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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Columbus in Muscogee County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Columbus’ First Theater

 
 
Columbus’ First Theater Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David Seibert, August 25, 2009
1. Columbus’ First Theater Marker
Inscription.  (Side 1):
A pioneer theatrical entrepreneur, Sol Smith, 1801-1869, built many theaters in the Deep South, including New Orleans and Mobile and the first permanent theater west of the Mississippi in St. Louis, a city that he and partner Noah Ludlow dominated. Smith came to Columbus in 1831 to a primitive log structure in the 800 block of Broadway, which builder Asa Bates had completed in one week. “Pizzaro” was his company’s first production there. Later, Smith toured Georgia’s theater circuit accompanied by friend Mirabeau B. Lamar, founding editor of the Columbus Enquirer and later second president of the Republic of Texas.

(Side 2):
Early Theatres

The Springer Opera House, 1871, was the sixth legitimate theater in downtown Columbus. Previous were the Sol Smith, Crawford Street, Lyceum, Concert Hall and Temperance Hall. The early theatrical circuit followed the Old Federal Road through Columbus, as did many well known personalities like English novelist William Makepeace Thackeray and Swedish violinist Ole Bull. During an 1850 visit here by the Canning Company, its manager accidentally wounded
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John Wilkes Booth, an actor more notorious for assassinating President Abraham Lincoln at Washington’s Ford Theater than praised for his histrionics.
 
Erected 2002 by Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Historic Columbus Foundation, Inc.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicCommunicationsEntertainmentIndustry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1831.
 
Location. 32° 27.693′ N, 84° 59.581′ W. Marker is in Columbus, Georgia, in Muscogee County. Marker is on Broadway, 0.1 miles 8th Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 828 Broadway, Columbus GA 31901, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Joseph House (within shouting distance of this marker); Early Residences (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Lummus Cotton Gins (about 500 feet away); The Columbus Guards (about 500 feet away); Empire Mills (about 600 feet away); Origin of Memorial Day (about 600 feet away); Garrett and Sons / Cargill-Wright Company (about 600 feet away); Col. W. L. Salisbury (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbus.
 
Side 2: Early Theatres Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David Seibert, August 25, 2009
2. Side 2: Early Theatres Marker
Columbus’ First Theater Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David Seibert, August 24, 2009
3. Columbus’ First Theater Marker
Looking north on Broadway toward 9th Street and Columbus' business and financial district
Side 2: Early Theatres Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By David Seibert, August 25, 2009
4. Side 2: Early Theatres Marker
The Joseph House (c. 1842) is in the background
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 1, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 29, 2009, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. This page has been viewed 2,275 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 29, 2009, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 21, 2024