Opera House, Burlington, IA
The night the opera first came to town
That January night in 1882 was fit for neither man nor beast to be about in the city streets of Burlington. The temperature hovered near the 15-degree mark and a monstrous north wind rolled down Third Street. But instead of ice-covered, deserted streets, the north wind found the old town alive with lights and the laughter of well-bundled citizens attending the grand opening of the town's palatial Opera House.
The social elite, the music lovers and the curious flocked to the large brick building in the 400 block of Third Street, where "Fra Diavolo," with Emma Abbott of the Grand English Opera Company, was about to inaugurate what was billed as the "finest opera house in the west."
Image: Page from Jno. B. Jeffery's Guide and Directory to the Opera Houses, Theatres, Public Halls, Bill Posters, Etc. of the Cities and Towns of America