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Emmett Kelly Museum

1896 Sedan Opera House

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History: Sedan Opera House

Based On Work Complied and Written by : Dona Casement 
October 1990 

      The Sedan Opera House was first built by W. H. Bryan in 1885 where he operated a mercantile store  in the bottom of the building, specializing in wagons, buggies and implements. 
      In 1890 the Opera House was destroyed by fire.
      E. C. Ackarman bought the lots where the Opera House stood in 1895. The Opera House was rebuilt  by E. C. Ackarman where he also used the bottom portion of the  building to sell wagons, buggies and  implements.  
     Several parties including churches, organizations and theater groups used the upper portion of the  building. The Chrysanthemum show was held from 1902 through 1921.
      In 1903 the Opera House was destroyed by fire then rebuilt in 1904 when the Ancient Order of  Workmen bought the lot and building. Mr. Ackarman continued to use the bottom floor for his  mercantile.
      In 1919 Mr. Ackarman bought the second story of the building from the Ancient Order of Workmen.
      In 1928 G.C. (Carlin) Bain opened Square Deal Produce on the main floor of the building. Later in  1937 to 1946, Mr. Bain operated a GMC and Pontiac car dealership at the building, purchasing the  building from Beth Ackarman.
     During World War II the lower portion was used as an armory for the Tank Company and the 353rd  Infantry Regiment Reserves, the upper floor being used as a skating rink from 1946 to the late 1950Ős.
      1961 - G.C. Bains sold the building to Beth Ackarman Dungan. The building was used by Ackarman  for storage.
     In 1980 Beth and Horace Dungan sold the building to the City of Sedan and the Emmett Kelly  Museum moved into the bottom floor. The upper floor sat idle except on occasional Halloweens when it  was used as a Haunted House attraction for area children. The Emmett Kelly Museum still occupies the  lower portion if the building.

     The Sedan Opera House has been nominated to The National Register of Historic Places and  Register of Historic Kansas Places sense 1993. http://www.kshs.org/resource/registerhome.htm

May 5, 2006, The Emmett Kelly Museum ~ Sedan Opera House was announceded as a, "Most Endangered Site", by the Kansas Preservation Alliance. http://www.kpalliance.org

"Certification of State Register Listing"

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"Kansas Preservation Alliance
2006 Most Endangered Sites Listings PDF"

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     Pictures in the above Slide Show are:
     0. 1896 Sedan Opera House made in 1911 by Avrey
     1. Downtown Sedan about 1907 by Avrey Studieo
     2. The Band Stand about 1907 by Avrey Studieo
         Emmett mentions the Bandstand and Downtown in his autobiography, "Clowns".
     3. The Sedan Opera House today. Home of the Emmett Kelly Museum.
     4. Entrance to the Emmett Kelly Museum in spring time.

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