Million Dollar Mystery at the Opera House

Would you like to help solve a mystery?  The Cleveland Historical Society and The Children’s Glassworks Theatre would like to invite you to join us in presenting the production of “A Million Dollar Mystery” performed by children from our local communities.

This audience interactive production was written by the Directors involved with The Children’s Glassworks Theatre.  The performance by the children will keep you guessing as to ‘who dunnit’ as the clues are revealed in a whimsical manner with an unexpected twist at the end.

Also, you will learn of some historical facts about an Opera house that once made Cleveland, its hometown.  The App’s Building, also known as App’s Opera House, once was a mainstay in Cleveland.  It was a building with many purposes for the community ‘back in the day.’

Come join us at the former St. John’s Episcopal Church on North Street in Cleveland.  The performance will be on Friday, July 15th and Saturday, July 16th at 7pm both evenings.  We hope to see you there!!!

Any questions, please call Marge Thomas @ (315) 675-8517

Newspaper Clippings

1878-01-05, Lakeside Press

The “Cleveland Opera House” was opened for the first time to the public last evening, the occasion being the “New England supper and festival” arranged by the ladies of the Methodist Church for the purpose of raising funds to help liquidate the indebtedness on the parsonage debt.  There was not a very large number present, but much enjoyment.  The tables were well filled with edibles, which included baked beans, chicken potpie, cake, ice-cream, tea and coffee, and were presided over by pretty waiter girls.  Some of the company appeared in character costume.  Lawyer Wilder was attired in a swallow-tailed coat, white vest, on which was sticked a ladies’ white frill, pants in his boots, and flour on his white hair:  supposed to represent (4, Washington, or somebody else that couldn’t tell a lie.  Jim Deans was on hand, and one or two small boys were nearly lost in his ulster!  We learn that the receipts amounted to $25 – (Thanks for the complimentary!)

1878-03-24, Lakeside Press

The “Cleveland Opera House” was crowded Tuesday evening with large portion of the best and a few of the worst of our society, to see and hear that funniest of all “kritters,” Comical Brown, and his company of talented artists.  The entertainment was delightful, and the male Clevelanders fell in love especially with the charming young soprano, Miss Minnie Upham, though Miss Leslie sang very finely some choice selections.  Mr. Dunbar, the distinguished alto, has a voice of rare power, and his execution of difficult pieces displayed a depth and richness of tone seldom heard.  His artistic personations were also much admired.  As the Comical Brown – what shall we say to him?  The universal judgement is – he’s a brick!  His songs, speeches, stories, faces and comic acts generally were indescribably funny and evoked shouts of laughter and applause.  Although the price of admission was low, and dead-heads numerous, there was a $50 house.  Should Brown happen to strike this regions again, he can rest assured of a hearty reception.

1878-03-30, Lakeside Press
Organization of a Greenback Club

… The second meeting of the club was held Wednesday evening at Audas Opera House…”

1878-04-06, Lakeside Press

The band will give a vocal and instrumental concert at the “Opera House,” Tuesday evening, April 23rd

1878-04-27, Lakeside Press
The Band Concert

Tuesday evening, the Cleveland Cornet Band gave a delightful entertainment at the Opera House.  The house was completely filled, and many stood up.  The programme embraced the following:

“Flower of the Flock” (selection) by the Band; “Many can Help One” (song) by E.H. Hoose; “Mrs. Skinner a lecture on Women’s Rights” J.A. Watson; “Heavenward March” (quartette) by Watson, Caswell, Hoose & Crispin’ “When the Pigs begin to Fly” (comic song) by D. Townsend; Trio of horns, by Caroll, Hoose & Crispin; “Sweet By-and-By” by Band; “Poor Old Uncle Dan” (song) J.A. Watson; Instrumental Duett (either & violin) by Caswell & Watson; “The 5-cent Shave” (comic song) by Watson; “Old Grosus Quickstep” by Band; Concluding with the laughable farce of “21 To-day!”

The pieces played by the Band, collectively, were all good, but especially “Sweet By-and-By.”  Ed Hoose sang very finely “Many can help one;” and Townsend’s reading of “When the pigs begin to fly,” was exceedingly good.  But of course, the “star” of the entertainment was Watson.  Arthur is a genius – not only a musical one, but an excellent versatile comedian.  His “make-up” and execution of the various parts assigned him were perfect, and a delicious humor pervaded the whole, which evoked great enthusiasm.  Time and space will not admit of an extended review of the concert, which was a real success.  The receipts were $35.

1878-06-01, Lakeside Press

The Band are getting ready to give a concert next Friday evening at the Opera House, for the benefit of Tommy Lane.  It is a very worthy object, and no doubt will meet with Liberal response.

1878-08-31, Lakeside Press

Ben Andrus and the Road Matter,” a new rendition of an old play, at the Opera House next Monday night.  Outside some of the sensational and ludicrous scenes, this comedy meets with general disgust.

1878-12-14, Lakeside Press

A social Christmas Eve. Party has been arranged for Tuesday evening Dec. 24th, at Audas Opera House, under the suspices of the Cleveland Quardrille Band, consisting of A. Morse, Jr., 1st violin; A. Watson, 2nd violin; G. Smith, bass violin; C.E. Turck, cornet; J. Houser, organ.  The Cleveland Cornet Band have been engaged for the occasion, and an enjoyable time is anticipated.  In connection with this even, there is to be a prize drawing for the prize of a Citborn.  Tickets, 50cts.

1879-01-23, Oswego Daily Times
A Heroine in Rags

Miss Effie Ellsler and the Cleveland Opera House Company will present the above play at the Academy next Monday evening.  This most excellent actress is a recognized artis through the west, where she has met with remarkable success for one so young in the profession.  We have never seen an unfavorable criticism upon Mill Ellsler’s acting, but always notices speaking in the highest terms of her talents.   We shall be greatly mistaken if Miss Ellsler does not have good houses while here.

1879-04-19, Lakeside Press

Emmet, whose dying speech has echoed through every school room in America; Miss Curran, whose devoted affection has furnished Washington Irving with material for his bet novel and Moore a subject for his best melody; rollicking, brave Darby O’Graff, and charming Judy O’Dougherty, appear in the dram of “Robert Emmet,” at Audas Opera House next Tuesday evening.  The play will be interspersed with instrumental and vocal music.  Watson, besides filling a character in the play, will give one of celebrated stump-speeches.

1881-08-27, Lakeside Press

A dance was held in the App Hall Tuesday night, and toward the close, Charles Carroll, in attempting to go down the stairs, turned partly around to look back, when he lost his balance, and fell backward down to the bottom, receiving severe injuries, and is yet under the doctor’s care.

1886-xx-xx, Fulton Times
County News

The Cleveland G.A.R. post hold an entertainment, oyster supper and dance at App’s Hall in the village, next Tuesday evening.


1890-01-30, Syracuse Weekly Express, p.4

The Syracuse University Glee club gave a very pleasing entertainment at App’s Hall recently.

A detachment of the Kickapoo Indian Medicine company, consisting of three white men and four Indians have entrenched themselves in App’s Hall and are bombarding the town with patent medicines.



1893-05-30, Rome Daily Sentinel, n.p.

The Gray Entertainment Company will give another concert in App’s Opera House on Monday evening, June 5.

1896-02-18, Oswego Daily Times, p.7

The republican caucus met at App’s Hall, Saturday at 3pm.

1897-12-10, Rome Daily Sentinel, n.p.

Miss Vandelia Varnum of New York City will give a lecture in App’s Opera House, Dec. 17.  Subject: “Who Pays the Frieight?”

1898-02-17, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.3

The W.C.T.U. held a supper in App’s Hall on Saturday evening and realized over 230.

A donation will be held in App’s Hall on Friday evening, Feb. 18, for the benefit of Rev. Mr. Pennock.

1898-06-22, Utica Daily Press

Frank R. Conklin, impersonator, gave a very pleasing entertainment last Saturday evening in App’s Hall, for the benefit of the Methodist society.

1899-01-14, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.2

A donation for Rev. A. Pennock will be held in App’s Hall, January 21.

The Odd Fellows’ masquerade ball will be held in App’s Opera House on Thursday evening, January 19.

1899-02-23, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.2

The members of the singing school will give a concert in App’s Opera House on Saturday evening of this week.  A fine program will be rendered.

App's Hall invitation, No date (CHS Arcchives)
App’s Hall invitation, No date (CHS Arcchives)

1899-10-10, Oswego Daily Times, p.3

The Republican caucus will be held Friday, Oct. 13, at 2pm, at App’s Hall in the village of Cleveland.  The Democratic caucus will be held Monday, Oct. 16, at 2pm at App’s Hall in Clevleand.

1900-10-23, Utica Hearld-Dispatch, p.3

The Ladies’ Guild of St. James Church will hold a campaign supper in App’s Hall Saturday evening, October 27.

1900-11-16, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.4

A dancing party will be given on Saturday evening in App’s Opera House for the benefit of the Gun Club.

1901-08-15, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.3
Cleveland News

The local branch of the C.M.B.A. had a field day on Monday.  Dancing was enjoyed in the evening at App’s Opera House.  The prize for the best waltzers was given to Edward Butler and Miss Lottie Smith.

1901-08-23, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.4
Cleveland Notes

A social dancing party was held in App’s Opera House Monday evening in honor of the summer boarders that ae spending their vacation in the village.

1901-08-29, Rome Daily Sentinel
Cleveland Notes

A social dancing party was held in App’s Opera House on Monday evening.

1901-10-06, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.2
Cleveland News

A benefit dance was held in App’s Opera House on Wednesday evening for Casper Smith.  A good sum was realized.

1902-01-17, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.3

The young people enjoyed a social dance in App’s Opera House on Wednesday evening.

1902-03-14, Oswego Daily Times, p.2

The drama “Dot, the Miner’s Daughter” will be played by local talent at App’s Opera House next Monday evening.

1902-03-21, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.6
Cleveland Notes

The ten-cent tea, dance and drama, Dot, the Miner’s Daughter, given at App’s Opera House St. Patrick’s night was largely attended and thoroughly enjoyed.  The sum of $75 was realized.

1902-04-02, Oswego Daily Times, p.7

The young people of the M.E. Church will present the drama, “Down to Maine,” at App’s Opera House, Saturday evening, April 2.  The young people have drilled very hard for this play, and all attending the same will certainly be entertained.  The cast follows: Zeph Cummings, Perry Nickerson, Neil Wentworth, Arch Bachelor; Jimmy Eugene Garlick; Susie Cummings, Edith Cottet; Keziah Ketchum, Ethel Harding; Tomps, Charles Whitner; Ralph Cummings, Clarence Bachelor; Mr. Bingle, Carl McArthur; Mose Grossin, Joseph Cleveland; Mrs. Cummings, Lelia Dunn; Betsey Tomps, Rhea Nickerson; Mr. Holden, Robert Landgraff.

Attractive specialties will be introduced between the acts.

1902-05-16, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.4
Cleveland, Death of Hiram Godfrey – Social and Industrial Notes

The young people held a social dance in App’s Opera House on Wednesday evening.

Apps Hall Invitation (CHS Archives)
Apps Hall Invitation (CHS Archives)

1902-07-03, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.1

The annual festival and fair of St. Mary’s Church held at App’s Opera House Tuesday night was largely attended, over sixty couples being present to enjoy the dancing.  Music was furnished by Bowman & Jones’ Orchestra of five pieces.

1902-12-31, Oswego Daily Palladium, p.7

The young people of St. Mary’s church will host a New Year’s Eve party at App’s Opera House.

1903-02-16, Unknown Clipping

Cleveland Hose Company No. 1 is making elaborate plans for their masquerade ball to be held Thursday evening at App’s Opera House.  Music by Bowman’s Orchestra of this city.


1903-02-21, Unknown Clipping
Masquerade Ball

One of the largest masquerade balls ever held in the village was that of Thursday evening by Cleveland Hose company No. 1.  This was the company’s annual ball and had the weather been a little more favorable it would doubtless have been the largest attended ever held here.  An excellent supper was served from 6:30 until 9 o’clock for those not wishing to join the dance and another supper was served about midnight.  Besides the large number who participated many spectators were present.

1903-04-16, Oswego Daily Palladium, p.8

The ladies of the M.E. Church will hold an Easter sale at App’s Hall, Friday and Saturday of this week.

1903-05-29, Syracuse Journal, p.5
Cleveland: Play by Amateurs

App’s Opera House was comfortably filled on Wednesday evening to witness the presentation of the drama entitled “Captain Jack of the Irish Outlaw,” by the Dramatic Club of St. Mary’s Church.  The club gives an entertainment of this character annually and its latest performance was one of the most creditable it has given.  Bowman’s orchestra of five pieces furnished music and a vocal solo by Miss Florence Bonneau was rendered in a pleasing manner.

1903-05-30, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.1
Cleveland Notes

St. Mary’s Dramatic Club presented the striking Irish drama, Captain Jack or the Irish Outlaw, to a large and appreciative audience Wednesday evening in App’s Opera House.  After the drama dancing was enjoyed until a late hours.  Bowman’s Orchestra furnished the music.

1903-06-20, Syracuse Journal, p.5

App’s opera house was tested to its fullest capacity Thursday evening to witnesss the presentation of the drama, “Past Redemption” by members of the Hose company.  The dram had been rehearsed for several weeks, and the parts were all exceedingly well taken.  A dance was held after the entertainment.

1903-09-24, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.3
The News in Cleveland

The Odd Fellows enjoyed a dance and supper in App’s Hall, Wednesday evening.

1903-11-27, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.6
Cleveland Notes

Rollo Tallcott gave an entertainment in Audas Hall on Saturday evening under the suspices of the Order of the Eastern Star.  After the entertainment refreshments were served in the vacant store in the Audas block.

A grand kirmess and fair is being held by the ladies of St. Mary’s Society in App’s Hall, the proceeds to go for the benefit of the new church fund.

1903-12-24, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.?
Cleveland Deaths

Invitations are out announcing the reception and ball to be given by the hose company, December 31 at App’s Opera House

1903-12-30, Oswego Daily Palladium, p.6
Neighboring Towns: Constantia

The annual ball of Cleveland Hose Company No. 1 will be held at App’s Opera House New Year’s Eve.

1904-02-04, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.3

The social given in App’s Opera House by J. Bitz was a success, socially and financially.

1904-11-17, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.4

Preparations are being made by St. Mary’s Church to hold a fair in App’s Opera House, Thanksgiving eve for the benefits of the new church.

1905-04-29, Utica Herald-Dispatch, p.3

The Orpheus Jubliee Singers gave a very pleasing entertainment in App’s Opera House on Tuesday evening.

1906-01-25, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.?
Cleveland Chat

A dancing party under the management of Stewart Seeber will be held in App’s Opera House, February 2.

1906-03-01, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.3
Cleveland Chat

A dancing party was held in App’s Hall on Monday evening by Cleveland’s young society folks, it being the last to be held until after Lent Supper was furnished by John U. Grass, caterer, and music by Bowman’s Orchestra.

The entertainment given by Miss Florence Ensworth in App’s Hall on Tuesday evening under the auspices of the Epworth League, was well attended and greatly enjoyed.

1906-04-19, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.?

Rollo A. Tallcott, humorist and elocutionist, will give an entertainment in App’s Hall, April 21.

On Saturday evening, April 28, in App’s Opera House, will be presented the drama entitled Tony the Convlet by Oneida talent for the benefit of the new Catholic Church at this place.

1906-05-xx, Unknown Clipping

Between three and four hundred people attended the prize speaking contest in Apps Hall Friday evening by the pupils of the Union School.  The prizes were won by the following students: Girls – First prize, Bessie Leuchtner: second – Flora Stiebertts.  Boy – First prize: Patrick Cullen; second, Carl McArthur.  The other students who took part were Lena Harding, Luu Taft, Joseph Cleveland, Stanley Wright and Sophia Barnhard.  There judges were: Prof. Nathan and Prof. Leonard of Oneida and Daisy E. Lounsberry of Fulton.

1906-11-30, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.6

Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde will be the attraction at App’s Opera House, December 5.

The chicken pie supper held by the men of the M.E. Church was a success socially and financially.  A goodly sum was realized.

1907-01-17, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.9
Cleveland Chat

The members of St. James’ Episcopal Church will hold a stocking social and supper in App’s Hall, Jan. 26.

1907-02-04, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.6
Cleveland Chat

The Cleveland Band will give a concert in App’s Hall on Saturday evening, Feb. 9.

The Society of St. Mary’s Church will hold their annual fair and festival in App’s Hall, Feb. 6.

1907-05-06, Rome Daily Sentinel
Cleveland Chat

The Cleveland band will give a concert and dance in App’s Hall, May 6.

1907-05-23, Rome Daily Sentinel
Cleveland Chat

The Oneida Dramatic Company will present the melodrama O’Grady, The Irish Outlaw, at App’s Hall on Saturday evening, May 25.

At the prize speaking contest held by the Union Free School in App’s Hall on Friday evening.  The first prizes were awarded to Miss Bessie Leachner and Patrick Cullen, second prizes to Miss Cora Stebritz and Carl McArthur.  The judges were Burton Latham and Raymond Leonard of Oneida.

1907-08-15, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.8
Cleveland: Grand Carnival and Field Day Saturday, Aug. 17

A grand carnival and field day will be held here on Saturday, Aug. 17.  In the morning there will be races of all kinds, for which prizes will be given.  In the afternoon there will be a ball game between the Cleveland nine and the Windsors of Rome and in the evening a dance at App’s Hall.

1908-10-09, Unknown Clipping

Platt Jones, will give one of his entertianments, consisting of impersonations, moving pictures and illustrated songs in App’s Opera House next Monday evening, for the benefit of the school library fund.

1908-10-29, Oswego Daily Times, p.9

Bartlett of Oswego and Spencer of Fulton, addressed about 100 voters in App’s Hall, Saturday evening.

1910-03-24, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.2
Cleveland, Dramatic Company Rehearsing – Mortuary Matters – Personal

A dramatic company is spending the week in Cleveland, organizing and practicing the popular drama, The King of Tramps, which they will present for the first time March 28, in App’s Opera House

1910-10-26, Fulton Times, p.1
Republican Meetings

November 5 – Cleveland, App’s Hall: Hon. Francis M. Hugo, Rev. W.H. Simmons, Hon. Irving G. Hubbs

1910-11-05, Oswego Daily Times, p.6
Republican Meetings To-night

Cleveland, App’s Hall, Hon. Francis M. Hugo, Rev. W. H. Simmones, Hon. Irving G. Hubbs.

1910-12-15, Oswego Palladium

A State tuberculosis exhibit was held at App’s Hall on Saturday afternoon and evening.  A lecture was given by Dr. Pauling of the State Health Department, illustrated by steroptica views.  The Rev. H.P. Fox, of the M.E. Church, gave an address, and Dr. W.G. Babcok read a paper.  A special session was held for the Cleveland Union School, which was also attended by pupils from Bernhards Bay and Maple Flats districts.

1913-08-16, Oswego Daily Palladium, p.12

First Election District, App’s Hall, Cleveland.

1917-09-27, Oswego Daily Palladium, p.5
Constantia Republican Caucus

The Republican caucus of the town of Constantia will be held in App’s Hall, Cleveland, Saturday at two o’clock.

1920-08-14, Oswego Daily Palladium, p.9

First Election District, App’s Hall, Cleveland.

1925-12-21, Oswego Palladium-Times
Will Hold Christmas Dance

A dance will be given by the Post No. 358 of the American Legion, at App’s Hall, December 23, Christmas night.  Dancing will start at 8:30.  Smith’s Orchestra of Mexico has been engaged to furnish music for the occasion.

1928-06-28, Oswego Palladium-Times, p.10
Commencement Exercises Held by Cleveland Union School Tuesday Night

Commencement week program began with the baccalaureate sermon by Rev. G.H. MacNish in the Episcopal church Sunday evening, June 24.

The seniors to be graduated are: Ethel Louise Baker, Charles L. Duhamel, F. James Gallagher, Myron R. Johnson, Richard F. Kliz, Eleanor T. Lavancer, Victor E. Miller and Silas F. Peachin.

Graduation exercises were held in App’s Hall at 8 o’clock Tuesday evening.  Professor Harry E. Vannatta of Syracuse University gave the commencement address, choosing his topic “The Great Adventure.”

James Gallagher was valedictorian of the class and Charles Duhamel salutatorian.

The annual reception to the seniors was given in App’s Hall Wednesday evening, when the Syra-naders, a five-piece orchestra from Syracuse, played for dancing.  The alumni banquet will be given in the Hotel Cleveland, Thursday evening.

1929-03-30, Utica Daily Press

Ladies of the M.E. Church Society will hold a minstrel show in App’s Hall, Monday night.

Cleveland Chapter, O.E.B., will hold a dance and supper in App’s Hall, Wednesday night.

1936-12-08, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.5

The play “Keeping up Appearances” will be given in App’s Hall under suspices of the P.T.A. of Cleveland Union School

1937-12-16, Rome Daily Sentinel, p.6
Cleveland: Senior Class Play Will Be Given at App’s Hall

The senior class of Cleveland High School will present its annual play this evening at 8 o’clock at App’s Hall.  Nine of the ten seniors are in the cast; the remaining member is in charge of the advertising and general management of the production.

The play is called, “Where’s Grandma?” The cast is: Jean Barry, Pearl Batchelor, Charles Houser, Virginia Towne, Bessie Stinger, Jack Griesmyer, Kathleen Houser, Celestine Houser; Eden Caldwell is manager of production; Robert Gahn, stage manager; Miss Ella Pratt, English teacher, coach.

1 Comment

  1. I am so thrilled to see this post about the App Opera House! We had a family camp across the street and knew the App family well. As children, we were allowed to go upstairs to the Opera House and play (1950’s) It was such an interesting place, and I have been looking for information and pictures of it on the internet. Are there any other pictures that survived the fire?

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