Looking Back at Center Stage 1973-74


Images below taken from original program covers (a full set of programs can be found at the Antiochiana archives). Productions mounted in the gymnasium of the John Bryan Community Center.




Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris


February 2-3 and 9-10, 1973, by Eric Blau & Mort Shuman. Directed by Jean Hooper with musical direction by William Jones.



The Firebugs

April 6-7 and 13-15, 1973, by Max Frisch. Directed by Liselotte Stave.


Night of January 16th

June 15-16 and 22-24, 1973, by Ayn Rand. Directed by John Shaw.


The Pirates of Penzance

July 20-21 and 27-29, 1973, by Gilbert & Sullivan. Directed by Jean Hooper with musical direction by William Jones & Charles Riesz.


To Be Young, Gifted and Black

August 24-25, 31 and September 1-2, 1973 by Lorraine Hansberry (adapted by Robert Nemiroff). Directed by Leon Holster.


The Glass Menagerie

November 9-10 and 16-18, 1974, by Tennessee Williams. Directed by Jean Hooper.






Fiddler on the Roof

February 1-2 and 8-10, 1974, by Joseph Stein, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. Directed by Leon Holster with musical direction by William Jones & Chuck Riesz.


Life with Father

April 5-6 and 12-14, 1974, by Howard Lindsay & Russell Crouse. Directed by Liselotte Stave.


The Gondoliers

June 14-15, 21-23 and July 19-20, 26-28, 1974, by Gilbert & Sullivan. Directed by Jean Hooper with musical direction by William Jones & Chuck Riesz.


The Haunting of Hill House

August 22-25, 1974, by Shirley  Jackson (adapted by F. Andrew Leslie). Directed by George Zopf.


Plaza Suite

November 29-30 and December 6-8, 1974, by Neil Simon. Directed by Ellen Malone, Kathy Layh & Ileen Brown.

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From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — 1930s/1940s part 2

Continuing with designs about which little is known from the 1930s/1940s catalogs.

Antioch bookplate F-137


Antioch bookplate F-139_F-619_RW

F-139/F-619 (two sizes) designed by Richard Ware

Antioch bookplate F-235


Antioch bookplate F-237


Antioch bookplate F-238


Antioch bookplate F-239


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Reaching Out

The holidays are a time of contacting family, friends and acquaintances, increasingly by electronic means (although Christmas cards through the post office are still cherished).

This unidentified photograph from the Antiochiana archives shows an early phone exchange in Yellow Springs. Note the advertising calendar, the extravagant wallpaper and the “workplace casual” worn by the operator at least a century ago.


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One Hundred Years with the Shakespeare Study Club — Part 1

Elsie Owen Hevelin

Elsie Owen Hevelin

In a previous post dedicated to the influence of Shakespeare in Yellow Springs history a brief mention was made of the Shakespeare Study Club. What follows is the first part of a paper on the history of the club written by one of its members, Elsie Owen Hevelin.


c 2005

Elsie Owen Hevelin

Our Name

Officially, we are The Shakespeare Study Club, but in our minutes we are usually referred to as The Shakespeare Club, and when we talk to each other we simply say “Shakespeare.” “Are you going to Shakespeare?” Or, “I’ll see you at Shakespeare.” But after all, as the great man said, “What’s in a name?”

Our Purpose

Our purpose is “the study of literature and the drama.” We have a President, a Secretary-Treasurer, and a Literary Director, and these three officers comprise the Executive Committee. We meet on the first and third Monday of the month, “beginning in October and ending in April.” We limit ourselves to eighteen active members, and we have several honorary members, who pay dues and have all the rights of membership except that of voting, but none of the responsibilities of active members.

The duties of the members consist of attending each meeting, and reading whatever parts have been assigned to them by the executive committee. The duties of the three officers have not been spelled out in the constitution, but are mostly self-evident in their titles.

The executive committee meets during the summer to plan the year’s program, choose hostesses and meeting places, and select a speaker for Guest Day. We start our year with a luncheon, celebrate the Christmas holiday season, and end the year’s program with Guest Day.

This is what we are today. But how did we begin? Newspaper stories which mention the Shakespeare Study Club say it began in 1904. The earliest minutes we have of meeting, however, begin in 1906. Does this mean memory is at fault, or does it mean there were no records kept for the first two years, or are there missing volumes?

Anyway, the earliest minutes we have of meetings are from 1906, and include, at the very front of the book, a typwritten copy of the first constitution, with handwritten amendments. It appears to be the very first one. Probably nobody felt the need for minutes or a constitution at first, (and when they did it was a very short constitution), so we take the word of our earlier members and declare that we are now one hundred years old.

How We Began

In a letter dated March 7, 1954, Mrs. Anna Hirst Groves, one of the founding members, wrote from Arlington, Virginia, to Mrs. Dean Birch. She wrote in answer to Dean’s query, “Was the Shakespeare Club organized in the spring or in the autumn?” Here is her answer:

“For the final meeting of the Library Club, a group of club members acting on the suggestion of Mrs. Higbee (wife of a Professor at Antioch), a member of the club – took part in a scene from Shakespeare – in costume – without scenery – at the home of Ella Humphrey. Ella would not take part in our dramatic effort, claiming very rightly, that it was impossible, as she was hostess. Unlike all the lays, scenes, etc., etc., which I remember being acted in this home, this Shakespeare skit was given in the front part of the room, I believe, because we dressed in our costumes up stairs and more easily came down into the front part of the room – We were all costumed as men – which we felt, at that time – was quite daring! Mrs. Stevenson was the most grotesque and I can visualize her now! Ask Ella and Mrs. Weston what they remember about the event. All the actors enjoyed themselves and were sorry when it was over.

Well – the next evening, Edna Carr, who was of course, one of the cast, called my home – She felt that a club devoted to reading and study of Shakespeare’s plays would be enjoyable and worthwhile. She asked if I would help organize such a group. I said I would be glad to do so. We made plans for the Club and began the readings very soon afterwards. At that early date, we counted the lines each member was to read, so that all would have an equal share in the program. We soon found that was too arduous – as you may imagine!

The plays are long, and have many characters, and the club was small. Members had to take multiple roles. It was arduous enough just to make sure those roles did not conflict.

In those early years there was much more variety in the programs than there is today, and much mor emphasis on social interaction. You will recall, it was to be “enjoyable and worthwhile.” And at that time there was no television and very little radio, to say nothing of computers and the world wide web! Ladies needed ot get away from their everyday surroundings and keep in touch with the wider world.

Each year began with a picnic, outdoors on the Antioch Campus. Time after time the records show “a social meeting” at which no plays were read, but at which games were played or small skits performed. Frequently these social meetings were held in the evening, and husbands attended. In those days, before radio and television turned the world into a vast audience of spectators, people were active players.

Club members had lots of picnics, mostly on the Antioch campus, but frequently indoors. They even had a special committee for picnics, listed in the annual program opposite the executive committee. They had potato races, and something called “Walk to Dublin.”* They played anagrams, where the purpose was to rearrange the letters of a text in order to discover a hidden meaning.

When men were present, they divided into three groups – men, ladies and guests – then played Charades, where a word was represented in riddling verse or by a picture, tableau or dramatic action, so that others could guess the word.

They had “obstacle balloon races” and played Crambo, a game in which one player gives a word or line of verse to be matched in rhyme by other players.

They had a card party, with six tables of six-handed Euchre, and once had a “mock bridge party” which was considered “most amusing.” They set up a series of tableaus representing scenes from Shakespeare, which were interspersed with songs by Miss Clara Hirst, who was accompanied by Mrs. Howard Little.

In 1916, “Shakespeare characters in real life assembled, and gossiped, laughed and philosophized.”

The stated object may have been “study,” but it is quite apparent that the social aspect loomed large.

Attendance was taken at every meeting, (and still is), and four absences without a good reason were grounds for expulsion from the club. On October 25, 1910, according to the minutes, the names of Mrs. Davis and Mrs. Chambers were “stricken from the Club Roll making Miss Fogg a regular member.”

I want to tell you more about these ladies later on, but for now I will only say there was a good reason for dropping people who took their assigned roles so lightly. Reading was a serious business, and since all the parts had been previously assigned, sometimes several parts to one person, the smooth flow of the reading was spoiled if one or more roles had to be compensated for at the last moment.

Each member present responded to her name in whatever fashion had been decreed at the previous meeting. One time with quotations from Hamlet. Once with some current event from the field of drama. Another time, with summer reminiscences, or with a humorous quotation, frequently with “a favorite verse” and finally, simply with “items of interest.” One wonders what some of those items of interest might have been.

* Definition of “Walk to Dublin” according to The Book of Games and Parties for All Occasions by Theresa Hunt Wolcott, Entertainment Editor of “The Ladies Home Journal,” 1920:

“For this a string is stretched tightly across the floor from one end to the other. The traveler is given a pair of opera glasses and is bidden to walk the length of the string looking through the large end of the glasses. Toes and heels must be kept exactly on the line and touching the floor with the free foot to steady oneself is strictly forbidden. As soon as an error is made the traveler must give place to someone else. All will be surprised at the difficulty of the feat and everyone who reaches Dublin should be decorated.”

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Carr Nursery Catalog — Collections

(Previous entries in the series — (2345678910 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, inside back cover)

It is somewhat curious to the modern reader that the catalog extols “cheapness,” since modern marketing probably discourages using “cheap” in describing  items of quality.

The Fern Leaf Raspberry does not appear as such in  modern plant catalogs, but the name may have morphed over the past century.

Carr Nursery Catalog inside back cover

Our Great Express Collections.

Only 50 cents will buy any one of the collections named below, sent by express, purchaser paying express charges. The collections are all fine, strong plants of the best varieties, and are marvels of cheapness. We can only afford to sell them so cheap by growing them in large numbers. Choice of varieties must invariably be left to us, the purchaser simply naming the number of the collection or collections desired. Every plant is plainly labeled, and there are no two alike in the same collection.


COLLECTION NO. 1.—One Hardy Rose, one Tea Rose, one Double and one Single Geranium, one Sweet-scented Geranium, one Hibiscus, one Heliotrope, one Begonia, one Carnation and two Coleus.

COLLECTION NO. 2.—Twelve Chrysanthemums of the new, large flowering kinds, all different and correctly labeled.

COLLECTION NO. 3.—Twelve choice Double and Single Geraniums, will make very nice bed.

COLLECTION NO. 4.—Four Double Geraniums, four Single, two Sweet-scented Geraniumks and one Bronze Geranium.

COLLECTION NO. 5.—Ten lovely flowering Begonias. This makes a choice collection of beautiful house plants.

COLLECTION NO. 6.—Four Double Geraniums, four Single Geraniums, three Fragrant Geraniums, and one Ivy Geranium.

COLLECTION NO. 7.—Two Silver-leaved Geraniums, three Single and three Double Geraniums, two fragrant and two Ivy Geraniums.

COLLECTION NO. 8.—Two Hibiscus, two Moon Vines, two Violets, two Heliotropes, two Coleus and one Begonia.

COLLECTION NO. 9.—Fourteen Coleus, the best and most distinct varieties of the newer kinds.

COLLECTION NO. 10.—Four Single Geraniums, four Coleus, one Achyranthus, two Alternantheras.

COLLECTION NO. 11.—Six Chrysanthemums of the new, large flowering kinds, six Geraniums, Double and Single.

COLLECTION NO. 12.—Two Carnations, two Begonias, two Chrysanthemums, two Geraniums, two Heliotropes, and one Moon Flower.

Twenty-five Cent Collections.

COLLECTION A. —One Double Geranium, one Single Geranium, one Fragrant Geranium, one Ivy Geranium, one Silver-leaved Geranium and one Bronze-leaved Geranium.

COLLECTION B.—Six choice Prize-winning Chrysanthemums—all different.

COLLECTION C.—Five fine flowering Begonias, the very best kinds.

COLLECTION D.—Two Carnations, two Chrysanthemums, and two Geraniums, all the finest varieties.

COLLECTION E.—Seven very charming Vines and Plants for a window basket.

COLLECTION F.—Three beautiful Double Geraniums and three splendid Single Geraniums.

COLLECTION G.—One Carnation, One Heliotrope, one Impatiens, one Begonia.

COLLECTION H.—One spotted Calla, two Perle Tuberose and two Gladiolus.

Superb $1.00 Collections

Seven prize-winning Chrysanthemums, seven fine Geraniums, Double and single, seven Coleus, fine bright colors, three fragrant Heliotropes, two lovely Carnations and two elegant Begonias.

IDEAL COLLECTION.—Four beautiful Single and Double Geraniums, four prize-winning Chrysanthemums, two fragrant Carnations, four lovely Fuchsias, four nice Tea Roses, two elegant Flowering Begonias, two fragrant Heliotropes, four fine bright-colored Coleus, one Moon Flower, and one Sanseveria Zealanica.

The Fern Leaf Raspberry.

Here we have something that should be in every garden for its beauty of foliage alone. But when, besides, you taste the fine black cap berries, you exclaim not only “How beautiful!” but also “How delicious!”

This is something entirely new. We have fruited this splendid berry on our ground and find it perfectly hardy. The fruit, large, of most elegant quality and flavor, and so prolific that a few plants in the garden well grown, will supply enough berries for a family. Reproduced from tips as other blackcap berries. One bush is a splendid ornament. A row of them resembles a bed of ferns.

The leaves are large, glossy green, divided to the mid rib and tremble in a light wind line a fern. The stock of this is limited and we will supply in regular order until exhausted, and when exhausted, if your order is in too late, we will refund your money.

Price, postpaid, 50 cents; six for $2.50; twelve for $1.00. No further discount.


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Looking Back at Center Stage 1971-72


It has now been a decade since the original Yellow Springs Center Stage made its final bow.

Rising from the “ashes” of the lost Opera House, Shakespeare-under-the-Stars, Music-under-the-Stars, and the ghostly Amphitheatre, Center Stage was founded in 1971 by a group of citizens who wished to revitalize the community theater tradition in Yellow Springs.

Images below taken from original program covers (a full set of programs can be found at the Antiochiana archives). Productions mounted in the gymnasium of the John Bryan Community Center.


AmorousFleaThe first production, June 11-12 and 18-19, 1971, by Jerry Devine & Bruce Montgomery. Directed by Jean Hooper



September 17-18 and 24-25, 1971, by Nikolai Gogol. Directed by Leon Holster


Arsenic_origApril 21-22 and 28-29, 1972, by Joseph Hesselring. Directed by Jean Hooper



Mikado1June 30-July 1st and July 7-9, 1972, the first of the beloved Gilbert & Sullivan operetta presentations. Directed by Jean Hooper with musical direction by Clair Miller.



Mrs. Warren’s Profession — August 4-5 and 11-13, 1972, by George Bernard Shaw. Directed by Liselotte Stave.


LUVSeptember 8-9 and 15-17, 1972, by Murray Schisgal. Directed by Fred Blumenthal




November 24-25, 30 and December 1-2, 1972, by Maxwell Anderson. Directed by Jeffrey Hooper.


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From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — 1930s/1940s, part 1

During the 1930s and 1940s the bulk of bookplates sold were letterpress-printed, and therefore more likely to be one color only (black or sepia).

All of these designs had been removed from catalogs by the 1950s, but F-129/A-129 did have an extended life as the basis for several institutional private bookplates.

F-130/M-57 has a designer’s imprint (H.F?) which may be Hiram Fox.

Antioch bookplate F-120
















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Wheeling Gaunt’s Gift

Wheeling Gaunt’s legacy continues to this day…

Village gives widows, widowers flower, sugar

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The Peripatetic Presidency of Antioch College

One imagines that, much in the way a governor has an official state residence, a college or university president has an official institutional residence. Although that may be true in many cases, the complicated past of Antioch College is reflected in the literally wide-ranging residences used by its presidents.

Thanks to Scott Sanders of Antiochiana for providing the known connections. (Be sure to catch Scott’s program for the Yellow Springs Historical Society on the facts and fiction of Antioch College.)

Special thanks to Paul Abendroth for providing a basic map of Yellow Springs.

Horace Mann HouseA. Horace Mann house (burned down, now the site of Weston Hall on the Antioch College campus)

Horace Mann and likely Thomas Hill

Day House

B.. Day House (126 E. North College St., torn down, now a vacant lot)

Edward Orton 1872-73)

Weston-Fess HouseC. Weston-Fess House (Xenia Ave. between W. South College and W. Center College, now used for offices)

Simeon Davidson Fess, 1906-1917

Arthur Morgan HouseD. Arthur Morgan House (120 W. Limestone St., now a Bed & Breakfast)

Arthur Ernest Morgan, 1920-1936 (Arthur Morgan House, now a B&B)

Folkmanis HouseE. Folkmanis House (corner of President & Limestone Sts., now college offices)

Douglas McGregor, 1948-1954

James Crowfoot

Joan Straumanis

Birch HouseF. Hugh Taylor Birch House (720 Jacoby Rd., now a rental for events)

James Payson Dixon, 1959-1975

Vernet houseG. 1050 E. Herman St. (once the home of the Vernet family, now a private residence)

William M. Birenbaum

Kahoe House

H. Hyde Road (once the home of the Kahoe family

Mark Roosevelt (current president)

presmapIf anyone knows of other stops on the Antioch Presidential Residence Circuit, please don’t hesitate to share.

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Yellow Springs Heritage Finds Obituary of Jazz Johnson

…written by Ernest Morgan

James “Jazz” A. Johnson—obituary

Photo courtesy of Antiochiana

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