Opera House

Emil Marquardt built his opera house in November of 1901.  It was located in Block 74, Lots 20 and 21, about where the Coachman Inn Motel is now located.  At the time the opera house was being built, it was expected to accommodate 200 people comfortably.  A stage was built at the rear and a raised platform built for the musicians.  By the spring of 1903, Marquardt had decided to build an addition to the Opera House and put in a new drop curtain and scenery.

The first dance at the new Opera House was held November 28, 1901.  In December of 1901, "Ingemar," billed as one of the greatest plays of modern times, was played by Mr. Sanford Lodge and Company.  Beattie Brothers were among the first to bring in their moving pictures to the Opera House about 1905.

The Sons of Norway purchased the building about 1930.  The City of Cooperstown took over the Opera House in 1943.  They sold it to the American Legion in 1948.

Throughout the years the building had been used for a variety of community functions including roller skating, adult and teen dances, revival meetings, dramatic and theatrical productions, besides being used as a meeting hall for the Sons of Norway, and later the American Legion.

The American Legion sold the building in 1952 to David Eslinger and Alfred Tenneson.  Part of the Opera House building was moved to the Tenneson farm (present farm-site of Allen Hoverson, Sr.) near Sutton, North Dakota and the other part to the Eslinger farm (present farm-site of Emil Eslinger) west of Hannaford, North Dakota.

Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial Page 200

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