Fife Opera House Featured Shops

Main Street
Spring 2015
Fife Opera House
Main Street’s crown jewel
reopens after 100 years!
Featured Shops
The Red Queen Consignments
The Rocking Horse, JK’s Corner
Free Store & Grand Prairie Studio
Dozens of vendors with a large variety to choose from.
March 2015
Art Is Relative Exhibit
Palestine Art Center 10-2 Weekdays
March 28, 2015
Swing Into Spring at SD Meadows Gallery
with Josh & Jessica Jewels & Attitude Salon
for tickets and information
Inside This Edition ...
Local Talent at Comic Con
Lexi Branson is living her dreams.
Spring Fling
Something New On Main Street
Harmon’s Pharmacy opened a Palestine branch this
winter. In addition to a full prescription service, they
offer a small gift section, over the counter health
products, medical equipment, and a hearing aid service.
Harmon’s in Palestine also has the only pharmaceutical
compounding laboratory
in Crawford, Jasper or
Lawrence counties.
Always willing to further
his education, Brad
recently completed a
compounding course.
Check out Palestine’s
With a modern
compounding lab,
Harmon’s Pharmacy
can create personalized
medications for you or
your pet as prescribed
by your physician or
Harmon’s Palestine store is located across the street
from the High School at 101 North Main.
Semi-annual sales event brings vendors and
shoppers together in historic Fife Opera House.
at the Fife - Rodney Bond
Palestine’s Historic Fife Opera House reopens
after more than 100 years of silence.
Flying S Cadets - Penny Shaw
Science made fun.
Featured Shops
The Red Queen, The Rocking Horse,
Grand Prairie Studios, JK’s Corner Free Store
CCA Spring Art Show
Crawford County Arts 27th Annual Exhibit
featuring local and regional artists.
Fort LaMotte - Rob Byrley
Exciting activities scheduled at Fort Lamotte in 2015.
America’s Best Communities
Six communities along Route 1 are working toward a
common goal and up to $3 million in grants.
Watch for smart
links like this >>
in many articles.
for online details,
ticket info, & more.
<< scan with smartphone
Stop in and say ...
Welcome to Palestine!
Publisher: Palestine Development Association
Editor: Jim Ellis
Cover: (re)Opening Night at the Fife
May 3-16, 2015
Crawford County Arts Spring Show
12-5 daily at the Fife
Local Artist Exhibits at
Indiana Comic Con Main Street Palestine
Lexi Branson, a junior at Palestine High School,
recently exhibited her artwork in Artist Alley of
the Indiana Comic Con March 13-15, 2015.
As you may notice by the picture, Lexi cosplayed
Bucky Barnes from “Captain America Winter
Soldier” on day two of the event. This happens
to be one of her favorite characters and is also
the subject of one of her latest digital paintings.
One of the highlights from the event for this
artist was meeting the voice actors behind two
“Attack on Titan” characters. Each actor autographed her “Attack on Titan” artwork and in
turn asked for her
to autograph the
same prints for their
collections; needless
to say, she was happy
to do so.
Lexi appreciated
the opportunity to
meet and share with
experienced artists,
collectors, organizations, and businesses.
The advice, support
and encouragement
she received was
Lexi stated meeting
and talking with so
many kind people
who share her love
for art is what she
enjoyed most about
the event.
Spring Fling
Spring Fling organizer, Nicole Martin, says she is, “Very
excited to announce that we will
be having our “4th Annual Main
Street Palestine Spring Fling.”
The event will be at the Fife
Opera House on Saturday, April
11th 9am - 3pm.
There will be over 20 vendors
inside and several outside. There
will be many returning vendors
along with some new ones. The
Pioneer Band Wagon will be
serving sandwiches and drinks
inside the Fife.
Vendors will offer a variety of
goods for sale. There will be
Scentsy Fragrance, jewelry, hair bows & accessories, and
handmade crafts to name a few.
Make plans to spend the day in Palestine! There
are several places to shop and to enjoy a great
Th e Ro c k i n g H o r s e
The Rocking Horse is a gift and floral shop located
at 210 S. Main St., Palestine. The shop offers a large
selection of giftware including stuffed animals, wall
signs, Willow Tree Angels, unique jewelry, Noelle &
Bella Taylor purses, stepping stones, yard flags, and
Colonial Candles. It also sells Doughmaker Bakeware,
Rhythm Clocks, Wind & Willow cheeseball/dip/soup/
dessert mixes as well as a selection of afghans, pillows
and greeting cards.
Something new in the
shop this spring season
is Spent Round Design
Jewelry. Made in the
USA, this unique jewelry
is made from used shot
gun shells. They have
taken the used metal
earrings, cuff links, tie
tacks and money clips.
Since 2001, The Rocking
a full service floral
We do
fresh and silk flowers for funerals, weddings, every
day and seasonal occasions and offer delivery within
Crawford County and to West Union.
Don’t forget Spring clean-up in the cemeteries is soon
and with Memorial Day just around the corner, now is
the perfect time to order custom silk cemetery pieces.
Store hours are Monday – Friday 9:30 am – 5 pm and on
Saturday 9:30 am – 3 pm. Please like us on Facebook
to view past/current pictures and in store specials.
Orders may be placed by calling 618-586-2444 or stop
in to browse around our small store to see all the
wonderful things we have to offer.
The Rocking Horse is celebrating 30 years of business
service to the community this year.
Owners of the Rocking Horse, the Fuller Family
48 Years of Western Entertainment in the Pioneer City Arena!
Pioneer City Rodeo
& Labor Day Celebration
in Concert at the Fife
September 3rd - 7th
The Fife Opera House welcomes the
award-winning Appalachian gospel group,
HighRoad, to its stage on Friday, March 27
at 7pm (CDT). The trio will fill the auditorium with their beautiful, haunting melodies &
vocals. The show will be a mix of gospel and
country music.
HighRoad’s music features the girls’ inventive instrumentation and it is filled with the
beautiful, haunting melodies and vocals that
have been the group’s hallmark. The trio, all
graduates of Belmont University’s prestigious
School of Music, feel the songs of HighRoad
reflect their personal journey.
The group has been in the studio recently
and released their brand new album, Angel at
the Crossroads, in May of 2014. Produced by
Grammy winner and producer of The Gaither
Vocal Band, Ben Isaacs of The Isaacs, and
engineered by Grammy winner Mark Capps,
the album features original songs written by
the group as well as other writers and also
includes hymns like My Savior’s Love for
Me. With Greg Ritchie on percussion (Gaither Vocal Band, David Phelps) and Stephen
Wilder on upright bass, the sound reflected is
exactly what HighRoad strives to do- to be an
non-conforming light in a dark world.
Learn more about HighRoad at:
Tickets are available at The Village Framery Palestine, IL, $10 in advance/$12 at the door.
The Fife is located at 125 S. Main Palestine.
Doors will open at 6:00 pm.
They may also be purchased online at
LaMotte Trading
Antiques - Mantiques - & More
Open Thursday, Friday, & Saturday
Just a Block off Main on East Grand Prairie
Palestine Library District Shooting Stars Fundraiser
Emergency Dental Surgery in Concert
Friday, April 17, 2015
7:00 to 9:00 PM (CDT)
At The Fife, Main Street Palestine
Tickets $10
Contact Library for details.
Main Street Palestine’s Crown Jewel
The Fife Opera House
Located on Main Street in downtown Palestine, Illinois is
the David Fife Opera House. It was built in the years 1898
to 1901, the beginning of the twentieth century. A time of
hustle and bustle when machines, technology and this new
thing called electricity was permeating everyday life. The
essence of culture was desired by all.
David Fife, the builder, graduated from Garvin Commercial
College in Terre Haute, Indiana
and from the Indianapolis School
of Embalming. His embalming
renewal certificate dated 1901 is
on display in the Opera House
downstairs. The building is
now owned by the Palestine
Preservation Projects Society
(PPPS), which was organized in
1988 to preserve the history of
this area. PPPS was able to get
this building listed as an Illinois
Historic Site, then listed on the
National Register of Historic Places, in 1990.
In the first decade of the twentieth century, the opera
house was the center of culture for the area, and enjoyed
capacity attendance much of the time. People came from
some distance away on one of the several passenger trains
arriving daily. After attending a performance they stayed
overnight at one of the four hotels operating at that time.
Many came by horse or carriage, and horses were kept at
one of the livery stables.
Money was flowing in Crawford County. A major oil field
opened up, resulting oil wells throughout the county,
drawing thousands of people pursuing riches. The small
town at the time Stoy, now only a collection of few
buildings, became a city of ten thousands tents. It is said
the J. D. Rockefeller came to the
area as millions of dollars a day
were flowing.
Stock shows, talent shows, band
concerts, lyceum series, speakers,
commencements and community
events occurred in the Opera
House. Attendance was good,
especially in winter when it
was standing room only. Actors
worked on a 60/40% basis of the
gate receipts, with actors receiving
the 60%. Ushers were high school
boys and their pay was 2 tickets. It was said the ushers also
fired the furnace and passed out show bills. Phil Harris’
parents played at the opera house when Phil was a baby
kept in a box off-stage, according to Mel Hollingsworth.
Starnes Company appeared here, father of John Lawrence
tent show, which gave Red Skelton and Phil Harris a start.
The Palestine Preservation Projects Society has two posters
of acts that appeared in the Opera House. These are framed
and displayed downstairs in the Fife.
There were many notable performances including opening
night, Sept. 18, 1901, a performance of J. H. LaPearl
Company--”They Want Me” which enjoyed a full house!
Other shows were: Faust, Thelma, Dr. Jekyll and M r. Hyde,
A Bunch of Keys, Ten Nights in a Bar Room, East Lynn,
Vendetta, Folks Up Willow Creek, Jane Eyre, Hidden
Hand, and Girl From Home. The final performance was in
May, 1912, with a local cast of 100. It was a Cantata, Queen
Esther The proceeds were used to purchase the wroughtiron cemetery fence, still in place today.
One interesting sidelight during the performance of Queen
Ester was the small horse brought up on the hand operated
elevator and used to pull the carriage for the entrance
of the Queen. Other performances were: Uncle Rube,
Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Captain Racket, Hearts and Flowers
Song, Foster’ s Band ( 1904), and Railroad Picnic Plays.
Admission was usually 35c but they charged 50c for the
Queen Esther cantata.
Opera Houses were built throughout the country at the
turn of the century. The Fife Opera House captures the
essence of the structures of the time. In the West wall of
the auditorium is a proscenium arch 25’ wide and 15’ high.
25 lights illuminate the arch. Side paintings are 14’ wide
and 15’ high, river scenes, unmatched. The front curtain
rolled up and down. Today the curtain is stationary, but
beautifully restored after it recently ripped across the top
and fell.
There were five sets of scenery painted by Sosman and
Landes Co. of Chicago. The five sets of scenery were
Click for larger view of Timeline
Cherubs, Interior, Woods, Cabin/ river and Garden/drapes.
Much scenery was destroyed on the fire Marshall’s order,
claiming it to be a fire hazard. More was tacked up in a
haphazard fashion as a draft barrier. Amazingly, several
sections have survived in relatively good shape.
Fife’s mother convinced him the shows were sinful. She was
a strict Presbyterian. She told her son to have the painters
come back and paint veiling on the naked cherubs. The
colors on the scenery and stenciling in the auditorium were
still bright, although many were smudged with dirt and
leaks from the roof leaks until they were refurbished. The
stenciling around the chandeliers were preserved and/or
regenerated in the restoration. (con’t on next page)
The Fife Opera House Auditorium broke 102 years
of silence on December 27, 2014 with a concert by
Crawford County’s own Teri Obst and Bob King & The
King Pin Band.
(The Fife, con’t)
In the 26 years since the formation of the PPPS and
the purchase of the Fife Opera House, the building has
painstakingly been restored and rejuvenated. The building
had become the repository for a number of historical items
from the community over the last century. Many volunteer
hours of hard labor cleaned and moved and sorted the items
disposing of them to new homes and in appropriate ways.
With monies from many events including bake sales, grants
and significant donations, a functioning auditorium was
brought back to life.
The original focus was the downstairs with the replacement
of ceilings, painting and the stripping/refinishing of the
floor. The desire was to make the building functional as
soon as possible. The building required two major projects
in the first few years, both of equal significances to ensure
the longevity of the structure. A new roof was necessary to
stop the leaks from causing further damage to the upstairs
auditorium and the total replacement of the west wall that
was on the verge of falling down. With secured grants, local
contractors, guidance from Illinois Historic Preservation
Agency and Landmarks Illinois these projects were
completed preserving the external structures historical
In the last half a dozen years, with guidance of George
Ridgway the architect who supervised the restoration of the
West Baden Springs Hotel and support of the Cook family
behind the restoration, the efforts moved in the direction
of the restoration of the auditorium. Air conditioners were
installed. The floor in the auditorium was refinished. The
lights were rewired requiring four miles of wire. The Conrad
Schmidt group was brought in to trace the stencils on the
walls and ceiling to be reproduced after the walls were
repainted. In the restoration process a small strip of the wall
was preserved to display the original wall appearance.
The auditorium is functional, but much work is still to be done.
LIGHTS: 72 are 4 candle power incandescent lights; 26 arc lamps
are 2000 candle power. Chandeliers are original. Porcelain fixtures
with a bare bulb were installed every two feet around the 15’ x 25’
proscenium arch, and every two feet around the wall at the ceiling
level. David Fife operated the controls at a switchboard creating many
different effects.
Flying S Cadet Winter Workshop
Egg Drop Competition 2015
The Flying S Cadet Club was created in 2014 to give local children the opportunity to learn about science in a
fun and engaging way. Last summer the two diverse branches of Flying Aviation and Beef hosted three interactive learning experiences.
The first, showed the Cadets how everyday items are manufactured – a real live version of “How It’s Made.”
The second experience involved working with carbon fiber and the Cadets built their own clock, learned about
various metals used in production and saw some of the equipment in action. The final 2014 meeting shifted from
the production floor to the pasture where Cadets learned about grass fed vs. grain fed beef followed by a hayride
tour of the Flying S pastures to see the cows and calves.
Fast forward to 2015 and the Cadets’ first mission of the year is to design
and build a lightweight contraption to safely fly an egg from 20 feet in the
air to the concrete below without it cracking. This event will be held on
Monday, March 23, 2015 at 6:00 pm. On competition day participants will
bring their design and then test it by dropping it and an egg (provided) from
a platform 20 feet in the air.
Sound like fun? Yeah—we think so too!
To participate, please email [email protected] to register and get a copy
of the rules.
Flying S is a unique engineering corporation located south of Palestine,
Illinois. Flying S not only designs, but builds and tests various prototype
components for aerospace projects. Learn more at
FLOOR: The raked floor was 4’ 3” high in the back, and tapered
to floor level at the orchestra pit. When the raked floor was leveled,
the doors were lowered. It is evident over main door, and backstage
at the elevator level that he floor was lowered.
WAINSCOTING: The wainscoting was oak wood from the Fife farm.
WINDOWS: The windows originally had orange textured glass,
for privacy. The upstairs offices nearby could otherwise have had “free
tickets’ to all shows. A few of the windows had this glass remaining,
and when windows were replaced the colored glass was placed in
transoms on the east wall. These transoms were operable in the
original, but not in the replacements.
SEATS: In the auditorium there were 700 seats, bolted down. They
were reported to be wood with red leather upholstering. They were
arranged with a center section and two side sections. Many of the
seats were sold to the First Christian Church which was built in 1915.
HEATING AND COOLING: Heated with a coal furnace, hot
water heat, and cooled by electric fans.
More information and pictures about the Fife Opera House can be
found on the website:
and “At The Fife” on Facebook.
Flying S Cadets show off key tags they made during their first learning adventure.
Grand Prairie Studio
Grand Prairie Studio, owned and
operated by Barbara Myers, is
located just a block and a half east
of Main Street at 205 E Grand
Prairie Street in Palestine. The
studio specializes in several types
of handmade jewelry, (beading,
leather, metal, wire), paintings
(watercolor, acrylic, and oil),
machine embroidery, crochet and
Grand Prairie Studio
also carries gift items and other
handmade items.
Children’s Art Classes
are also offered at Grand
Prairie Studios. Call Barb
for a one-time class or to
set up a schedule.
Hours are Thursday and
Friday 9:00 to 11:00
am. Call 618-562-0984
for appointment at other times.
Commission work is also available.
We are looking forward to seeing and meeting you.
Star Scentsy Consultant, Nicole Martin is super
excited about the new Spring/Summer Scentsy
catalog that took effect on March 1st. There
are several new warmers and amazing scents.
Contact Nicole for a new catalog. 618-421-2472
or take a look at
Are you an artist ...
or an artist wannabe?
If so, visit us on Thursday mornings
for Painting Day from 9:00 to
11:30. Come to the studio, bring
the project you are working on and
join us as we all work together on
our projects. Help is available to
anyone who needs it or just a word
of encouragement.
It is nice to
have time set aside to work on your
projects without interruption.
JK’s Corner Free Store ... Where Everything Is Free.
People donate all sorts of things clothing, bedding, furniture, dishes, knick-knacks, games, decorating items,
and appliances - even the kitchen sink. Volunteers go through the items before they placed in the shopping area.
The all-volunteer work force says they do this because they love helping people. The building is owned by Janet
Fuller and she says, “(her) great husband has been paying the utilities.” The group has applied for non-profit
status, which will enable them to seek out funds for the utilities and to help people in other ways.
Several people come in and shop daily. The shop is not based on income so anyone can shop there. The only
stipulation is that the items are not resold.
JK’s uses its surplus to help the Light House Mission, a homeless shelter In Terre Haute, and disaster victims
not only with clothing but almost everything they need to start over. It is really heartwarming to help people
that need a second chance.
JK’s is working to raise money for a wheelchair swing to be installed at Leaverton Park. Donations are being
accepted and items will be raffled during the Spring Fling on April 11th.
The store is located at 115 S. Main St. Call 618-554-6461 for information or visit them on Facebook
for hours and updates.
“Please come shop, donate or volunteer at any time and keep a smile in someone’s heart.”
The Red Queen Consignments has had a busier
than normal January & February. Vinyl records
have been one of the best sellers. Good old Rock
n’ Roll!
Winter hours have varied. I have made the decision to start take a day off during the week. Tuesdays (most Tuesdays) are now “open by chance”.
Hours may vary on other days as well.....depending on weather and my children.
Highlight for the month would be the, rather
unusual, items that recently sold on Ebay. One
of my wonderful consignors salvaged some old
Batman toy boxes from the early 70’s ... Boxes
ONLY! No toys inside of them! Robin, The
Boy Wonder, 8” action figure box sold for $160;
Penguin box $40; Mobile Bat Lab (not the best
condition) $138; Batman $50; Batmobile $118.
Sounds crazy, but if the person has the toy, it can
triple the value that was paid for just the box.
It’s things like this that make my job so much fun.
I love my job and being my own boss!!
“Like” me on Facebook to get updates on new
arrivals, sales and shop hours.
Antiques collectibles
MANTIQUES Primitives
27th Annual
Spring Art Show
& So Much More in Crawford County, Illinois
The Crawford County Arts Spring Art show
will once again take up residence at the Fife
Opera House, in Palestine, IL from May 3-16.
The show is open to all artists 18 years or older.
All media except photography is eligible and
artists may submit up to three pieces. All work
must be strictly original.
Fort LaMotte
Come visit Fort LaMotte, located just north of Palestine’s
beautiful Leaverton Park, it’s one of the most historically
accurate reconstructed War of 1812 forts in the Midwest.
• The 2015 season of activities start with a Cast Iron
Cook-off on March 21st, come watch how meals were
prepared 200 years ago. For a “Free Will” donation you
can even fill a plate from the large smorgasbord selection of foods prepared on open fires.
• On May 15th, 16th & 17th the Territorials will be held
at the shooting berms just east of the fort. This will be
sanctioned Black Powder competition shoot.
• The giant Mid-West Rendezvous will be held at Fort
LaMotte from May 30th - June 5th.
• The annual Fort LaMotte Days will be held
• September 25th -27th. Come spend the day and see
how the pioneers lived in our area 200 years ago. Food
vendors along with different pioneer merchants will be
on hand.
For more information visit us online at
or contact:
Jim Keller (618) 544-7734
Jim Cummins (618) 562-7664
Rob Byrley (618) 586-2493
Important Show Dates and Times
May 1st & 2nd .............. Artists deliver entries
May 2nd at 7pm: ... Artists Reception/Awards
May 3rd through 16th .... Show open to public
May 16th ............ Plein-air Artist Competition
April 17th .......................Artists pick up entries
For a prospectus/entry form
[email protected]
or download it at:
- Rob Byrley
Did you know that during the month of
July 1786 a large Indian war party of
approximately 450 warriors camped along our
own LaMotte creek with intentions of going
on into Vincennes Indiana and massacring
the Americans that lived there. This was in
retaliation for the murder of one of their own
by an American woman in Vincennes. During
last minute negotiations the massacre was
averted and the warriors peacefully returned
to their villages.
Read more about Illinois’ true Pioneer City on and
be sure to check out the collection of vintage
Check out our videos!
Click to View
Route 1 Communities Competing to be America’s Best Community
Click to View
From Paris to Palestine, communities are partnering to bring
economic development to their region. Paris, Marshall, West Union,
Hutsonville, Robinson, and Palestine, Illinois are “6 Communities - 1
Route” working for the future.
PALESTINE, Ill. -- Six rural communities along
Illinois State Route 1 are working together on the
America’s Best Community Contest sponsored
by Frontier Communications, DISH Network
and CoBank.
The partnership includes Paris, Marshall, West
Union, Hutsonville, Robinson, and Palestine with
support from East Central Illinois Development
Corporation (ECIDC), University of Illinois
Extension, Marathon Petroleum Company,
Yargus Manufacturing Inc., and a number of
additional economic development and community
Social media support from friends and neighbors
is greatly appreciated.
The competition, conceived by Frontier and cosponsored by DISH and CoBank, is designed to
stimulate growth and revitalization in small cities
and towns across 27 states in Frontier’s footprint.
About Frontier Communications
Frontier Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: FTR) offers
broadband, voice, satellite video, wireless Internet data access,
data security solutions, bundled offerings, specialized bundles
for residential customers, small businesses and home offices and
advanced communications for medium and large businesses in
28 states. Frontier’s approximately 17,400 employees are based
entirely in the United States.
The contest willidentify and invest in innovative
ideas communities can use to build and sustain
their local economies.
“I am so pleased to see the list of proud Illinois
communities that have registered for the contest,”
said Eric Barie, Frontier Senior Vice President
and Illinois General Manager “We are looking
forward to seeing plans are developed for local
economic growth and community development.”
About DISH
The public may go to the America’s Best
Communities Facebook Page to follow
the competition and to comment in favor
of the “Paris, Marshall, West Union, Hutsonville,
Robinson, and Palestine” grant project.
Barb Webster, area resident and Executive
Director of ECIDC, is excited about the project.
“We have a wonderful group of small communities
coming together to make a difference as a team.
They know how to get things done and are willing
to put in the effort.”
The first round of applicants will compete for
a $35,000 prize, while the second round will
complete for a $100,000 prize. The final round of
grants will be for a $1 million, $2 million, and $3
million dollar prize.
Pat Schofield, Palestine Mayor, commented after
the last planning meeting, “My opinion is that our
meeting last night was very productive.” “I so
applaud you all who have entered this project
with an open mind and with vision for our future.”
CoBank is a $102 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries
across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export
financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural
power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The
bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to
affiliated Farm Credit associations serving farmers, ranchers and
other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country. CoBank
is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network
of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the
borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture and the nation’s rural economy.
Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves
customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also
maintains an international representative office in Singapore.
The “6 Communities - 1 Route” team will be
competing against communities across the 27
states Frontier serves.
DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ: DISH), through its subsidiaries,
provides approximately 14.04 million pay-TV subscribers, as of
September 30, 2014, with the highest quality programming and
technology with the most choices at the best value. Subscribers
enjoy a high-definition lineup with more than 200 national HD
channels, the most international channels, and award-winning
HD and DVR technology. DISH Network Corp. is a Fortune 250
About CoBank
Follow “6 Communities - 1 Route” on Facebook.