Columbus in Muscogee County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
Columbus’ First Theater
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.
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 John Wilkes Booth, an actor more notorious for assassinating President Abraham Lincoln at Washington’s Ford Theater than praised for his histrionics.
Location. 32° 27.693′ N, 84° 59.581′ W. Marker is in Columbus, Georgia, in Muscogee County. Marker is on Broadway 0.1 miles from 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.
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); Garrett and Sons / Cargill-Wright Company (about 600 feet away); Col. W. L. Salisbury (about 600 feet away); Walker – Peters – Langdon House (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbus.
Categories. • Antebellum South, US • Arts, Letters, Music •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 29, 2009, by David Seibert of Sandy Springs, Georgia. This page has been viewed 1,823 times since then and 134 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.