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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Smyrna in Kent County, Delaware — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Smyrna Opera House and Old Town Hall

 
 
Smyrna Opera House and Old Town Hall Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, December 15, 2010
1. Smyrna Opera House and Old Town Hall Marker
Inscription.  In the spring of 1869, the Commissioners of Smyrna approved a plan to erect a Town Hall. Responding to the long-held desire of the citizens for a venue for public gatherings, architect Richard Mitchell designed the building to include a “hall” on the second floor. Ground was broken on July 15, 1869, and the building was opened the following spring. For many years it was the center of the community’s civic and social activities. Often attracting large crowds from long distances, the building’s “Opera House” provided a wide variety of entertainment including plays, lectures, music, and dancing. Many persons of national prominence appeared. Abolitionist and civil rights pioneer Frederick Douglass spoke here in 1880, and William Jennings Bryan addressed supporters during his campaign for U. S. President in 1900. In later years the second floor was used for showing motion pictures. The completion of a new Town Hall in 1976 and the subsequent relocation of town police resulted in the library’s expansion on the first floor. Restoration of the building was undertaken by the Smyrna Clayton Heritage Association in 1998, and the
Smyrna Opera House and Old Town Hall image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, December 15, 2010
2. Smyrna Opera House and Old Town Hall
Now occupied by the Smyrna Public Library.
Opera House was formally reopened in 2003. The property is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
 
Erected 2003 by Delaware Public Archives. (Marker Number KC-71.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings.
 
Location. 39° 17.979′ N, 75° 36.293′ W. Marker is in Smyrna, Delaware, in Kent County. Marker is at the intersection of West South Street and S, Main Street, on the right when traveling east on West South Street. Marker is mounted on the South Street side of the building. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Smyrna DE 19977, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Barracks (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Gray Box Chateau (about 700 feet away); School District No. 5 (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Delaware House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Citizens' Hose Company No. 1. Inc. (approx. 0.2 miles away); Site of Green Pottery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Commodore Jacob Jones (approx. 0.2 miles away); Thomas D. Clayton School (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Smyrna.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on December 16, 2010, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 773 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 16, 2010, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
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Jul. 9, 2020