Sunday, March 08, 2015

Theatrical Performance at Sidley Memorial Hall

In this image we see the cast from a play performed by members of the parish Dramatic Club in Sidley Memorial Hall, the auditorium of Saints Peter and Paul School, in the 1910s. From left to right are: Walter McGory, Cecelia Canning, Norm Gagen, Bernard McGory, Mrs. Leo Butler, Barney Gagen, Mr. Printy, Helen Esch, William Willmouth, Ralph J. Conley and Alica Hering. 

Sidley Memorial Hall was named in honor of Father R.A. Sidley, who was the pastor of Saints Peter and Paul Church in Sandusky from 1871 until just before his death in 1904. Father Sidley oversaw the building of the church which still stands today at the southeast corner of Columbus Avenue and Jefferson Street. Father Sidley left a bequest of over $13,000 for the building of a new school, which was completed in 1907. Major alterations were made to the school building in 1950, and in 1955 a large addition was made to the school. Though Father Sidley did not live to see the school completed, he had dreamed of a large school and auditorium to serve the families of his parish.

In 1916 two members of the dramatic club were married. Alicia Hering became Mrs. Ralph J. Conley. In the 1910s, the Dramatic Club of Saints Peter and Paul Church put on many plays at Sidley Memorial Hall. In the early 1930s, the Catholic Players met bi-monthly at the auditorium of Saints Peter and Paul Church, and put on plays throughout the year. The Catholic Players were just one of several amateur theatrical groups in the area. The group was part of a larger organization known as the Northwestern Ohio Little Theater Association. To read more about the rich history of Saints Peter and Paul Church, visit the Sandusky Library. The title Saints Peter and Paul Church: A Church and Its People chronicles the 125 years of the church’s history, from 1866 to 1991. Several other church histories are also available at Sandusky Library.

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