“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Oakland in Garrett County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The Opera House

The Opera House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones, September 1, 2019
1. The Opera House Marker
Inscription.  In the late 1800's John W. Garrett, President of the B&O Railroad, began promoting the Oakland/Deer Park area as one of the premier vacation resorts in the country. With twelve passenger trains arriving in Oakland daily, and an ever-increasing flow of tourists, there was a growing support for a high quality entertainment facility. In response to this demand, Mr. John Shartzer announced, on February 28, 1985, his intention to build a first-class opera house on Second Street. Work on the Shartzer Opera House began in February 1896. An article in the Republican newspaper, February 13, stated: "The new plans for the building are on an extensive scale. The first floor will be fitted up for offices and storerooms. The second floor will be apartments for offices. The third floor will be used exclusively as a theater. This room will have a floor space capable of seating 500 persons. The floor will slope gradually from the stage to the rear of the hall. A number of private boxes will be erected adjoining the stage. The ceiling will be 24 feet high. The building will be heated the steam and lighted by electricity." The grand opening of the new Shartzer
The Opera House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones, September 1, 2019
2. The Opera House Marker
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Opera House occurred on September 9, 1896.

The name of the theater was later changed to the Oakland Opera House, and in the ensuing years the opera house offered a wide variety of entertainment. Some of the traveling show companies were Buckler's Big Stock Company, Jolliffe's Bright Lights, Frank Adams and Company, the German Medicine Company, and the Mortimer Troupe (who came for a full week each year and always played to a packed house).

Local minstrel shows were also very popular. One such show was announced in the local newspaper in July, 1910: "The colored people of Oakland and Mt. Lake Park will give a minstrel show in the Oakland Opera House on next Thursday evening, July 28, for the benefit of the Oakland African American Church. The program will consist of music, character sketches and dialogues, and the entertainment will be very enjoyable to everyone. Adults 25 cents, children 10 cents."

In addition to entertainment, the Opera House building provided space for a number of local businesses over the years, including Mrs. K.R. Rasche's School of Music, Grant's Photographic Studio, Guy Orcuitt's Barber Shop, the Preston Lumber Company offices, Hinebaugh's Restaurant, etc. The Opera House continued to provide entertainment until 1911, when the Knights of Pythias erected a lodge and theater building on Third Street. The Opera House building
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was ultimately torn down in 1967 to create space for the new Garrett National Bank.
Erected by Oakland, Maryland.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansArts, Letters, MusicEntertainmentIndustry & Commerce. In addition, it is included in the Maryland, Town of Oakland series list. A significant historical date for this entry is February 28, 1985.
Location. 39° 24.565′ N, 79° 24.457′ W. Marker is in Oakland, Maryland, in Garrett County. Marker is on South 2nd Street just north of East Green Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 46 South 2nd Street, Oakland MD 21550, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Welcome to Dailey’s Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Garrett Memorial Church (within shouting distance of this marker); B&O Mile Marker (within shouting distance of this marker); Deer Park Hotel Station (within shouting distance of this marker); In Memory of Rev. John A. Grant (within shouting distance of this marker); 1938 McCormick-Deering Farmall F14 & 1942 John Deere (within shouting distance of this marker); Gas House (within shouting distance of this marker); The Glades Hotel (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oakland.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 5, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 5, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 85 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 5, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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May. 16, 2022