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Guide to the Woodland Opera House State Historic Park Collection
CSPA-327  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information
  • Administrative History
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Woodland Opera House State Historic Park Collection
    Date (inclusive): 1870-2010
    Date (bulk): (bulk dates 1960-1986)
    Collection number: CSPA-327
    Creator: Woodland Opera House State Historic Park
    Extent: 1 linear foot, including 1 map folder.
    Repository: California State Parks
    McClellan, California 95652
    Abstract: Woodland Opera House State Historic Park, situated in Yolo County, is located in downtown Woodland. Woodland Opera House became a State Historic Park in 1980 in order to restore the building. Reopened to the public in 1989, the Opera House continues theatrical productions. The Woodland Opera House State Historic Park collection is arranged in ten series: 1. Correspondence, 2. Legal Documents, 3. Financial Documents, 4. Histories, 5. Research Notes, 6. Ephemera, 7. Photographic Material, 8. Publications, 9. Cartographic Material, and 10. Reports. Items span the years 1870-2010 with the bulk of the material between 1960-1986.
    Physical Location: California State Parks Archives
    Languages: Languages represented in this collection: English

    Access

    The collection is open for research. Cultural and archaeological site maps are restricted. Reports with sensitive data may be restricted. Consult repository for details.

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please consult the California State Parks Archives archivist. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Parks Archives, McClellan 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 California State Parks Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Woodland Opera House State Historic Park Collection, CSPA-327: [box: folder number], California State Parks Archives, McClellan, California.

    Acquisition Information

    Woodland Opera House State Historic Park donated the materials in the collection in 2002.

    Processing Information

    Deborah Hebert Lee processed this collection and created and encoded its finding aid in 2015.

    Administrative History

    Woodland Opera House State Historic Park, situated in Yolo County, is located in downtown historic Woodland. The opera house, built in the late Victorian Era, still maintains its primary function.
    The Native American group Poo-e-win, a part of the Hill Patwin, occupied the area before the influx of Europeans and Chinese population during the nineteenth century. The Poo-e-win population rapidly decreased with the arrival of Spanish Missionaries, and by the mid nineteenth century few remained in the area.
    Originally named Yolo City, Woodland became established in 1861 and incorporated in 1871. The later name derived from the local oak trees. Because of the city’s location in the fertile Sacramento Valley, agriculture and subsequently the railroad were major contributors to local development.
    A San Francisco architect named Thomas Welsh designed the original 1885 opera house. Seven years later, a fire destroyed the building along with other parts of the downtown area. David Hershey, a locally prominent figure, acquired the land. Hershey and several other local citizens helped to rebuild the opera house. The new building opened in 1896.
    Due to the growing popularity of motion pictures and a lawsuit brought against the Opera House, the facility closed in 1913. In 1971 the Yolo County Historical Society bought the building to protect it from urban renewal. California State Parks took over ownership in 1980, and restoration began. Architect Gary Wirth and Brocchini and Associates helped to restore the building. Federal and state grants along with local donations funded the restoration. The Opera House reopened to the public in 1989.
    The Woodland Opera House, also known as the Hershey Opera House, is located at 340 Second Street. The two-story brick building is listed on the California State Historic Landmark #851, and the National Register of Historic Places # 71000212. Areas of significance include: architecture, music, social/humanitarian and theater.
    Although the opera house is owned by the State of California, the Opera House Board of Trustees maintains the building. True to its original purpose, the opera house still performs theatrical productions, and is also involved in school outreach programs.

    Scope and Content

    The Woodland Opera House State Historic Park Collection is arranged in ten series: 1. Correspondence, 2. Legal Documents, 3. Financial Documents, 4. Histories, 5. Research Notes, 6. Ephemera, 7. Photographic Material, 8. Publications, 9. Cartographic Material, and 10. Reports. Items span the years 1870-2010 with the bulk of the material between 1960-1986.
    Series one, Correspondence, consists of general correspondence and memorandum between Opera House supporters, the local historical society, and state government officials prior to and after the establishment of the park. Series two, Legal Documents, contains correspondence and memorandum related to the acquisition, restoration, operation of the park. It also contains copies of a lease agreement and a probate record.
    Series three, Financial Documents, consists of an expense account document. Series four, Histories, contains background information about the land, inhabitants, and the building. Series five, Research Notes, contains research information related to the history of the site, and includes a copy of the 1870 Census, Cache Creek Township.
    Series six, Ephemera, consists of a conference flyer, a brochure and a pamphlet. Series seven, Photographic Material, consists of 35 mm black and white negatives, 4 x 5 black and white negatives, 4 x 5 black and white photographs, and an 8 x 10 black and white photograph. Series eight, Publications, contains a historical booklet, newspaper clippings, and journal articles.
    Series nine, Cartographic Material, contains maps of the topography and geography of the park. Series ten, Reports, includes reports by state and national government agencies and an architectural firm.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Architecture.
    California. Department of Parks and Recreation
    Chinese.
    Hershey, David N., 1818-
    National Register of Historic Places.
    Native Americans
    Opium.
    Theater.
    Woodland Opera House Site (Woodland, Calif.)
    Woodland Opera House (Woodland, Calif.)
    Yolo County (Calif.)
    Yolo County Historical Society