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Archive for Wednesday, June 16, 2010

25 years ago: Investors propose to rescue Opera House, name it ‘Liberty Hall’

June 16, 2010

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Three investors had joined forces to rescue the old Lawrence Opera House at 642 Massachusetts. Skip Moon, David Millstein and Charles Oldfather were working together to restore the facility and open it for business in the fall of 1985 under the name “Liberty Hall.”

Archaeologists were hard at work at the Ottawa Indian Mission dig located northeast of I-35 and K68 highways. The subject of the two-week dig was Jotham Meeker, thought to have brought the first printing press to Kansas and set it up in 1833 at the Shawnee Indian Mission. Meeker had lived at the Ottawa site with his wife Eleanor and had developed an alphabetical and phonetic system to write down Indian languages.

Workers were on round-the-clock shifts digging a 4 1/2-foot-wide tunnel near the intersection of 31st and Iowa. The three-man crew, working 30 feet underground, were able to dig about two feet per hour using shovels, spades, and a jack-hammer. “It’s a job not too many people want to do,” said one of the diggers.

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