • Image: The Methodists’ 1842 building on Academy. Map of Kalamazoo, Michigan. H MAP 912.77417 M6475 1858 | Source: “First Methodist Church — Kalamazoo Public Library”. 2019. Kalamazoo Public Library. Accessed December 19 2019. https://www.kpl.gov/local-history/kalamazoo-history/religion/first-methodist-church/.

*Endnotes – Relationships

[1] Emma Darling, my wife’s 2nd great aunt.
[2[ Rufus H. Darling, my wife’s 2nd great grandfather.
[3] “Mrs. Darling” refers to Emma’s mother, Elizabeth Jane (Swayze) Darling, my wife’s 2nd great grandmother.
[4] Mr. Wiseman refers to Elizabeth Jane (Swayze’s) first husband, Isaac Wiseman.
[5] David Swayze was my wife’s 3rd great grandfather.
[6] Emily Ann Swayze, my wife’s 3rd great aunt.

 

A New Photo Project

Photo Friday

Images of our ancestors make a wonderful addition to our family history. As such I decided I wanted to do a project to share more images. Not of my ancestors, but rather, people I don’t know. As a start, I took 8 photos, digitized them, and added information from the backs of the photos. I did a little research on the individuals to see if I could find them in Family Search. If I did, I uploaded a copy of the photo to the Memories section of the profile. People I found on Family Search included:

  • Mable Evelyn Bridges – West Brooklin, Maine – June 1919
  • Edna Dingley – Richmond, ME
  • Bernes O. Norton – Belfast, ME

Three of the images had enough information regarding them I felt it was appropriate to upload them to “Dead Fred.” They were:

  • Charles Lovering 510 Ohio Street, Bangor, ME – BHS Class of 1932
  • William B. Smith Jr., 43 Ratchford St., Quincy, MA – Rec’d July 18, 1935 (b. c.1919)
  • Perley Britt Wood – b. Feb. 13, 1886 – son of Charles & Margery Wood of Rockland Maine

Finally, two of the images didn’t seem appropriate for either site, because I couldn’t find the first name for either. They were:

  1. ___ ___ Hill – Belfast, ME
  2. “Nannie” Howe – 1831-1914 – Bath, Maine
    (This is probably Harriet A (Rush) Howse – Birth, Death, and Location match.)

People - Available  I uploaded all of the images to a new album on Flickr.

I will try to do more over the coming months. If you find a photo of your ancestor, please let me know.

Don Taylor

 

Don Taylor Genealogy – 2019 Year in Review

Reviews

The primary purpose of my blog is to help me understand my genealogical findings. It is like a diary or journal that helps me to focus on what I know. It helps me to stay focused not to become distracted. I would like to remind readers that I do accept guest submissions. If you would like to write something that will be of interest to readers of my six primary topics (Brown, Darling, Howell, and Roberts lines as well DNA discoveries or understanding and Donna Montran’s Vaudeville Career), I’ll be happy to consider your submission as a guest post.

I am not selling genealogical services. However, I do lead a genealogical group at the Scarborough Public Library. We meet the 4th Monday of the month learn more about it on the SPL-GG Facebook Page. participate with the I do participate in an affiliate program. Please, consider using my links when you purchase genealogical resources so I can help fund this site.

2018 Statistics.

I wrote 125 posts during the year, slightly up from 2018.  My goal is to post, at a minimum, once every three days. So, I made my goal by posting an average of once every 2.92 days.

The number of page views stayed virtually the same in 2019 over 2018 down 0.01%, So the average views per day stayed at 36.

I currently have 460 followers/subscribers – up from 409 at the beginning of the year. Besides direct subscribers, there are other individuals that follow my blog via Facebook, Twitter, and Google. If you do not subscribe to dontaylorgenealogy.com, please do so.

Referrals to my site are as I would expect, Google by far the greatest referrer, with Facebook a distant 2nd. The third was the WordPress Android App. My old Blogspot site dropped to sixth, so I guess I still can’t delete it.

Top Seven Postings for 2019

My number one post during 2019 was the same as my #1 post in 2016, 2017, 2018 “Why I’ll never do business with MyHeritage Again.” I guess people love reading rants.

My number 2 article for 2019 was number 2 last year as well it was the 2017 “OMG – Another Half-Sibling,” which spoke about learning of a half-sibling here-to-fore unknown for my mother. Quite the surprise for my mother and my half-aunt, Barbara.

Third, was my review of DNA Painter. I definitely need to do more reviews.

Number 4 was my “Surname Saturday” article about the Howell surname. I will try to do more surnames in that series.

Number 5, an “Ancestry ThruLines” posting about my second-great-grandfather, Asa Ellis.

Number 6 surprised me greatly. It was a 2016 memorial article regarding my uncle, Russell Kees. I received a touching comment from Lisa Emmert who indicated that Russ wrote a poem to her mother in the 1940s. The poem was “To Rosie.”

Number 7 was another review, Ancestry’s ThruLines.

Conclusion

Going through these statistics, I noticed that my “Surname Saturday” dropped off my radar for work. I need to resurrect that series. Like previous years reviews, My Heritage, Lost Cousins, DNA Painter, and Ancestry ThruLines were among my most read articles.

Next Year

I have found that I overextended myself during 2018.  As such, I have decided to reduce my activities in several areas and focus more on family and Scarborough activities. I have quit doing any kind of (paid) genealogical consulting activities. I will also greatly reduce my genealogical society volunteerism and will drop memberships in at least six societies and organizations. I plan to work more diligently on my five primary research areas, Brown, Darling, Howell, Roberts, and Donna’s Vaudeville and less on my other genealogical projects. I will continue efforts with the Scarborough Historical Society. I expect 2020 to be an exciting year for genealogy as more and more records become available online.