Inventory of the Chic Courter Collection
Processed by Lola Aguilar
Roseville Public Library History Collection© 2007
225 Taylor Street
Roseville, CA 95678
Roseville Public Library History Collection. All rights reserved.
Title: Chic Courter Collection
Date (bulk): (bulk 1955-1963)
Collection number: P 104
Creator: Courter, Chic
Extent: 2 linear feet, including 152 photographs and 6 artifacts
Repository: Roseville Public Library History Collection
Abstract: Chic Courter was born on April 24, 1889 in San Miguel, San Luis Obispo County, California. In 1940 Courter joined the staff of the Roseville Press which later merged with the Roseville Tribune and Register to become the Roseville Press-Tribune. In 1948 he organized the Roseville Little Theater Guild. The next year the Spotliters theater group formed and in 1953 the two groups merged into the Roseville Civic Repertory Theatre under the sponsorship of the City of Roseville Recreation Department. The Chic Courter Collection is arranged in nine series: 1. Correspondence, 2. Diaries, 3. Ephemera, 4. Financial Documents, 5. Meeting Records, 6. Literary Productions, 7. Publications, 8. Photographic Material, and 9. Realia. Items span the years 1868 to 1971, with the bulk of the items dating from 1955 to 1963.
Physical location: Roseville Public Library
Languages: Languages represented in this collection: English
Collection is open for research.
For permission to reproduce or publish, please consult Roseville Public Library History Collection staff. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the Roseville Public Library History Collection, Roseville, as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement that may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the Roseville Public Library History Collection.
[Identification of item], Chic Courter Collection, P 104: [box: folder number], Roseville Public Library, History Collection, Roseville, California.
Chic Courter's daughter Carola Borden donated this collection in 1980.
Lola Aguilar processed this collection and created its finding aid in 2007.
Charles R. "Chic" Courter was born on April 24, 1889 in San Miguel, San Luis Obispo County, California to John P. and Mary Courter. He had two older brothers, Wilkie and John. His father worked as a merchant, businessman, and as postmaster for San Miguel.
In January 1906, at the age of seventeen, Courter left San Miguel for San Francisco where he worked in the shipping department of a department store until the earthquake and fire destroyed the city. He then worked as a sign painter, at a music company, as a streetcar conductor, and as a vaudeville piano player in Oakland until he joined a traveling medicine show. The show included vaudeville acts and traveled primarily throughout the smaller cities of California in order to avoid paying license fees. It was while traveling through the town of Lindsay in Tulare County in 1911 that Courter, then twenty-one years old, met his future wife, sixteen year old Edith M. Jack. The couple had six children, Cathryn, Raymond, Dorothy, Ivy Eileen, Robert, and Edith Patricia.
After a couple of years of traveling with the medicine show, Courter changed professions when he accepted a job as a reporter for a start-up newspaper in Burlingame, where his brother John worked as a printer. He gained valuable experience in Burlingame and soon accepted a position as the city editor of the San Mateo Times. During this time, Courter continued his interest in show business, when he organized local theater groups. By 1930 Courter and Edith were divorced. He then married Pauline Gilbert and in 1934 they had a daughter, Carola. Several newspaper jobs followed until 1936 when he moved to Roseville to work for the Roseville Tribune and Register. In 1940 Courter joined the staff of the Roseville Press which later merged with the Roseville Tribune and Register to become the Roseville Press-Tribune.
Courter wrote a daily column, the Chowder Kettle, and served as sports editor for the Roseville Press-Tribune until he retired in 1965. He also promoted local baseball and supported the City of Roseville Recreation Department as a softball announcer and official scorekeeper.
His contact with the Recreation Dept. led to a request from the recreation director that Courter organize a local amateur theater group. In 1948 he organized the Roseville Little Theater Guild. The next year the Spotliters theater group formed and in 1953 the two groups merged into the Roseville Civic Repertory Theatre under the sponsorship of the City of Roseville Recreation Department. The group soon dropped Repertory from its name. The group performed at the Veterans Memorial Hall, the Parent-Teacher Building at Roseville Union High School, and the Atlantic Street School until the city built a new recreation building in Royer Park in 1960.
Chic Courter died on February 1, 1980 at the Eskaton Manzanita Manor in Carmichael, California.
The Chic Courter Collection is arranged in nine series: 1. Correspondence, 2. Diaries, 3. Ephemera, 4. Financial Documents, 5. Meeting Records, 6. Literary Productions, 7. Publications, 8. Photographic Material, and 9. Realia. Items span the years 1868 to 1971, with the bulk of the items dating from 1955 to 1963.
The first series, Correspondence, which consists of one file folder, is arranged chronologically and includes postcards, greeting cards, and letters. One letter is from Congressman Harold T. "Bizz" Johnson. Series two, Diaries, consists of one file folder and includes Courter's personal diary. The third series, Ephemera, consists of two file folders and is divided into two subseries: Programs and Flyers. Both subseries are arranged chronologically and include items from the Roseville Civic Theatre. The fourth series, Financial Documents consist of one file folder and includes only five years of the Roseville Civic Theatre's account records. Series five, Meeting Records, is arranged chronologically and consists of one file folder and includes the minutes of the Roseville Civic Theatre. Series six, Literary Productions, is arranged alphabetically and consists of one file folder and contains several play manuscripts, including an original play written by Courter.
The seventh series, Publications, consists of one file folder and includes news releases, magazine and newspaper clippings, the majority undated. Series eight, Photographic Material, consists of forty-three file folders and is divided into two sub series: Photographs and Negatives. Although several photographs are of Courter, most of the photographs and negatives are of Roseville Civic Theatre plays and of cast members. The play photographs are arranged chronologically. Series nine, Realia, consists of one box and includes artifacts from Courter's years directing and acting in theater and his involvement with local baseball.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Courter, Charles R.
Roseville Civic Theatre
Roseville Press Tribune
William Birdsall Collection, P 117
Mrs. Mel (Carola) Borden Collection, P 115
Box 1 : 001
Box 1 : 002
Box 1, 4 : 003-004
Box 1 : 003
Box 1 : 004
Box 4 : 001
Box 1 : 005
Box 1 : 006
Box 1 : 007
Box 1 : 008
Box 2 : 009-042
Box 2 : 009-041
Box 2 : 042
Box 3 : 043-048
Series 9. Realia 1949-1967
Physical Description: 6 items
This series includes Courter's eyeglasses and cigarette lighter, a Wolf and Royer Placer-Nevada League baseball, Champions 1946, 1947, 1949, a 1967 Roseville Area "Baseball Hall of Fame" plaque to Courter, and a woodblock print of Courter.