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Reed Opera House To Host "History Weekend" in March

February 15, 2013

Professor of History John Ritter
Professor Ritter

The Reed Opera House will host a two-part history weekend March 15 and 16.

Professor John Ritter will launch the festivities from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday (March 15) in the Reed’s third-floor Trinity Ballroom with a presentation involving Salem’s Historic Underground. Professor Ritter, who teaches history at both Corban University and Linfield College, has documented stories about opium dens, speakeasies and other colorful activities.

On Saturday (March 16) from 1 to 3 p.m. historian Martin Goebel, a member of Art & Antiques Plus, a Commercial Street collective that was once based in the Reed, will present memorabilia and treasures involving the Reed, Elsinore Theatre, and significant downtown events from the 19th and 20th centuries.

“I have more than 25 albums that guests will find of interest,” said Goebel, who has been a leading antique dealer in Salem for more than 27 years.

From 3 to 5 p.m. Coburn Grabenhorst Jr., whose family co-owned the Reed Opera House from 1975 through the 1980s, will share the history of the Reed’s restoration and revitalization.

Grabenhorst, a past president of the Friends of Deepwood, the Marion County Historical Society, and who served on Salem’s first Historical Landmarks Commission, will also present artifacts and rare documents of Salem’s past as part of his informal presentation.

Willamette Heritage Center at the Mill presents "School Daze". Families and Children can enjoy games students played at recess during the turn of the century.

Both Goebel, Grabenhorst and Willamette Heritage Center will share their stories and stage their exhibits in the Reed’s first floor storefronts. There is no admission charge for either of the history events.

For more information on the events, contact Rebecca Maitland, the Reed Opera House vice president and creative director, at 503-391-4481.

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