Postcard courtesy of Tina Zickefoose.
These articles are from the vertical files in the Local History and Genealogy Room of the Holmes County District Public Library:
(This piece doesn’t include a date, but Jane and Sandy’s Variety Store no longer exists)
By Lee Hunter
Special thanks to the Farmer-Hub.
Over the years, Holmes Countians have been able to amuse themselves in various ways. People could go bowling or roller skating in the building that Jane and Sandy’s Variety Store is now in. The Opera House was the most popular place in town, which was located just west of where the professional building now stands.
The Opera House was built just before the turn of the century. It was the city building but soon after construction the Opera House moved in. The building seated around 250-300 moviegoers, fitting them into a main seating section and a balcony. The theater specialized in first-run movies with the top-notch stars of the day. Occasionally, they ran plays.
The building shared quarters with a few offices and the Millersburg Fire House. the Fire House was on the west end of the building; it had sandstone pillars, wooden floors, and two large doors that provided access to Jackson Street.
In 1925, Hoy Russell, Holmes County Probate Judge, bought the Opera House and continue to show many fine movies while he owned it.
The Millersburg Council approved funds to redecorate the Opera House in 1928 with the “Fashionable and acceptable colors of 1928.”
The Opera House showed movies every day of the week. On Wednesdays, the merchants of Millersburg sponsored the movie and the doors of the theater were open so that moviegoers could watch a movie free of charge. Soon, inflation caught up with the merchants and the citizens had to pay six cents; then it increased to a dime.
The Opera House started out all of their shows with a cartoon, sometimes a short-short of Laurel and Hardy. It was later torn down in 1954.
February 10, 1955
Holmes County Farmer Hub
Council Plans to Raze City Building
May buy old ford garage for new municipal office; make old site into parking lot
Plans for razing the Millersburg City Hall were discussed at the Monday evening meeting of the village council.
Councilman Richard Kagey, Jr., announced to council members that the building committee has investigated repairs needed to make the roof of the building safe and found the building in such bad condition it would be impractical to try to repair it.
Mr Kagey said that the committee had contacted the Holmes Rural Electric owners of the old Ford garage building on West Jackson St. about the possibility of the village purchasing that location for the village offices, should the present city hall be abandoned and found it could be purchased.
Postcard courtesy of Tina Zickefoose.
The present city building was condemned by the state fire marshall years ago and the opera house sec ion of the building has remained unused since that time. A bond issue for $125,000 for remodeling the building was voted down several years ago, and only a few essential repairs to the clerks office, council chambers and fire and street department sections of the building have been made, as needed.
Tearing down the old building will probably involve bonded indebtedness for the village Solicitor Raymond Miller pointed out as there is no surplus in the general fund for the purpose. The village will also have a large bond issue on its books when the sewage disposal plant is installed int eh near future he added. At present the village has no bonded indebtedness, however it has had to transfer funds from the parking meter fund to the general fund to meet current operating expenses in recent (?)
The councilmen also discussed plans for making over the city hall site into a municipal parking lot, should the building be torn down and the village offices moved to a new location permanently. It was estimated that 36 cars could be parked in the lot and relieve the parking problems of the village. Parking meters would be installed and add to the village income as well as assist business in the community through customer parking space.
No definite plans were made at the meeting. The building committee is to look further into purchasing the new building and Councilman David Stoner was to check with firms for estimates on razing the building.
Tearing the building down will be the loss of a land mark to some, the councilmen considered, however, they pointed out that they have little alternative, since the building has become a safety hazard and a financial burden.
Little else was discussed at the meeting. Payment of bills amounting to $2,582.81 was approved by the councilman and Clerk William Pyers reported that the Mayor’s January report totaled $253 received by the village, including $13 in permits, $140 in local fines and costs and $100 from State Highway Patrol Costs.
Holmes County Farmer-Hub
City Building is Condemned
Village Given Ninety Days to Raze Building
An order from Charles R. Scott, state fire marshall, condemning the present city building and fire station as unsafe and ordering that it be torn down in ninety days was received by Mayor Oscar Miller Wednesday morning by registered mail.
An inspection of the building was made by Fire Inspector Ralph W. Andregg on March 9, the order stated and his report listed:
“The following conditions to exist:
“This large old opera house building is in very poor repair; the roof poor and the leaking has caused the beams to rot away the ceiling to sag; wiring very poor; outside walls cracked and in bad condition; brick loose in the chimney and mortor out; the foundation bad in places
“Therefore by reason of the premised and pursuant to the authority vested in my by virtue of my office…you are hereby ordered within ninety (90) days from the date of service of this order, the above mentioned building shall be torn down and all rubbish and debris removed from the premises.”
Mayor Miller pointed out that the village council could protest the order and the protest would be investigated by the state fire marshall. However, it is not likely that a protest would avail a change in the order, since the recent investigating of the building brought an order for tearing the building down and not repairs.
Should the village fail to comply with the order, the fire marshall may have it done at the expense of the village with a 25 percent penalty should the village not pay the cost. Revised Ohio Code also provides for a penalty of from $10 to $50 for each day’s neglect of the order.
There’s more information about the Millersburg Opera House, including a full timeline of its history, in the vertical files of the Holmes County District Public Library’s Local History and Genealogy room.