Donna Darling and her Jewel Revue – State Theater, Utica, New York.
Treasure Chest Thursday
by Don Taylor
For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at a full-page of the Donna Darling Collection, which included five items..
First is a clipping showing, “The Scintillating Beauty, Donna Darling and Her Jewel Revue, Presenting Singing, Dancing, Comedy, Elaborate Costumes, Special Settings and Lighting Effects” at State Theater. Luckily, Donna handwrote on the clipping, “Utica Mar 18-19-20” which gives us the location and date for the show. Donna’s “Little Jewel Review” is known to have run from November 1925 to March 1926. So, it appears she was in Utica, New York, from March 18 through the 20th, 1926.
The venue is the State Theater
The show is the “Donna Darling and Her Jewel Revue.”
Also, on the bill:
Williams & Perry – Colored Entertainers Singing, Dancing
Lone & King – In Songs and Comedy
Cosmopolitan Trio – In a Song Offering
Chick and Dog – A Clever Canine Novelty
The Movie showing was Evelyn Brent in “Queen of Diamonds”
Two Advertising Clips
The first advertising clipping focuses upon “Queen of Diamonds,” but includes”
From advance reports of the vaudeville bill to be offered in today’s program, it appears the patrons will not be disappointed. Heading the list is Donna Darling and “Her Jewel Revue” in songs dances and comedy. Lowe & King….
The second clipping indicates,
The Darling Revue is listed as the headliner and deserves that title through virtue of its all-around excellence. A decided feature of the act are the dance numbers. These include toe, clog, gypsy, and Charleston novelties. Some well-received songs are also offered.
Finally, on the page are two lively little photos. One is clearly Donna in a stylish, bedazzled skirt and a long headscarf with a beaded cap.
The second photo is of an unknown man in a shirt and tie. The photo was taken outdoors so doesn’t appear to be related in time or place to Donna’s photo. The young man’s pants appear to be kaki and his tie is square cut on the bottom. Also, it looks (to me) that he has a garrison cap tucked into his waist, suggesting it is a soldier. Hopefully, I will be able to identify him later.
I added the following to Donna’s Itinerary:
March 18-20, 1926 – “Donna Darling and her Jewel Revue” – State Theater, Utica, New York – DDC-73.
Chin Chin played at the Smith Opera House in Geneva, NY, on May 21st. The troupe then traveled the 60 miles south to Elmira, and two shows at the Lyceum Theatre. This showing had more advertising articles than most shows. Sadly, my grandmother, Donna, isn’t mentioned by name, however, her role, “Goddess of the Lamp” is mis-mentioned as the “Goddess of the Light.”
On May 18th, the Star-Gazette ran the following advertisement on Page 13:
“Chin Chin” Saturday Matinee and Evening
Melodious, artistic and diverting is “Chin Chin” scheduled for the Lyceum this Saturday Matinee and evening. To Walter Wills and Roy Binder are entrusted the principal parts, supported by a company of clever comedians and a beautiful chorus. In their song “The Chinese Honeymoon,” “Go Gar Sig Gong-Jue,” and “Temple Bells,” the two clever comedians Wills and Binder make a decided hit and are always recalled again and again. In this charming fantasy with a Chinese atmosphere there are also a score of other songs that are the fascinating, whistling kine, and several unique dances that carry the snappy comedy along delightfully. This is a great play for the children matinee prices 50c, 75, $1, $1.50. Evening: 50c. $1.00, $1.50, $2.00. Seat sale Thursday morning. Phone 411.—Adv.
On May 19th, the Star-Gazette ran the following advertisement on Page 16:
“Chin Chin” Saturday
“Chin Chin” comes to the Lyceum on Saturday matinee and evening, and is a musical comedy, or concoction, that turned them away on a previous engagement. Charles Dillingham thought it over and resolved that he had a piece of theatrical property far too valuable to pack away in the storehouse. He had no concern about its fate if he could get a pair of comedians with enough talent to play the parts of the two Chinese. Walter Wills and Roy Binder came up to the specifications, and so the new “Chin Chin” with as much pains taken upon it as the original production, was sent on tour.
Yet, “Chin Chin” does not depend wholly upon the chief comedians, its melodies, already familiar every are ingratiating: “The Good-bye Girs” [sic] song. “The Love Moon” and other numbers are delightfully tuneful, and the sprightliness of the complete story is fetching.
When Mr. Dillingham puts on a play there is not a shabby spot showing anywhere, but every detail of costume and scenery is perfected to suit the most discriminating taste. Matinee 50c, 75, $1, $1.50. Evening: 50c. $1.00, $1.50, $2.00; Seat sale tomorrow.-Adv.
On May 20th, the Star-Gazette ran the following advertisement on Page 13:
Coming to the Lyceum on Saturday is Charles Dillingham’s “Chin Chin” the musical comedy which is one of those tales of live and wishing common to the Arabian Nights. All impossibilities are crowded into it jumbled together like the figures in a dream and in the end it resolves itself into a vehicle for the display of the clever grotesqueries of the two clever “turn” artists. Walter Wills and Roy Binder. Mr. Wills, whose body seems made of rubber, and whose facial expressions change as quickly as the wheel of fortune, gives us Chin Hop Hi, Paderewski, Mlle. Falloffski, a Gendarme and a ventriloquist, transformations accompanied by such curies tricks and poses, such tumbling, dancing, imitating, such a running fire of jokes and fun-making that the audience fairly screams with laughter. Mr. Binder gives us in rapid succession Chin Hop Lo, the widow, a Coolie and the Ring Master, lightening changes of mood, manner and get-up that provoked the audience to mirth. No more diverting and entertaining “comics” have come this way for many seasons. George Usher makes an agreeable and picturesque Aladdin.
The danseuse par excellence is Irene McKay, and astonishing acrobatic and step performer whose twinkling feet are full of speed and syncopation, her number with Mr. Wills entitled “Dance Poetic” is a remarkable performance ending with a surprise to the audience.
The favorite songs are “The Chinese Honeymoon,” “Good-bye Girls, I’m Through,” “Violet.” “The Gray Dove,” and “Love Moon.” The most recalled dance and song numbers are the “Teddy Bear Dance.” (without words), “Go Gar Sig Gong-Jue,” “Temple Bells,” “The Rag of Rags,” and “Bally Moony.”
The clever Saxophone Sextette by Tom Brown’s Clown Band is one of the most amusing and delightful hits of the play. The company is acceded to be the largest organization presenting a musical comedy on the road today, there are girls, and girls and girls. Extra musicians are carried by the company assuring patrons of the correct interpretation of the excellent musical score. Matinee 50c, 75, $1, $1.50. Evening: 50c. $1.00, $1.50, $2.00. Seats now selling.—Adv.
Advertising for the show continued every day in the Elmira Star-Gazette. Additionally, the Sayre, PA, Evening Times (about 20 miles from Elmira) ran advertising articles daily including the following the day of the show.
“CHIN CHIN” IN ELMIRA TONIGHT
Chin Chin, a musical comedy in three acts and seven sets of scenery, which has won an international reputation as one of the biggest musical comedy successes of recent years, is scheduled for an appearance at the Lyceum Theater, Elmira this evening. Catchy song numbers abound with delightful melody, lavish scenery, costumes of the Oriental and Old English style, a chorus of over thirty sprightly girlies, hilarious comedy and pantomimic work introduced by a number of clever comedians with Walter Wills and Roy Binder in the lead, all combine to afford a capital evening’s entertainment of good, clean fun.
In the first act, we have Aladdin and Violet Bond, a charming young American girl in search of a magical lamp which has the power to grant any wish of the owner. They meet at the toy shop of Abanazer, and the remaining acts and scenes are brought about gb [sic] the magical properties of the lamp found in the tea shop of Widow Twanke. In succession foll such characters as Fan Tan, the Goddess of the Light, Chin Hop Hi, Chin Hop Lo, Paderewski, the Ventriloquist and many others too numerous to mention. Evening prices $2, $1.50, $1, 50c.
Post Show Info
There is a five-day gap in my records of the Chin Chin show, but I know the show played at the Orpheum Theatre in York PA on May 28th. So, I suspect that the show played in New York or Pennsylvania during the 23rd to the 27th. I definitely need to search the New York and Pennsylvania newspapers of May 1920 searching for the show appearances.
In 1866, Henry S. Gilbert and Daniel R. Platt formed the “Lake Street Building Association” to build a public hall, the Elmira Opera House. In 1898 the hall was remodeled and renamed the Lyceum Theatre.[i] On March 6, 1904, a fire erupted which destroyed the theatre.[ii] Two theaters and six stores were destroyed in the inferno. On October 19, 1905, the New Lyceum theater opened. The theater operated until 1926 when it closed. The building was finally demolished in 1949.[iii]
Specifications for the Lyceum Theatre, Elmira
There is some conflict regarding the seating capacity. The 1921 Juliua Cahn-Gus Hill theatrical guide reports a seating capacity of 1,576[iv] and the 1913 Julius Cahn-Gus Hill guide reports 100 more, 1676. LL.F. 566, Bal 438, Gal 600, Boxes 72. In any event, it was the second largest theatre in Elmira at the time. (The Colonial seated 1816.)[v] However, the Lyceum had the largest stage in town with a proscenium opening of 38 x 28 feet. Other theater specifications include:
Front to back wall: 40 ft
Between side walls: 68 ft
Apron 2 ft
Between fly girders: 50 ft
To rigging loft: 58 ft
To fly gallery: 28 ft
Today, 150 Lake Street, Elmira, New York is occupied by a Five Star Bank branch office.
Review newspaper sources for other venues for “Chin Chin” to have played between May 23rd and May 27th.
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This is my first foray into researching a Canadian Ancestors. Although I’ve been very successful finding individuals in the US Census Records, I’ve not been as good at finding individuals in the Canadian Census Records. I clearly need to increase my skills researching Canadian Ancestors.
Halcro-Varone Project – Ancestor #4
List of Grandparents
Grandfather: Andrew James Halcro
1st Great-grandfather: William Francis Halcro
Andrew James Halcro (1876-1925)
Andrew James Halcro1 was born on 31 Jul 1876 in Quebec, Canada as the third child of William Francis Halcro4 and Harriet Park3. He had three siblings, two older sisters, May5 and Harriet, and a younger brother George. It also appears that he had three younger half-siblings, Willie, Bessie, and Alice. I have more research to confirm these relationships. Andrew died on 15 Jul 19256 in Hudson Heights, Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Quebec, Canada. Hudson Heights is an off-island suburb of Montreal.
Mother’s Death – Between 1879 and 1881.
Andrew’s younger brother, George, was born circa 1879. Andrew’s father, Frank (William Francis), was a widower during the 1881 Census, so it appears that Andrew’s mother, Harriet (Park) Halcro, died between 1879 and 1881.
The 1881 Canadian Census found four-year-old Andrew living in Vaudreuil, Quebec, Canada with his father, a widower, and three siblings, Mary, Louisa, and George. There are other Halcro families on the same page of the Census form. Immediately before Andrew’s father are Elizabeth (a widow), Ada, and Kate Halcro (ages 68, 25, and 22). Also, on the same page are John H. Halcro and his apparent wife, Sophie and apparent son Isaac (ages 25, 23, and 5/12). Certainly, these households are likely related, but will take further research to determine the relationships to Andrew.
The 1891 Canadian Census finds 14-year-old Andrew living with his father, W. F. Halcro, his stepmother, Annie, his three full siblings, May, Hattie, and George, and his three step-siblings Willie, Bessie, and Alice. The family is living in Como Village, which was incorporated into the town of Hudson in 1969.
1901 & 1911 Censuses
I have been unable to find Andrew James Halcro in the 1901 or 1911 Census records. Actually, I’ve not been successful finding any Halcros in Quebec during either census. As such, I will try researching the 1891 neighbors, looking for grossly misspelled Halcro individuals.
Beginning in 1909, Andrew J. Halcro shows up in the logbooks of a notary having various real estate transactions. It appears that he bought and sold several properties. The notary records do not provide information regarding the properties; however, they do provide information to search for deeds. Doing property searches would be part of another follow-up action.
I have not been successful in finding a marriage record for Andrew and Ralla, but Lawrence’s birth suggests that Andrew and Ralla married in 1916.[i]
Andrew’s entry in the 1921 Census is one of the most frustrating entries I’ve ever encountered. What would have been a nice simple entry of Andrew, was overwritten with lots of incorrect data.
Updated entries (wrong)
45 year-old Head
55 year-old Head
28 year-old Wife
28 year-old Son
3 year-old Son
23 year-old Daughter-in-law
2 year-old Son
2 year-old Son
1 year-old Son
1 year-old Son
However, the good news is the 1921 Census clearly indicates that Andrew and his family lived at 19 Ballantyne, Montreal West. That house exists today.
He was working on his own account in Real Estate and indicated that his “Racial or Tribal Origan” was Scotch. He was Presbyterian, but his wife and children were Roman Catholic.
Andrew died on 15 July 1925 in Hudson Heights (Now Hudson), Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Quebec, Canada. He was buried in Saint James Anglican Church Cemetery, Hudson Heights. I was unable to find a memorial for Andrew James Halcro at Find-a-Grave, so I added a memorial for him and requested a photo.
Further Actions / Follow-up
Continue research using American Ancestors, My Heritage, Canadian Library & Archives, and Newspaper resources.
Research Elizabeth (a widow), Ada, and Kate Halcro (ages 68, 25, and 22) from the 1881 Census & determine if there is a relationship to Andrew.
Research John H. Halcro and his apparent wife, Sophie, and apparent son Isaac (ages 25, 23, and 5/12) from the 1881 Census and determine if there is a relationship to Andrew.
Do a Neighbor search for 1891 neighbors of Andrew in the 1901 Census.
Do a Neighbor search for 1901 neighbors of Andrew in the 1911 Census. In 1911, Andrew is known to live in the Montreal area and worked as real estate agent.
Research the marriage of Andrew and Ralla.
Confirm the birth date and place for all of Andrew’s children.
Follow-up with Find-a-Grave for Andrew James Halcro.
Research property records for Andrew James Halcro from 1909 through 1917.
Canada Census, 1881, Library & Archives of Canada, Frank A Halcro – Vaudreuil, Vaudreuil, Quebec. Item Number: 5775195. Accessed 28 Aug 2020. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MVJH-9TV.
Canada Census, 1891
Canada Census, 1891, Library & Archives of Canada, W. F. Halcro. Accessed 28 Aug 2020. https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/census/1891/Pages/item.aspx?itemid=4682139.
Canada Census, 1921
Canada Census, 1921, Library & Archives of Canada, Andrew Halcro – Wife, Rala, & three children. Montreal West, Family 101, Page 10. https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/census/1921/Pages/item.aspx?itemid=8230623.
Portland Press Herald, Portland, Maine (online archive)
Obit – Lawrence A. Halcro, 81. Portland Press Herald (Maine) 14 October 1998, obit for LAWRENCE A. HALCRO WORKED IN CONSTRUCTION, GenealogyBank.com. Accessed 27 August 2020).
Quebec, Canada, Notarial Records, 1637-1935
Quebec, Canada, Notarial Records, 1637-1935 (Montréal, Quebec, Canada, ), Ancestry.com, Andrew J Halcro – 1909-01-26 – Sale . Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec; Montréal, Quebec, Canada; Collection: Fonds Cour Supérieure. District judiciaire de Montréal. Cote CN601. Gre. https://search.ancestry.com/collections/61062/records/1206988137.
Quebec, Canada, Notarial Records, 1637-1935 (Montréal, Quebec, Canada, ), Ancestry.com, Andrew J Halcro – 1911-01-24 – Obligation . Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec; Montréal, Quebec, Canada; Collection: Fonds Cour Supérieure. District judiciaire de Montréal. Cote CN601. Gre. https://search.ancestry.com/collections/61062/records/6681802/.
Quebec, Canada, Notarial Records, 1637-1935 (Montréal, Quebec, Canada, ), Ancestry.com, Andrew J Halcro – 1911-03-28 – Acquittance. Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec; Montréal, Quebec, Canada; Collection: Fonds Cour Supérieure. District judiciaire de Montréal. Cote CN601. Gre. https://search.ancestry.com/collections/61062/records/6681966.
Quebec, Canada, Notarial Records, 1637-1935 (Montréal, Quebec, Canada, ), Ancestry.com, Andrew J Halcro – 1913-04-22 – Discharge . Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec; Montréal, Quebec, Canada; Collection: Fonds Cour Supérieure. District judiciaire de Montréal. Cote CN601. Greffes de notaires, 1648-1967.; District: Montréal; Title: Legault, Alphonse-Alexandre (1890-1916) – Accessed 28 Aug 2020. . https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=QuebecNotarial&indiv=try&h=6333725&indivrecord=1.
[i] Lawrence was born on 20 August 1917. Presuming that Frank and Harriet were married before Lawrence was conceived, Frank and Harriet were probably married before November 1916.
[ii] This date suggests that Mary Rella Halcro (possibly Rella I Halcro) was born about five months after Andrew’s death.
It is a good week for my Photo Identification Project. I identified two individuals; however, I couldn’t identify one other photo.
Philip Osgood Bragdon
The back of the photo says, “Philip Osgood Bragdon | Westbrook High School | Class of 1929.” The photo is by “The Albert Studio, 463 Congress St. Portland, ME.”
I’ve run into a Philip Osgood Bragdon photo before[i]. I had a photo of him as a young child (about 6 or 7). This time, the photo is his Westbrook High School class of 1929 photo.
This individual is in Family Search as ID: LYRK-RDZ.
The back of this photo says, “Everett Cunningham.” The photo front indicates it was photographed by “Crockett [Studio], Rockland, ME.”
There was an Everett Maynard Cunningham who was born in Warren, Knox County, Maine in 1874. He lived there during the 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1940 censuses. Warren is about seven miles (10 by road) from Rockland, so having his photo taken there makes sense. Also, he appears to be in his 20s or 30s in the photo.
A review found that Everett Maynard Cunningham was the only Everett Cunningham in Knox County during that period. There was an Everett C. Cunningham of Patten, Penobscot County born in 1900. Patten is over 150 miles from Rockland and the photo appears to be from the early 1900s, so it is unlikely Everett C. Cunningham is this photo subject.
So, I’m confident this photo is of Everett Maynard Cunningham, born 26 January 1874, the son of William F. and Helen (Millay) Cunningham of Warren, Knox County, Maine.
This individual is in Family Search as ID: 9VZV-377.
The back of this photo says, “Chadbourne.” The photo front indicates it was photographed by “F. C. Philpot, Sanford, ME.”
This cabinet card image appears to be from the 1880 to 1990 period and the subject appears to be in her 20s or 30s. As such, this could be Jennie Littlefield Chadbourne who married Elbert Russell in 1906 and who married George Hurd. Alternately this could be Jennie’s sister, Gertrude Bertha Chadbourne who married William Russell in 1906.
There were several young Chadbourne women in York County during that time as well as many Chadbourne men whose wives could be this “Chadbourne.”
As such, I don’t believe I can determine which of the several “Chadbourne” women this is an image of. If someone has a similar photo of this woman that we can compare, I would love to hear from you.
I had the opportunity to do some genealogical research for a friend who knew virtually nothing about her grandfather, Andrew Halcro. He died in 1925 at the age of 48 and was not talked about much by the family. What made him of interest to me is that he was born, lived his entire life, and died in Quebec, Canada. I have very little experience with Canadian ancestors and thought researching him would be a great exercise for me to learn more about Canadian research.
First – Family Search
My first step in learning about an ancestor is to try to find the individual in Family Search. I quickly found my subject as ID: LYBX-5WS. Next, I go to Sources for the individual. In this case, I learned that someone had associated three sources with events in my subject’s life.
1881 Canada Census showing Andrew in the household of his father, Frank.
1891 Canada Census showing Andrew in 1891 Census but no image of the record.
A 1998 obituary of one of Andrew’s sons indicating that Andrew was the son’s father.
Going from the most recent record back, I reviewed the 1998 obituary and then incorporated it into my research. The 1891 Canada Census was something of a conundrum. Why was there no image at FamilySearch?
Library & Archives of Canada
I was pretty sure I’d find it at Ancestry.Com, but that requires a World Explorer License. So, I did a Google search for: 1891 Canada Census. I immediately saw an entry for the Library and Archives of Canada. I did a search for Andrew there and immediately found him. His entry was the only result. There were links to download an image for the entry in either JPG or PDF format; I like that.
I then began to look at what else they have at the Library and Archives of Canada. All kinds of Census records from 1825 “Lower Canada” to a “1926 Prairie Provinces” Census.
As I wandered around the site a little bit, I learned they have Military Records, Passenger and Border Entry Lists (Immigration records), Birth, Marriage, & Death Records, Divorce records, and even some city directories online. What a great resource; not only does it have wonderful records, it is free. Anyway, it is a “Bright, Shiny Object” in my current project, so I took some notes to come back and data-mine the resource soon.
I searched the Family Search Records and was not successful in finding any new records relating to my Andrew. However, I noted there was another person with the same name living in the same town at the same time. I would need to be careful to differentiate between my Andrew (1876-1925) and this other Andrew (1811-1878) in any records I find.