In the spring of 1869, the Commissioners of Smyrna approved a plan to erect a Town Hall. Responding to the long-held desire of the citizens for a venue for public gatherings, architect Richard Mitchell designed the building to include a “hall” on the second floor. Ground was broken on July 15, 1869, and the building was opened the following spring. For many years it was the center of the community’s civic and social activities. Often attracting large crowds from long distances, the building’s “Opera House” provided a wide variety of entertainment including plays, lectures, music, and dancing. Many persons of national prominence appeared. Abolitionist and civil rights pioneer Frederick Douglass spoke here in 1880, and William Jennings Bryan addressed supporters during his campaign for U. S. President in 1900. In later years the second floor was used for showing motion pictures. The completion of a new Town Hall in 1976 and the subsequent relocation of town police resulted in the library’s expansion on the first floor. Restoration of the building was undertaken by the Smyrna Clayton Heritage Association in 1998, and the Opera House was formally reopened in 2003. The property is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Enter your address for driving directions to this marker
The Delaware Public Archives operates a historical markers program as part of its mandate. Markers are placed at historically significant locations and sites across the state. For more information on this program, please contact Connor Graham at (302) 744-5019 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LOCATION: Smyrna, 107 South Main Street, on the corner of East South Street and
South Main Street