Stoughton Opera House with
Storyteller Doug Phundheller
Sarah | Dylan
| Rodrigo | Mackenzie
Phundheller is a very German 73-year-old man. Not nearly as Norwegian
as most others. In the 1900s there were no televisions or radios, so everybody
went to the opera house in Stoughton. It was a bit like a huge movie theater
to them, but with plays instead of movies. The Opera House was built in
1901, but there weren't any fire escapes yet. But seven years later they
put in a fire escape. Now this wasn't your ordinary fire escape. This
was a beam that would tip and wobble back and forth. Doug and his friends
would play on it and run back and forth, trying to balance, until someone
would shoo them off.
In 1954 the opera house was no longer in use. It was very messy and pigeons
used it for their homes. Oscar Johnson, called "Pretty Oscar,"
was hired to shoot pigeons in
the opera house --Sarah
The lights at the opera house were gas-powered. It
had an elevator where a horse was on a rope connected to a pulley in the
opera house, connected to an elevator. So when the horse would walk down
the alley, the elevator would go up.
Important people would sit in the box seats of the opera house. The seats
below the balcony were oak. The first Civil War band played at the Opera
At the first performance they had at the opera
house, Abraham Lincoln's wife came on a horse. --Rodrigo
In 1982 they [who?] convinced the city to tear
down and restore the opera house to how it originally looked. It had been
abandoned for so many years that the windows were broken and the ceiling
needed to be replaced.
They got started. First they put in heating and air conditioning.
They replastered walls. One man took out all the seats by hand, unscrewing
screw (I bet his hands must have hurt.), and he put the new ones in.
The new seats, like the old ones, had wire underneath where the men used
toput their hats.
It took more than 20 years to build and furnish the opera house. They
spent almost a million dollars on the opera house, and the money all came
They had a grand reopening for the opera house.
Important people came for the celebration. They put in modern sound systems.
A gold outline on the stage is 22kt gold. The gold-colored designs on
the walls were painted with stencils, then gold slabs were put on the
design. [fix?] Above the state there is a large copper plate.