1897 National Eagle RestoredPhoto Provided by the Claremont Opera House
On June 25th, the Claremont Opera House and City of Claremont will celebrate the 125th anniversary since the public building was dedicated in 1897. Many organizations have come together to plan celebrations for the occasion, including the launch of a commemorative book Stage Whispers — A Living History, Retold. One such organization is Claremont Custom Framing & Art Restoration that has been assisting behind the scenes to restore and capture many historic images, including one item that we thought to be beyond repair.
The front page of The National Eagle on June 26, 1897 read “Town Hall Dedicated. Interesting Ceremonies in Connection to the New Building. Fine weather and a big crowd for Claremont’s great day.” A copy of this paper was given to John Bennett, past President of the COH, by Charles Emond, who was the Stage Manager at the COH in the 1950-60s. Charles passed down the article and a collection of photos he had accumulated while at the COH. These items were stored for many years and time had deteriorated them. “The paper was rolled up and in such a fragile state that we wouldn’t unroll it for fear it would crumble into pieces,” Bennett said.