Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Cooksville Christmas in Summer Show: Commemoration of the Old Cooksville Opera House

Known as Van Vleck’s Hall, the Cooksville Opera House was located above Van Patten’s and Newkirk’s meat market on the corner of Main (now hwy 138) and Dane Streets. At the time, the second-floor opera house was used by local and traveling performers as one of Cooksville’s social gathering venues, which also included the schoolhouse (now the Cooksville Community Center), the Congregational Church, and the Masonic Lodge above the General Store. Although no pictures of this structure have been found, Cooksville resident Chris Beebe has created an artist’s rendering of what this structure may have looked like in the 1890s.

After a one-year hiatus, the Cooksville Community Center is again presenting its annual One Room School House Christmas in Summer pageant on Saturday, August 11st, 2018 starting at 1:30 pm in the Cooksville Community Center, located at the junction of Church Street and Highway 59 in the village of Cooksville.  The theme for this year’s event is the Cooksville Opera House Extravaganza, commemorating the Opera House, built in 1845 and which burned down December 5, 1893.

The Christmas in Summer event will include performances by two Madison-based vocal ensembles, the Spare Parts Quartet, a women’s barbershop quartet, and Deliberate Vibration, a 5-member a capella group. In addition, there will be a performance by Warren and Cynthia Fremling, Opera Singers from the Chicago Area, as well as some local talent performances from Cooksville, including the Cooksville Opera House Chorus.