PRESS RELEASE: 

In search of the
old Briceville
Opera House

Coal Creek Watershed Foundation
seeks historical photographs
and references

Click on image to enlarge


Odd Fellow Opera House
Briceville, Tennessee

The Odd Fellow Opera House in Briceville with its prominent clock tower rivaled the County Courthouse as Anderson County’s most impressive structure at the turn of the 19th century.  Built in the early 1890s at the current site of Briceville Elementary School, it boasted a seating capacity of 300 and was home to fraternal and sororal organizations, literary and musical competitions, and related community events.
Programme for
Cross Mountain Mine Disaster
Memorial Service held at
Briceville Opera House on
December 9, 1912

On October 26, 2007, in conjunction with Coal Creek Health Day, students from Briceville Elementary School will participate in an archaeological dig to find the spot on school property where the opera house sat.  The dig will be led by Dr. Elizabeth Kellar DeCorse of University of Tennessee’s Archaeological Research Laboratory.  Although destroyed by fire in about 1918, artifacts may still remain of this historic landmark. 

In preparation for the dig, the Coal Creek Watershed Foundation is seeking photographs, maps, sketches, and references (including oral history accounts) related to the opera house.  The documentation will be used by Briceville students in their on-going study of local history.  As we tell the students, when folks in East Tennessee wanted to go to the opera in the early 1900s, they didn’t go to New York City, they came to Briceville. 

If you have information about Briceville’s Opera House, please contact Carol Moore at 865-584-0344 or clmoore@geoe.com.    

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