Baldwinsville History Mystery: Sept. 20, 2017
Question: If you look at this house today, the setting looks quite different. While traveling east where East Genesee Street turns into Belgium Road, you will pass it. See if you can identify it. What significant change has taken place?
Last week’s answer: The picture from last week showed a group of actors rehearsing with the director, Mrs. Roger P. Vickery. “Arsenic and Old Lace” was the sixth play to be presented by the Baldwinsville Theatre Guild on Sept. 23 and 24, 1948. By then they already had a reputation for staging an outstanding production. The picture shows, left to right, Frederick Fuess, Jr., Wilbur Smallwood, Mrs. Nancy Hayes, Albert J. Palmer and Mrs. Roger P. Vickery.
At that time most stage productions were held at the Academy on Elizabeth Street. That building still stands as the front of the Word of Life Christian School. This play however was so popular that the guild also took it to Cato and presented it at their auditorium.
The following people were in the show: Katherine Jensen, Mack P. Storm, C. Burton Frawley, Albert J Palmer, John Meyers, Rita Victor, Nancy Hayes, W. R. Smallwood, Frederick Fuess, Jr., Harry Mayer, Edward Oram, Dale Barnum, John Bullard and Charles Steele. The guild’s history dates back to 1942 when Rosemary Sinnett (Nesbitt), then a high school senior, held a meeting in her home with a small group of friends. Rosemary’s idea was to “put on a play” for the community. Rosemary and Ellen David (Thompson) went door-to-door and sold tickets to cover royalties for their first production. “Tish” was produced in June, 1943 at the Palace Movie Theater in Baldwinsville, directed by Doris Vickery.
After other successes between 1943 and 1946, BTG was formerly organized in 1947. The first board of directors was elected and the constitution and by-laws were put into place. The goals of the guild were to produce live theater for the community using local talent.
Since 1942, BTG has grown into a very active community theater group, successfully producing many aspects of theater including drama, comedy, melodrama, theater in the round, children’s theater, musicals, and dinner theater. BTG is the oldest continually performing amateur theater group in central New York.
Tickets are now on sale for the current production of “Noises Off.” Don’t miss out on this hilarious comedy.
Contact Editor Sarah Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at 434-8889 ext. 310 with your guess by 5 p.m. Friday (please leave the information in the message; we are not generally able to return calls regarding History Mystery responses). If you are the first person to correctly identify an element in the photo, your name and guess will appear in next week’s Messenger, along with another History Mystery feature. History Mystery is a joint project of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse and the Baldwinsville Public Library.