Scottsville MuseumPhoto ArchiveBusinessCemeteriesChurchEventsFloodsFor KidsHomesPortraitsPostcardsSchool
TransportationCivil War World War IIEsmontSearch

Light Opera in Scottsville, 1914

King Cole and His Court, 1914

Name:  Light Opera in Scottsville

Date:  September 1914

Image Number:  B22cdB13

Comments:  In the early 1900's, Miss Hannah Moore's Hall hosted frequent plays and musical performances, which Scottsville townspeople attended in great number.  These programs were a popular part of Scottsville social life and attractive to all ages.  They were simply great fun for everyone, cast and audience.  Shown in this photo are the cast members of a 1914 light opera, entitled 'Old King Cole', which was performed at Moore's Hall as a benefit to support the Scottsville Band.  The light opera starred Samuel Gault, the town's postmaster as Old King Cole, and included Thomas 'Ellison' Bruce, a young local druggist, among the male leads.  The following are excerpts from Ellison's letters to his future wife, Mary Estes Browne of Palmyra, about the cast's amusing rehearsals and successful performances:

August 17, 1914:  " We are really going to get up a play.  Miss Lucy Powers is getting it up.  She has asked me several times if I would help her.  I haven't told her I would, but think I shall.  She says she has such a good part for me.  I really enjoy them sometimes."

August 28, 1914:  " We had our first rehearsal tonight.  We are not going to have a play as the time for getting it up was too limited.  So we have substituted a light opera instead, musical.  Almost everybody in town is in it.  I've wondered who will be left to make up the audience.  I couldn't start to name all of it, but Sam Gault represents Old King Cole.  Johnson, Dr. Blair, Whitlock, and myself are the other men.  I believe it's going to be very pretty, we're hoping to have it on Sept. 8th at Moore's Hall."

September 5, 1914:  " Our opera is coming along nicely.  Sam Gault is a bird - you ought to see his costume - the best yet is to hear him sing a solo.  Honestly he takes the cake!  We are now going to have it Friday night, Sept. 11th."

September 16, 1914:  " Our 'operetta' was simply great, or that's what everybody says.  The people made a great big fuss over it.  I'll not tell you too much about it now, as I want to show and tell you in person what Sam Gault did.  We had two performances - Friday and Monday nights, with a large house both nights and made seventy dollars on tickets, besides refreshments, for the Band.  We had our pictures taken yesterday in costume -- I want to show you these."

William Burgess photographed the cast of 'Old King Cole' a few days after their final performance at Miss Hannah Moore's Hall.  Use the image below as a guide to the names of cast members:

(1) Louise Beal;  (2) Mary Harris;  (3) Dr. Joseph P. Blair;  (4) Emily Smith;  (5) Forrest Paulett;  (6) Katherine Pitts;  (7) Martha Dillard;  (8) Innes Harris;  (9) Rachel Beal;  (10) Sam Gault (King of Hearts);  (11) Mary Powers (Queen of Hearts);  (12) Sara Dillard;  (13) Dabney Goodwin;  (14) Virginia Pitts;  (15) Thomas Ellison Bruce;  (16) Dorothy Pitts;  (17) Mrs. Nathan Sclater;  (18) G. H. Johnson;  (19) Tyler Goodwin;  (20) Susie Blair; 

Copyright © 2018 by Scottsville Museum

Image Located On:  Capturing Our Heritage, CDB13

King Cole and His Court



Museum    Archive    Business    Cemeteries    Church    Events     Floods    For Kids   Homes     Portraits    Postcards    School    Transportation    Civil War

    WWII    Esmont    Search    Policy   

Scottsville Museum  ·  290 Main Street  ·  Scottsville, Virginia 24590  ·  434-286-2247  · 
[email protected]
© 2018 by Scottsville Museum