Register of the Swain Marysville & San Francisco Theatre Collection, 1857-1928

Processed by Don Walker; machine-readable finding aid created by Don Walker
Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
University Library, University of the Pacific
Stockton, CA 95211
Phone: (209) 946-2404
Fax: (209) 946-2810
© 1998
University of the Pacific. All rights reserved.

Register of the Swain Marysville & San Francisco Theatre Collection, 1857-1928

Collection number: Mss88

Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections

University Library

University of the Pacific

Contact Information

  • Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
  • University Library, University of the Pacific
  • Stockton, CA 95211
  • Phone: (209) 946-2404
  • Fax: (209) 946-2810
  • URL:
Processed by:
Don Walker
Date Completed:
Encoded by:
Don Walker
© 1998 University of the Pacific. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Swain Marysville & San Francisco Theatre Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1857-1928
Collection number: Mss88
Creator: W.B. & Margaret Swain
Extent: 0.5 linear ft.
Repository: University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
Stockton, CA 95211
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Language: English.

Administrative Information


Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Swain Marysville & San Francisco Theatre Collection, Mss88, Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library


The Swain Family operated a planing mill, a theatre and a bank in Marysville throughout the second half of the nineteenth century. Their Marysville Theatre, erected in 1865, was designed by Harry Majors and built by W.C. Swain for $30,000. The flood of 1875 damaged the building and it was use for a time as a dance hall. Swain remodelled it in 1886, introducing sloping floors and other improvements. W.B. Swain, son of the builder, was interested both in acting and in theatre management. His father began leasing the building to him in 1889 and the latter operated it until it burnt down, together with the family mill, in 1904.
Theatre in Marysville enjoyed a particularly vigorous life between 1886 and 1910 due to an accident of geography. Trains from San Francisco bound for Portland, Oregon arrived in Marysville at five p.m. The train did not leave for Portland until midnight and many Portland-bound troupes found it a simple matter to mount an evening performance in Marysville while on their way north. It would have been impossible for them to have done this in Sacramento because they could not have made their Portland connection on the same day.
In 1908, Frank Atkins built a new theatre on the site of the Swain planing mill. This theatre, also known as the Marysville Theatre, burned in 1926.

Scope and Content

The scrapbook which forms the chief element of these papers was created by W.B. Swain. It contains theater programs, reviews and Swain's notes about attendance and the performances at Marysville between 1886 and 1908. One of the Swains also collected a smaller number of San Francisco theatrical programs and newspapers dating from the same period.

Container List


Box 1: Swain Marysville & San Francisco Theatre Papers


Folder 1: Swain Family Corresp. & Personal Papers


-Milton J. Ferguson, State Lib'n. to WBS, 2-26-24


-Ethel Swain to Reginald R. & Grace Dell Stuart, 1-23-53 [incl. env.; brief history of theatre]


-Do., n.d.


-"The California Paris Exposition Commission of 1900" reception honoring 124th anniversary of Declaration of Independence, Paris, 1900 [W.B. Swain's invitation]


-"Lafayette Memorial Commission" inauguration of statue to General Lafayette, Paris, 1900 [W.B. Swain invitation]


-London & South Western Railway, 1899 [timetable]


Folder 2: Unsorted Marysville Theatre Papers


-4th of July celebration, 1875


-"Grand concert by the Philharmonic Society," 1878 [mutilated]


-"Soldiers' Home Benefit Entertainment," 1879[?]


-Emma Nevada, 1884 [incl. biog.]


-"New Marysville Theatre: Opening Night, Wednesday, December 22, 1886"


-Rice's Evangeline, 1890


-"Garden Party to be given by lst Marysville Boys Brigade," 1892


-"Concert program," 1894


-The Big Bonanza, 1894


-The Stowaway, 1897


-What happened to Jones w/ Harry Carson Clarke, 1898


-Mme. Modjeska, 1898 [photo]


-The Girl from Maxim's, n.d. [1890s]


-Haverley's Mastodon Minstrels, n.d. [1890s]


-Black Patti Troubadours in A Filipino Misfit, n.d. [c1900]


-The Bostonians in The New Robin Hood, 1902


-"Une soiree Francaise par les eleves de Mme. Robert W. Boyd," 1903


-"Grand Vaudeville Entertainment given by Ellis Lake Comittee of the Women's Civic Improvement Club," 1903


-Cotton & Long's Managerial Troubles, 1903


-A Wise Woman, 1904


-Frawley & Co. in The Great Unknown, 1904


-38th Annual Encampment, G.A.R., Dept. of California & Nevada, 1905


-Hough & Adams' The time, the place & the girl, 1909


-Klein's The Third Degree, 1909


-The Man of the Hour, 1909


-Pixley & Luders' King Dodo, 1909


-Seven Days w/ Mary Roberts Rinehart, 1910


-DeKoven's Robin Hood, Atkins' Theatre, 1921


-Cohan's The Song & Dance Man w/ Henry Duffy, National Theatre, 1926


Folder 3: Unsorted SF Theatre Programs


-Leslie, Raynor & Smith's Minstrels, New Temple of Music, n.d. [1850s]


-Sudermann's Magda w/ Mme. Modjeska & Otis Skinner, Baldwin (SF), 1894


-The Vienna Prater--Kaiser Franz Josef Hall, California Midwinter International Exposition, n.d. [1894?]


-Donizetti's La Favorita, Tivoli Opera House (SF), 1901


-Barbara Frietchie w/ James Neil, California (SF), 1901


-Jones' The Liars, Grand Opera House (SF), 1901


-Jones' Mrs. Dane's Defence, Columbia (SF), 1901


-Howard's The Henrietta w/ Stuart Robson, Columbia (SF), 1901


-Potter's Under Two Flags w/ Blanche Bates, Columbia (SF), 1901


-Esmond's The Wilderness w/ Henry Miller & Margaret Anglin, Columbia (SF), 1902


-SF Symphony, 1903 [SF]


-Fitch's The stubborness of Geraldine w/ Mary Mannering, California (SF), 1903


-Everyman, Lyric Hall (SF), 1903


-Mayo's Pudd'nhead Wilson, Columbia (SF), 1903


-Churchill's The Crisis w/ Isabel Irving, The Majestic (SF), 1904


-The Elleford Co. in My Friend from India, Turner Hall (SF), 1904


-Strauss' The Gipsy Baron, Tivoli Opera House (SF), 1904


-Inness & his band, Hopkins Hall (SF), 1905


-Paloma Schramm recital, no loc. n.d. [c1900]


Folder 4: SF "Figaro" Theatrical Newspaper


-13:144 (7-17-71)


-14:242 (4-19-72)


-21 (4-30-75), (5-20-75), (8-24-75), (11-19-75)


Folder 5: Unsorted Miscellany


-Little Gracie Beebe, n.d. [1890s] [photo]


-"Sybil Sanderson's debut in America," The Stand[ard?] (NY) (1-26-95)


-Kathryn Kidder, n.d. [1900s] [photo]


-Marshall's The Second in Command w/ John Drew, Clunie (Sacto.), 1902


-"Theatrical relics of early days are found by banker," Sacto Bee (2-11-24)


-"World's noted stage folk played in Marysville's early day theater," Marysville Appeal-Democrat (9-29-28)


W.B. Swain Scrapbook, 1857-1909 [items are programs unless otherwise indicated]




p.115--La Fiammina w/ Marie Duret




p.120--Celebration of the laying of the Atlantic telegraph cable!




p.118--New Orleans English Opera Troupe in Bellini's La Sonambula




p.118--The Great Star Co. in The Corsican Brothers


1863?, 1874? or 1885?:


p.114--Knowles' The Hunchback w/ Julia Dean Hayne & Junius Brutus Booth




p.119--Scott's The Bride of Lammermoor




p.121--"Grand celebration at Marysville in honor of our nation's birth"


undated, but before 1880:


p.119--Liederkranz Society of Marysville




p.124--Golden Hair & the Three Bears: A Juvenile Operetta




p. 2--Knowles' Virginius w/ Frederick Warde


Undated 1880s:


p.128--Thomas W. Keene [engraving]


p.135--Lawrence Barrett & Edwin Booth [photo]


p.136--"Mr. Louis James" [photo w/ short biog.]


p.137--"Mr. Frederick Warde" [photo w/ short biog.]




p. 4--D'Ennery's Renne de Moray w/ Clara Morris




p. 3--Palmer Co. in Thomas' Alabama [clipping]


p. 4--The Bostonians in DeKoven's Robin Hood


p. 5--Goethe's Faust w/ Lewis Morrison; Addison's The Dazzler w/ Bonnie Kate Castleton


p. 6--Jos. R. Grismer & Phoebe Davis [newspaper photos]


p. 7--Haworth's Ferncliff w/ Grismer & Davis; Kidder's Peaceful Valley w/ Solomon Smith Russell


p. 8--Hewitt's The President; Goodyear, Elitch & Schilling's Minstrels


p. 9--Shakespeare's Richard III w/ Thos. Keene; Harrison & Gour- lay's Skipped by the light of the moon


p.10--Recitations by Ludlum School of Oratory & Arts, Los Angeles


p.11--W.S. Cleveland's Consolidated Minstrels; Harrison's Honest Hearts & Willing Hands w/ John L. Sullivan




p. 1--misc. clippings [incl. info about Harry Jacobs, mgr. of Marysville Theatre from 1892]


p.12--Middaugh, Pfaff & Goodman's Minstrels; Robert Tolmie, piano


p.13--Wilber Co. in Streets of New York; Richardson's The Millionaire w/ Daniel Sully


p.14--Hooper & Davey's Inherited w/ Maude Granger; Chambers' Capt. Swift


p.15--Barber's adapt. of Haggard's She w/ Gracie Beebe & Edwin Barbour; Miss Gale [magazine photo]


p.16--Shakespeare's As you like it w/ Miss Gale; Miss Gale as "Rosalind" [magazine photo]


p.17--Thomas' The Burglar w/ Grismer & Davies; The Lion's Mouth


p.18--Leavitt's Spider & Fly; The Schumann Club in The Bells of Corneville


p.19--Gillet's All the comforts of home; Benefit for Cortez Square Fund (minstrel show)


p.20--Donnelly's Later On w/ Hallen & Hart


p.21--Young's The Cattle King w/ Jas. H. Wallick; Gunther's Little Puck w/ Frank Daniels


p.22--The Gossoon w/ Carroll Johnson; Pearson's The Midnight Alarm


p.23--The Repertoire [Marysville] 1:2 (8-3-92) [theatre news]


p.24--Daddy Nolan w/ Daniel Sully


p.25--Little Tippett; The Ensign


p.26--The Stowaway; Fitch's Frederick Lemaitre; Bisson & Carre's The Junior Partner Richard Mansfield and Primrose & West's Minstrels [n.d.; laid-in]


p.27--Forget me not w/ Jeffreys Lewis; Fowler & Warmington's Co. in Harrison & Gourlay's Skipped by the light of the moon


p.28--J.C. Duff Opera Co. in A Trip to Africa; Mrs. T. Thumb's Lilliputians in The Countess


p.29--Dolly Varden w/ Patti Rosa; Pacheco's Incog




p.30--Lederer's Comic Players in U & I w/ Geo. P. Murphy; Robert Tolmie, piano


p.31--Thompson's The Old Homestead; Calhoun Opera Co. in Stahl's Said Pasha


p.32--Our Minstrel Musicale; Uncle Hiram w/ A.H. Woodhull; The Crust of Society


p.33--Primrose & West's Minstrels; Cinderella w/ Leando & Stack (acrobats), Ida Showers (high wire), etc.


p.34--Henry Greenwall's Co. in Larry the Lord; The Mighty Dollar w/ Mrs. W.J. Florence; Fitch & Mansfield's Beau Brummell w/ Richard Mansfield


p.35--"Marysville as a show town" [interview w/ Richard Mansfield]; Sport McAllister w/ Robert Gaylor; The Girl I Left Behind


p.36--Frank Daniels Co. in Little Puck; Barlow Bros. Mammoth Minstrels;




p.36--The Corner Grocery w/ Daniel Sully


p.37--The New Jolly Surprises w/ Fanny Rice; Vincent's Miss Dixie w/ Patti Rosa; Leavitt's Spider & Fly


p.38--Monte Cristo w/ James O'Neill; The Repertoire's Russian Honeymoon


p.39--Brady's The New South w/ Grismer & Davies; Drouet's Doris w/ Effie Ellsler; Queena w/ May Nannary


p.40--Thomas' Charley's Aunt; James Ward Co. in Ranch 10; Thos. Keane's Co. in Shakespeare's Othello ["Keane ill & unable to appear"]




p.41--U. of California Glee Club 3rd Annual Tour


p.42--Stephenson & Yardley's The Passport w/ Sadie Martinot; A night at the circus w/ Nellie McHenry


p.43--The Repertoire's Russian Honeymoon; Calhoun Opera Co. in The Black Hussar; The Repertoire's Napoleon Minstrel Co.


p.44--Smith's Retaliation; Paulton's Dorcas w/ Pauline Hall




p.45--Dazey's In Old Kentucky; Mayo's Pudd'nhead Wilson




p.45--The Repertoire's The Frawley Co. in The Great Unknown [loose, laid-in]


p.107--The Frawley Co. in Christopher, Jr. [loose, laid-in]




p.46--Ryley's Mysterious Mr. Bugle w/ Joseph Holland; photo of Joseph Holland; Day's The Purser w/ Ferris Hartman


p.47--Finnigan's Ball w/ Murray & Mack; Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet w/ Janet Waldorf


p.48--Shakespeare's Twelfth Night; Horitz, Austria Passion Play "by the animated picture machine"; South before the war


p.49--Royle's Capt. Impudence w/ May Nannery; Edeson's Two married men


p.133--"William H. Davis, Governor Gage's executive secretary," SF Call (12-2-98) [son of Yuba Co. judge, E.A. Davis]


p.146--"Manager Harry Jacobs," source unident. (5-19-98)




p.49--All Aboard w/ the Ott Bros.


p.50--Arthur C. Aiston's Co. in Tennessee's Pardner; La Belle Marie; Mollie Adelia Brown, piano


p.51--Sudermann's Magda w/ Nance O'Neil; Sheridan's The School for Scandal w/ James Kidder-Ware


p.52--Belasco-Thall Co. in The Girl I left behind me; Belasco- Thall Co. in Lost for a day; Belasco-Thall Co. in Powers' The First Born; Wakefield-Andrews Opera Co. in Martha


p.53--Bisson's On & Off; Hoyt's A Midnight Bell w/ L.R. Stockwell


p.54--Addison's 1792, or, Love & War w/ Frederick Vroom & Grace Addison; Same group in The Duke's Pledge; Mary Stuart w/ Modjeska; The Banker's Daughter


p.55--Hotel Topsy Turvy w/ Dunne & Riley; Dazey's In Old Kentucky; Gorton's Famous Minstrels


P.56--Swan's Brown's in town; Goodwin & Morse's Wang; A Virginian Romance & That Precious Baby


p.126--Mme. Modjeska as Marie Antoinette [photo]


Undated, 1890s:


p.129--Sybil Sanderson [photo]


p.130-131--Sybil Sanderson [?] [photos]


p.132--Sybil Sanderson [2 photos]


p.133--Hope Ellis [photo w/ brief biog.]; Jennie Sanderson [photo w/ brief biog.]


p.134--Frederick Warde; Minnie Tittell Brune; Hugo Toland; Charles Bryant [photos]


p.138--Julia Marlowe [photo]


p.139-142--Stereo Relief Mfg. Co., NY [adv. brochure incl. interior views of New Park Theatre, Brooklyn & Hyde & Behman's New Theatre, Brooklyn


p.143--Alexander Salvini [photo]; Miss Jeffreys-Lewis [photo]


p.144--Miss Gale [2 photos]; Burr McIntosh [photo]


p.145--Jessie Millward [photo]; Sol Smith Russell [lithograph]


p.146--Louise Eissing [2 photos]; Edwin W. Hoff [photo]; Harry R. Jacobs [photo]


p.147--Geo. W. Lederer-Dickson Co. in Mrs. Romualdo Pacheco's Incog [photo]; Ethel Brandon [photo & short biog.]


p.148--Marie Tempest [photo]


p.149--Jesse Norton [photo]; W.J. Elleford [photo]; Pearl Landers [photo]; Charles Bryant [photo]




p.57--The Lion's Mouth w/ Frederick Warde; A Hot Old Time; Mozenthal's The Jewess w/ Nance O'Neil


p.58--Nashville Students w/ H.B. Thearle; Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale


p.59--Who is who; Donnelly's Darkest Russia


p.60--Have you seen Smith; Pudd'nhead Wilson; On the Suwanee River


p.61--Minstrel show w/ Wm. H. West; unident. play; Kelly's Kids; The Sheaf of Arrows


p.62--The Charity Ball; The Fatal Card; Whose baby are you?


p.63--The Royal Marine Band of Italy; Stranger in Gerfork


p.64--unident. play; Gorton's Minstrels; Sousa's El Capitan


p.65--Crescent City Quartette [minstrels]; Ruhart & Pringle's Minstrels; At the White Horse Tavern




p.66--Drummer's Minstrels; The Sorrows of Saturn; Star Boarder


p.67--Shooting the Shutes w/ Monray & Mack; Midsummer Night's Dream w/ Kidder & James; The Vilage Parson


p.68--Al G. Field's Minstrels; The Little Minister; Harroden's His Last Chance and LaLoie Fuller and An Accidental Sweetheart


p.69--A Modern Crusoe w/ Thos. Q. Seabrooke; Royal Italian Band; Female Drummer w/ Johnstone Bennett; Clarence Eddy, organ [loose, laid-in]


p.70--Tivoli Opera Co.'s The Toy Maker; In Old Kentucky; The Elleford Co.'s Secret Service


p.71--A Stranger in a strange land; Rip Van Winkle w/ Thos. Jefferson;




p.71--Steely's Hunting for Hawkins


p.72--The Irish Pawnbrokers w/ James Wesley & Wm. Murray; Mastodon Minstrels; D'Ennery's The Mountebank w/ Frederick Warde


p.73--Fitch's Barbara Frietchie; Hi Henry's Minstrels; Ouida's Under two flags


p.74--Henry VIII w/ Louis James & Modjeska; The Prisoner of Zenda


p.75--Pride of Jennico; Ruble Theatre Co. in Monte Cristo; Janice Meredith


p.76--Way down east; Emma Nevada, soprano; Al G. Field's Minstrels


p.77--Nathan Hale; Too rich to marry; Sam C. Mott's Refined Vaudevilles; Barbara Frietchie w/ Mary Eliz. Forbes


p.78--Drouet's Doris w/ Jesse Shirley; The Country Fair w/ Neil Burgess; McCarty's Mishaps w/ Barney Ferguson & John Mack


p.79--Elleford Co.'s A Lion's Heart; The Honest Blacksmith w/ Robt. Fitzsimmons


p.80--Goodhue's Hello Bill; Weber & Fields' Fiddle Dee Dee; Smith's The Liberty Belles


p.81--Emerick's Finnigan's Ball w/ Edw. Gallagher & J.J. Barrett; [loose, laid-in] Haverly's Minstrels [loose, laid-in]; The Belle of New York; Pickings from Puck


p.82--The Bostonians in The New Robin Hood




p.82--Capt. Jinks of the Horse Marines p.83--The Wrong Mr. Wright; A Stranger in New York; Miss Simplicity w/ Frank Daniels


p.84--Freeman & Lynn's Drummer Minstrels; The Man from Mexico; New York Vaudeville Road Show


p.85--Arizona; The Two Orphans w/ Kate Claxton; The Taming of the Shrew; Young Corbett


p.86--Zigzag Alley; A Texas Steer; In Old Kentucky


p.87--Ellery's Royal Italian Band [2 differing programs, one laid-in]; Rudolph & Adolph; Florodora


p.88--The Christian; The Storks


p.89--The Dairy Farm; Wm. H. West Big Jubilee Minstrels




p.90--Souvenir Program: Opening Night of the New Marysville Theatre, Monday Evening, January 20, 1908


p.91--DeKoven's Red Feather w/ Cheridah Simpson


p.92--Roberts' Parsifal


p.93--Rankin & Sloane's The Gingerbread Man


p.94--Young's Glorious Betsy w/ Mary Mannering


p.95--Miller & Manners' Zira w/ Florence Roberts


p.96--Victor Herbert's Dream City w/ Little Chip & Mary Marble


p.97--Pollard's Lilliputian Opera Co. in A Runaway Girl


p.98--Do. in La Poupee; or, The Toymaker of Nuremberg


p. 99--Marlowe's When Knights Were Bold w/ Francis Wilson


p.100--Morton's My Wife w/ John Drew; Marysville Choral Society


p.101--Collier & Stewart's Caught in the Rain w/ William Collier




p.107--viz. 1897




p.122--Ibsen's Rosmersholm w/ Mrs. Fiske [Alcazar, SF]


p.123--Bernstein's The Thief w/ Margaret Illington [SF]




p.113--Rankin & Sloan's The Gingerbread Man; Broadhurst & Hobart's Wildfire w/ Lillian Russell [2 copies both]


p.114-115--viz. 1857 & 1863?




Undated 1900-1910:


p.125--Blanche Bates [3 photos in various roles]


p.131--Salvini [3 photos in various roles]