Pemberville Opera House Elevator

$2,145 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 13 people in 39 months
The Pemberville Freedom Area Historical Society

The Pemberville Opera House 
is one of the oldest operating opera houses in Ohio. Built in 1892 and set in the small village of Pemberville on the banks of the Portage River, this opera house is a true "theatre on the second floor." The opera house saw a lot of use in its' early years, vaudeville shows, medicine shows, plays, husking bees, even basketball games filled its' walls. The theatre saw graduations, weddings and all types of speeches from political to religious! The opera house boasted a raked stage, scenery slats,  trap doors in the ceiling and floor, an original grand drape and even three dressing rooms, albeit very small ones!
     As happened with many such treasures the opera house fell into disrepair when the world war captured the attention of the country and it would not see use again for several decades.
     In 1999 a dedicated group of volunteers from the local historical society took up the cause and returned the opera house to her former glory and it now is home to a Children's Theatre Workshop, an annual concert series, a large art show and a Christmas festival. The theatre is alive and breathing and is a wonder to all who visit.
     The only thing holding her back is in our description. She's a "theatre on the second floor." With a long and daunting staircase, many who would attend productions there simply can't, hence this campaign to place an elevator tower on the outside of the structure. 
    This elevator tower sits outside of the opera house itself so as not to disturb the beauty of the theatre. The tower will feature not only the elevator but two handicapped accessible restrooms as well.  It will be a perfect blend of the old and the new with a nod to the preservation of the restoration completed in 1999.
      Please consider a gift to help us complete this very worthwhile project. It will be such a blessing to all those who cannot attend the wonderful programs therein.  If you are in the area, please contact Carol and get a personal tour of this incredible treasure!
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The tower and elevator is nearly complete! It won't be long before it's running! As wonderful as it is, we were recently dealt a rather large financial setback.
We've had to install a rather elaborate smoke alarm system which.when all is said and done, will cost us an additional $11,000 and additional tile work ran and additional$3000. That being said we are at a crucial point for fundraising. We now have a building that we need to pay for...and we need $30,000.00 . All donations will be recognized on a plaque in the lobby or you may donate $250.00 and have your name engraved on a brass plaque on a chair. Will you please help us finish this task? Words cannot express how this elevator will bless all those who previously have been unable to attend a show. Please give generously. All gifts are tax deductible! thank you!
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Update..... January 2016
Dear Friends of the Opera House,
As most of you know, we are in the midst of building our elevator! A very long time in coming, this dream is quickly becoming a reality! At present we are looking at a completion date of mid March, so stay tuned!
We write to you today, however, with a plea. The Historical Society is falling short of our fundraising goal by quite a bit and while we have raised a tremendous amount of money thus far, we are still behind and donations have slowed to a crawl. We are currently $30,000.00 short to be exact.

We need your help to finish this project.

If you have donated already, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts but we ask that if you could find it in budget, could you please give a little more? And if you have been thinking about donating and haven’t as yet, now is the time! Please give what you can, because any and all donations add up and will help us cross the finish line!

This elevator will mean so much to the Village of Pemberville. Not only will the Town Hall be completely accessible to all, but all will now be able to attend the wonderful programming available in the Opera House. Imagine all those that previously could not attend finally being able to! Grandparents that have not been able to see their grandchildren in plays or those unable to climb stairs making it to the opera house for the very first time to see the concerts, art show or the Festival of Trees. This project will have great economic impact to the village as well by drawing more people to this wonderful village.

We have several levels of giving for your convenience and all will be appropriately recognized.

Investor $10,000.00
Writer $7,500.00
Executive Producer $5,000.00
Producer $1000.00
Director $750.00
Thespian $500.00
Stagehand $100.00
Or we will place your name on a plaque on one of our chairs for $250.00 (this is an excellent way to remember a loved one)

The good news is that there are several ways to give and your donations are tax deductible!

1. You may send a check to the Pemberville Freedom Area Historical Society (or PFAHS) @ Box 802, Pemberville, Ohio 43450
2. You may get online at and enter zh6u3k2t to find our page.
3. You may also use and send us your donation that way as well.
4. And of course, you may give your donation directly to Carol Bailey or drop it off at Beeker’s General Store here in Pemberville.

Please consider donating to this wonderful addition to Pemberville’s history.
Thank you!!
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A giant thank you to those that have given! If you haven't donated yet, please take a couple minutes to do so. Also don't forget to post this to your Facebook page, Twitter account, etc!! We need to spread the word and get this elevator built! It will be a tremendous blessing to all that attend the opera house and will bring this historical treasure to a place that all be a part of. Please share, and Thank you!!
Sketch of proposed elevator tower
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$2,145 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 13 people in 39 months
Created July 15, 2015
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Robert W Tafel Jr
20 months ago

We learned about the Opera House initiative at the Colonial Crossroads B and B Feb 11. What enthusiasm! We wished we lived in Ohio. Warm Regards, Robin and Sue T

John Paulsen
32 months ago

Keeping the arts alive in small town America.

Kerry Patrick Clark
32 months ago

Not only has it been my pleasure to bring my stories and songs to the Pemberville Opera House, I am happy to help with POHE!!!!

Jim Stone
32 months ago

Smokin' Fez Monkeys

Shaila Fernandes
33 months ago

Karl & Shaila Fernandes & Family

33 months ago
35 months ago
39 months ago
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