Dramatic Museum

Dramatic Museum


City Directories

1850 - Dramatic Museum, on Cal st. between Kearney and Montgomery, Robinson and Evrard, proprietors
1850 - Robinson, D G. pro Dramatic Museum, Cal b K and M
1850 - Evrard, James, propri'r Dramatic Museum, Cal b M and K

Newspaper Articles

Daily Alta California (San Francisco, California) - September 11/13/15/17, 1850


Open Every Evening, (Sunday Excepted.)

Performance varied and entertaining. Doors open at half-past 7. Curtain rise at 8. Private boxes $3, Upper seats $2. Lower seats $1. …. aug20

Sacramento Daily Union (Sacramento, California) - April 7, 1851)

Messrs. Robinson & Evrard have just completed their splendid building - the Dramatic Museum on California street, San Francisco. It will be opened next Monday evening with a full corps of talented artists.

Daily Alta California (San Francisco, California) - April 22, 1851

Dramatic Museum - The petition of certain residents of California street praying the removal of certain obstructions in that street opposite the Dramatic Museum was referred to the Street Commissioner.

Daily Alta California (San Francisco, California) - May 4, 1851

San Francisco Again in Ruins!
LOSS ABOUT $5,000,000

It is our melancholy duty to announce this morning the most awful Anniversary of the terrible conflagration one year ago in this place.

San Francisco is again in ashes. The smoke and flames are ascending from several squares of our city, as if the God of Destruction had seated himself in our midst, and was gorging himself and all his ministers of devastation upon the ruin of our doomed city and its people.

About eleven o'clock last night, the cry of "Fire" startled every one like an earthquake. The fire had just commenced in a paint shot on the west side of Portsmouth Square, adjoining the Bryant House, formerly called, but more recently the American. It was but a slight blaze when first seen, but in five minutes the whole upper story was full of flame. We have never seen flames spread so rapidly. Before the engines could get upon the ground and commence playing, the American on one side, and a store occupied by Messrs. Rhodes as a furnishing establishment, were in flames.

The buildings in the vicinity being all of wood and extremely combustible, the fire spread up Clay street, back towards Sacramento, and down Clay towards Kearny, with frightful rapidity. It soon had full command, and the Fire Department could only work upon the borders, and endeavor to check its progress by anticipating it. In this they succeeded on the north side before it reached Dupont street. But in every other direction in which it could spread, it took its own courses. There was little chance to save much of the moveables - for ere they were aware of their danger in most cases, the flames were wrapping them in destruction.

In the South it spread to Bush street, and to the East, at the time of writing this, 5 o'clock, A. M., it has passed Jackson street, sweeping everything from a little east of Dupont to the wharves. The blocks between Dupont and Kearny streets, west of Portsmouth Square, as far as Bush street, three in number, are in ashes. Between Bush and Jackson, Kearny and Montgomery, five in number, all down. Between Montgomery and Sansome, Bush and Jackson streets, five in number, all down.

Three men in the building of Wells & Co. were burned to death.

One man on Washington street fell dead from over exertion. He was so completely surrounded by the fire he could not be relieved by those who saw him fall.

Three men were burned to death in the Union, one of them the bookkeeper by the name of Willard.

James King of Wm. was badly burned, but escaped with life.

Beyond Sansome towards the shipping we do not know how great is the destruction, for the smoke is so deuse and the fire intervening, it is impossible to tell. Besides these thirteen blocks, almost every building of which is destroyed, there are many others. It is impossible to even guess at the number of buildings or the amount of property destroyed. A thousand buildings is within the bounds of truth, we judge, and ten millions of dollars could not replace the terrible destruction. Some place it twice or three times as high. It is sufficient to say that more than three-fourths of the business part of the city is nothing but smouldering cinders. It is impossible to give a list of the buildings burned or the names of the sufferers, but the principal buildings are the following:

Custom House, Union Hotel, Parker House, Jones' Hotel, Adelphi Theatre, Dramatic Museum, National Hotel, New World, City Hotel, Delmonicos', Merchants' Exchange, Ross' Building, ships Niantic, General Harrison. Every newspaper office in town, except the Alta California. Nearly or quite all the bankers are in the list.

Burgoyne & Co., Wells & Co., James King of Wm., Delmonico, American Hotel, Revere House, Pacific Mail Steamship Co. - all are down.

All of the buildings about Jones' Hotel had been consumed when we went to press, and it is thought the hotel itself will burn although the firemen were making extraordinary exertions to save it.

Not a house was left on Leidesdorff street. And every thing on both sides of Long Wharf to beyond White Hall.

Here and there a brick building stands like a tomb among a nation of graves, yet even they in most cases have nothing but their walls standing. Scarce a fire-proof building in the whole burnt district has stood the test. Such as have are the California Exchange, El Dorado, Verandah, on Portsmouth Square, and the buildings of Capt. Howard, in which was the U. S. Assaying Office of Moffat & Co., on Montgomery street. This building was saved only at the risk of the lives of Messrs. Moffat, Perry & Ward, of that firm, who remained within the building throughout the conflagration and extinguished the fire repeatedly.

The fire has now (half past five,) reached Pacific street, and is rapidly spreading in that direction towards Clark's Point.

A man at half past 5 o'clock, on Jackson street, between Kearny and Dupont streets, show a woman and immediately after shot himself, wounding himself in the forehead. The woman is dead; the murderer was taken to the station house.

A man was stabbed in Washington street about 2 o'clock, near the Jackson House.

But the most lamentable part of this sad story is the loss of human life. How many have lost their lives cannot be known at present - perhaps it never will be known how many; but several are konwn to have lost their lives. The following have been reported:

Baylie Peyton and Mr. Willard, in the Union Hotel. Thos. McCahill and seven others are reported as having been burned to death.

Gen. James Wilson, Mr. Wells and Jas. King, of Wm., were badly burned.

About 2 o'clock a man on Washington street, dropped dead from over exertion.

One man was taken out of the store of Starkey, Janion & Co., about six o'clock this morning, burned to a crisp.

Mr. Mudge was dangerously burned. He with Messrs. James Noyes, and Forst were for four hours shut up in the vault of the Naglee building, which they saved, but could not get out.

We have experienced several severe conflagrations in this doomed city, but none of them can compare in extent and destruction of property and life with this, which is still in progress. And all of it is the result of carelessness of some one person in the paint shop of Baker & Meserve, where the fire commenced.

Daily Alta California (San Francisco, California) - October 24, 1851

The Drama in San Francisco

In these latter days when all the refinements and luxuries of life have been introduced here on the Pacific shores, when the days of canvas tents and wooden shanties have departed, and when two magnificent buildings devoted to the drama have arisen amongst us, it may not be uninteresting to take a glance back some two years ago to the time when the Thespian muse first made her appearance in our midst, and follow her footsteps up to the present time.

The first theatrical performance given in San Francisco was in the month of January, 1850, in the second story of a building in the rear of the old Alta California office, known as Washington Hall. The company was under the control of Messrs. Atwater and Madison, and the first performance given was "The Wife" and "Charles the 2d." The performances were not of a very high order, but the room was well filled for several nights. The only two members of that original company now here are Messrs. Wright and Daly, both playing at the Jenny Lind theatre. In the month of March, Mr. Rowe, who previously had a circus on the same ground, fitted up his establishment for stage performances on Kearny street near the corner of where is now Commercial. Here a company of English actors, consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Hambleton, Mr. and Mrs. Batters, Mr. and Mrs. McCron and others, opened. Mrs. Stark, then Mrs. Kirby, soon after arrived, and opened in this theatre, where she laid the foundation for the immense popularity she has since acquired in California. In the month of April of the same year, a neat little French theatre was opened on Washington street. The French population was then comparatively small however, and after the novelty of it had passed away it met with but poor support. On the 4th of July, 1850, Messrs. Robinson & Evrard opened the little Dramatic Museum in California street above Montgomery. This little establishment had a tremendous run until September, when the original Jenny Lind theatre was opened over Mr. Maguire's Parker House saloon on the Plaza. Mr. and Mrs. Stark played here through the fall and a portion of the winter. In the fire of May, 1851, the building was destroyed, and at the same time the Dramatic Museum of Messrs. Robinson & Evrard, which had been enlarged, was also destroyed by fire. Immediately after the fire of May, the foundation of a theatre was commenced on the ground where the present Jenny Lind now stands, and a temporary wooden building, with a theatre in the upper story, erected where Maguire's saloon now is. A company had just commenced playing in this, which had been in operation but a few nights, when the fire of June came and again swept the whole building. It would seem, in the older States, that much a series of misfortunes would have daunted the most energetic man in the world; but immediately after the last destructive fire, Mr. Maguire commenced the construction of the magnificent establishment now in successful tide of operation. This theatre was opened on the night of Oct. 4th, and has since been extensively patronized by our community. Previous to this, Messrs. Robinson and Wiesenthal had opened the French theatre, built in July last, on Dupont street, and commenced in September the construction of the new American theatre at the corner of Sansome and California streets. This was opened on Monday evening last.

The Jenny Lind Theatre is a structure which would do credit to any city in the world, and one of which California may well be proud. Our people are a theatre-going community, and will, if properly conducted, support a good theatrical establishment. It is a little singular that some of our superior actors from the Atlantic have not discovered this, and come out here to pay us a visit. We can assure them that they would meet with a hearty reception, and have the pleasure of playing to as discriminating audiences as any in the world.

Thus have we traced the rise of the Drama in our city, from its inception up to the present time. It has grown as our city has grown, overcoming all difficulties and rising from its ashes as often as the fireking has laid it low. Properly guarded and nourished, the Drama is one of the helpmates of morality and virtue. May it never become [word obscured xxtx's] city the assistant and incentive to vice.