Hayesville Opera House
5 1/2 East Main Street
Hayesville, Ohio

Welcome to our
Virtual Tour

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Thank you for coming.
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Hayesville sign
The Hayesville Opera House has been serving the Ashland County area since 1886.  Construction began in 1885 and was completed in the spring of 1886.  The funds for the building of the opera house were approved by the voters of Hayesville in 1884.  100 yes and 13 no votes.  General contractor was Samuel Craig.

The building is an example of a typical 19th-century pubic building which saw the lower level being used for commerce and government offices.  The opera house was located on the second floor.  For many years the theater was used for Farmers Institute meetings, local theater productions, community concerts, the annual memorial day program, Hayesville High School productions and graduation events.  In April 1926 the new Ashland Orchestra held one of there preview concerts on the opera house stage.

The highway running East to West in front of the building is the Lincoln Highway.  Opened in 1913 this road is a national route through Ohio.  Travelers on the road can begin in Time Square New York City and end in Long Beach, California.   Including passing in front of the Hayesville Opera House.

Over the many years several organizations have come to use the opera house building.  In 1976 efforts were started to bring new life to the theater through a restoration to help celebrate the national bicentennial.  In 1994 the Hayesville Opera House Restoration Board was begun to help continue the work of managing the opera house to serve the good of the community. 

Hayesville Opera House
Here is a postcard view of the Hayesville Opera House taken about 1890.
The building is located on the corner of routes 60 and 179.  If you look
close you can see the old watering trough for horses traveling along this
road.  This trough was located in the center of the road.  Today it is
now located in Kendig park across the street.

The building to the East of the opera house is the Hayesville Hardware
Store and International Order of Odd Fellows lodge. 

Ohio Historical Marker 1998
Here is our Ohio Historical Marker located
behind the opera house building on South Mechanics
Street.  As part of the Ohio Bicentennial celebration in
2003 the opera house was awarded an historical marker.

Academy historical marker
Also found near the rear of the opera house building is the
Ohio Historical marker awarded to the Vermillion Institute
building located at 150 East Main Street.  This marker
was awarded in 1976 as part of the National Bicentennial

The Vermillion Institute was a private four year college opened in 1845 by the Presbyterian Church.  The main class room building is still at this location today.  Please drive past the building sometime.  It is about two blocks East of the opera house.

In 1869 this four year college would become the founding
institution for the College of Wooster.

The Vermillion Institute closed in 1884.  In 1887 the building would be used for the Hayesville High School.

Today the building is a private residence and office space.

Lincoln Highway marker
At the front of the opera house building near the front door for
the opera house is the Lincoln Highway marker.  While this marker
is not original to the building it is original to the Lincoln
Highway.  Before there were highway signs, these markers showed
people how to find the lincoln highway and which way to go.

Usually you would look for the marker at beginning of intersections.
The marker would indicate the direction of travel for motorist following
the route of the Lincoln Highway.

The road in front of the opera house is the old Route 30.  In 1913 the
Lincoln Highway was laid out.  It started at Time Square in New York
City and ended at Long Beach, California.  Along the route you would
see many interesting sights.  Including the Hayesville Opera House in
Hayesville, Ohio.

Opera house front door
Here is the front door to the Hayesville Opera House.  Since 1886 and upto today many visitors have come to this very door.

front door open
Here we go let us go inside and see what is here.
Mind the steps there are a lot of them.

A lot of steps to climb but it is worth the effort.

Top of the steps
Here we are after climbing 25 steps.  This is what we see.
The main auditorium for the Hayesville Opera House. 

Stage from the back view
If we walk to the back of the auditorium here is the view of the
opera house stage. 

Old stove
In 1886 here is the gas stove used to heat the theater.

Today we have a new heating and air conditioning
system to make your visit more comfortable.

Something else to mention is where you would find the restroom.
In 1886 there was an outhouse behind the theater for people
to use.  That facility is long gone as today we do have an indoor
restroom.  Which is easier to use since you do not need to
go outside.

Stove description
If you look closer near the back of the stove you will see
the following.  The stove was made by the Eclipse Stove
Company of Mansfield, Ohio.  In modern times this
company would become the Tappan Industry located
in Mansfield, Ohio.

Have a closer look at our seating.  This is the same seating used
in 1886 and still used today.  We do offer you cushions to use or
you are welcome to bring your own.

If you will look underneath the seat you will see the hat rack used to store
your hat.  This was for gentlemen to please remove your hats to help others to see the show.

View from the stage
Looking from the stage here is what you can see.

Old stage view from the back
If you were here in 1886 here is the view of the stage from the
back of the auditorium.

Some things have changed.  The old kerosene chandlier is gone.  Also
at some point the piano was moved from the stage to the main auditorium

Also note the stencling on the walls and ceiling.  The large spot is actually something
 that got on the photo, it was not part of the opera house.

However the scenery and backdrops shown are still here. 
Play 1916.
If you had come in 1916 here is the cast for the play Kitty Bowly. 
Presenting a show on the opera house stage.

1923 program
One of the community events held each year at the opera house is the Memorial Day program.

If you were here in 1923 this printed program lists what was to take place for the
events of the day. 
Going back stage
Going back stage here is what you can see.  There are four dressing rooms.  Two on each side.

Stage view
 Looking across the stage you can see the other dressing rooms.

Also notice how the stage floor is slightly slopped.  This is not a
defect in construction, but was done to help with theatrical shows.
This type of floor is called a "Raked Stage" and allows the
audience to see the full stage perpsective from the main
auditorium.  It is also where you get the term "up stage and down
Stage view
Here you can see more of the stage area.  Note the theater lighting and
and our movie screen.  If you look real close you can some of the
original gas stage lighting.  Those are the small pipes coming down
from the ceiling in front of the movie screen.

You need to remember that in 1886 electric lighting was not yet available in
Hayesville, Ohio.  Thomas Edison was working on that invention in 1880. 

One of the most interesting features of the opera house
is that performers used to sign the walls, door frames,
back of the sceneries.

This signature is one of the best unknown secrets.  The new
Ashland Symphony Orchestra from Ashland, Ohio
presented there first concert on the opera house stage
in April 1926.
Buffalo Bill signature
Here is another famous signature.  Wild West performer
Buffalo Bill Cody signature.  This name is found in the
dressing room.  He was here October 28, 1888. 
However it is possible that he did not bring his horse
up stairs, but we do not know.

Here are some more signatures.  This one is found
on the back of some of the scenery.  It is for the
play "The Daughter of the Desert" presented
March 2, 1912.

Here is another signature for De Cleo The Mystic. 
He was here April 13, 1931.

Ohio Cares logo
First of all thank you for visiting the Hayesville Opera House
in 2020.  Due to the spread of the Covid 19 infection it
is necessary to limit our interaction with others to stop the
spread of the virus.  That is why we are having a virtual tour.
Hopefully the infection will decrease and allow you to visit
the Hayesville Opera House in person.  You will be glad
you did.

As Covid 19 has impacted our lives it also has effected that
of the Hayesville Opera House.  For the past few years we
have been offering first run movies and live shows.  However,
on March 15, 2020 the opera house had to close to help stop
the spread. 

To help our organization our committee was awarded grant
funding from the CARES act passed by congress.  These funds
will help get our theater open again.

Hayesville Opera House
5 1/2 East Main Street
Hayesville, OH 44805
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