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HOHS 2016 Review Newsletter

HOHS 2015 Review Newsletter

First public use of elevator at Harrington Opera HousMembership
Membership dollars help with operating expenses, fund-raising, and bringing entertaining and educational events to the Opera House. Membership year is January 1st. to December 31st. Membership support accepted at anytime! Support Form

Elevator in Use!

After officially passing inspection on June 14, 2016, the first public use of the elevator was much appreciated by several "car loads" of audience members at the Bel Canto Choral Concert on June 25, 2016. The Official Gala & dedication for the elevator and the Boston Grand Piano will be on October 1, 2016.

The Grand Arrival!

The Grand Arrival from Karen Robertson on Vimeo.

As we look back over the past 24 years of our project to rehabilitate the Harrington Opera House, we want to thank the many who have helped us through their generous support. One of our major goals has been to acquire a grand piano for the stage in the auditorium. The cost to rent and move a piano in and out for a performance now averages $2,000. Thanks to the efforts of several HOHS volunteers and MANY supporters, the culmination of a three year effort to acquire a concert grade piano resulted in purchase of a 7’1” Boston designed by Steinway grand piano!

On March 15, 2016, in the midst of the construction for ADA access and the installation of the elevator at the historic Harrington Opera House (pardon our dust!) the 7' 1" and VERY heavy Boston designed by Steinway grand piano, finally arrived!

This piano will be an asset to our regional performance venue. While the purchase is secured, donations are still appreciated to pay back some of the funds borrowed from our general fund, pay for professional tuning and possibly a climate controlled "envelope". Thanks again to ALL who made this dream come true!

Elevator and ADA Access Construction is Underway!

Preparations for the elevator and ADA access projects began in earnest before Christmas and on January 14, 2016, Western States Constructionbegan laying the foundation in the basement for the elevator shaft. The masons started laying blockfor the hoistway on the 27th and should have the shaft complete to the roof by Friday, Feb. 5th. Funded through donations from HOHS supporters and WA State Building for the Arts Grant and a substantial WA State Department of Commerce Community Capital Facilitatie Grant, current projects include elevator installation, access between The Art Room and the lobby, addition of an accessible rest room adjacent to the 2nd floor auditorium, plumbing for auditorium snack area, and upgrades to original staircase for safe emergency use.

JavaScript Slideshow


HOHS 2015 - 2016 Piano & Arts Program

This year's instructor:
Heather Safe (2nd year with HOHS), M.M. degree in piano pedagogy, Music Teacher's National Member (MTNA), teaches classical, sacred, and beginning methods. Excellent rapport with children and accepts students ages 6 and up. Lessons in the HOH Art Room on Mondays. Class currenHarrington Opera House piano students at the Davenport Retirement Villagetly full.

Creative Arts Activities - Carol G. has been facilitating quiet art projects for those interested during piano lesson sessions.

We are currently in need of scholarship support for a couple of our dedicated students.
If you can help, or for general information, please contact: Billie Herron- 509-253-4594
Interested "Youth Centered" Music Instructors and Arts/Crafts volunteers can also contact Billie for possible additional day of instruction.

Photo: Heather's HOHS Monday students played for residents and guests of the Davenport Retirement Village on December 21, 2014.

Artists and Artisans Needed!

The HOHS features works by area artists and artisans in The Art Room. We invite all who have art work, craft items, photography, etc. to contact Carol at 509-253-4748 for details. We especially like to have displays in The Art Room during Harrington wide events such as Fall Festival and Spring events.

New Willis St. Sidewalk Installed


May 20, 2014
Midnight Finishings of Davenport recently poured the new sidewalk along the south side of the Harrington Opera House. The new surface will help make the first floor of the HOH more wheelchair accessible. Funding for the project came from the Lincoln County EDC, Rural Development Grant.



Elevator Sue Lani Madsen using the big screen monitor to explain the architechtural drawings at the HOHS meetingProject
At the February 2014 meeting of the HOHS, Sue Lani Madsen, presented the initial architectural plans for the elevator project. This completed the first step. Additional plans, funding, & permitting are proceeding to incorporate a bathroom in the current storage area between the stage and the location of the planned elevator. All part of meeting ADA requirements. On August 5, 2015, the HOHS received notification of a grant appropriation award from the WA State Capital budget for 2015 - 2017 which should be enough to complete the ADA project including purchasing and installing the elevator. The goal is for the elevator to be installed by the fall of 2016!

Other updates from the February 2014 Meeting   
Upcoming events include continued themed "Rummage Elevator Fundraisers," "Community Artisans" shows in The Art Room, and the Horse Crazy Cowgirls with Dave McClure in March. "New" stage curtains have arrived thanks to Bonnie & Michael Hardy. HOHS members voted to hire professionals to re-size and install on the HOH stage. The donated curtains formerly adorned the stage in the Showalter Hall Auditorium at Eastern Washington University. The decision was also made to rehabilitate the south and east walls of the auditorium to their original look. So the remaining plaster will be replaced with sheet rock. Bonnie is busy already busy working on refinishing the window and door wood molding accents. The group agreed to hire Sue Lani to design plans to replace the sidewalk along the south side of the building with ADA access to the Willis St. entrances. Piano & Art lessons continue to be held on Mondays & Wednesdays in The Art Room.

2013 Annual Report and Election of HOHS Officers

At the HOHS Annual Meeting on January 13, 2014, Linda Wagner presented the Annual Report for 2013. Officers elected for 2014: President - Mark Stedman; Vice-President - Carol G.; Co-Treasurers - Edwin Haugan and Sheryl Stedman; Secretry - Linda Wagner; and Historian - Bunny Haugan.

Rummage Sales have become a monthly event

What started as a single sale of items from two estates donated to the HOHS has become a regular event since the September Fall Festival. Vintage and collectible items along with everyday household goods are finding new homes and providing donations towards the Harrington Opera House Elevator Fund.

The Harrington Opera House was featured on Northwest Profiles

Last fall a crew spent an entire day talking to members and taking video.  They were wonderful people and we are grateful for their interest in the historic Opera House and the community of Harrington as well as Lincoln County. This fall's Northwest Profiles edition was broadcast on KSPS Channel 7 on Oct. 24, 2013. If you missed it, you can sign-in to see it on-line HERE

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Stage Ligt install HOHS stage light install - Goron H on ladder

We have stage lights! Purchased from Silhouette Lights & Staging (Spokane, Wa) with a portion of the WA State Building for the Arts grant. Volunteers Gordon Herron and Mat Kennedy assisted Jess Cumpton of Aztech Electric (Spokane Valley) with the install over several days in early August, 2013.

US Bank Awards Grant to HOHS

On July 29, 2013 US Bank employees presented the Harrington Opera House with a grant award check of $2,000 which will be applied to improvements to The Art Room and the lobby.
Photo provided by Ed Haugan


Harrington Opera House Tours people photograhing historic graffiti in Harrington Opera House stage dressing rooms
HOHS Volunteer, Ed Haugan, has been busy giving more tours of the Opera House andBank Blank building. Eastern Washington University students, with Larry Cebula - Assistant Digital Archivist for WA State, got a look at some of Harrington's historical downtown, including the Opera House on February 16th. As part of a project to create an historical walking tour of Harrington, and other projects, the students plan to research some of the names signed on the walls of the stage and scenic backdrops.

Here is one of the results (so far):
The History of Harrington: The Harrington Museum is dedicated to the history this quintessential eastern Washington wheat town. The firm of Harrington, Furth, and Robinson, composed of speculators from Calusa County California, established Harrington in 1882 after purchasing 1,500 acres of land in the Big Bend wheat belt. Harrington continued to grow after the construction of the Great Northern Pacific Railroad and station in 1892, which helped wheat farmers transport their product to distant markets for sale. The first store opened in 1883 and slowly the town expanded opening a saloon, Tinsley House (a boarding house), a blacksmith, and Pickell Hotel. . . . Harrington at its peak included luxuries of any growing railroad town. The citizens enjoyed a modern opera house, built in 1904 that attracted touring groups from all across the area. FULL HISTORY ARTICLE

2012 Annual Report
2012 was once again a very rewarding and productive year for the Harrington Opera House Society.  We realized additional accomplishments in moving the building forward and ever closer to completion and greater utilization of the facility. Read the full Report

The Art Room Update
January 17, 2013
What an exciting day yesterday! Had our first art and piano lessons and continue to be amazed at the talent our students have!  Art room was warm and toasty and Gordon had enough lights up to make it feel like home. Have 4 more to go plus the fan.  Is really a one man job, but Amy, Carol, Jessie and I have been around painting so were the gophers for him.

Thrilled with the opportunities that await us with this phase of the Opera House nearing completion.  Stop in if you are around and take a
peak!  Still finishing touches to complete and the west wall is awaiting some more work before the paint goes on.

Thanks to everyone for all the work that has been done to the room this past year.
Billie and Gordon

Renew or become a "Member" of the Harrington Opera House Society!
Your annual membership helps to support the ongoing efforts to rehabilitate the historic Harrington Opera House. Help us achieve our goal to provide a venue and promote cultural events not only for Harrington, but for the surrounding area.
Membership/Support Form

See Past Events for photos from some of the recent activities
including the Sept. 9th "A Grand Interlude"!

Air conditioning was installed in the auditorium on August 1, 2012!!!

The Calendar will be updated to include tentative and confirmed events and other HOHS activities. This will be helpful to visitors, potential fundraisers and performers/presenters, as well as to HOHS members and committees as we plan HOHS tasks. CALENDAR

Thank You to. . . .

  • To Bonnie, Stephan & Rebecca Hardy, Carol Giles, Linda Wagner, Gordon Herron, and Ed Haugan for the work on the walls & ceiling of The Art Room!

  • To the Hardy family and the Steinway Gallery of Spokane for the awesome piano and voice concert!

  • To the many people who have recently dontated or bequested support to the HOHS!

  • Jim Kershner and Dan Pelle for the awesome article in the Spokesman Review. Also thank you to Jim and the Humanities Washingto program for bringing a presentation to the H. Opera House on July 13, 2012.

  • The Ritzville Community Theatre group for bringing their entertaining Three in a Row - A Game Show to the Harrington Opera House and donating ALL proceeds to our rehabilitiation efforts! Thanks also to the businesses who provided prizes.

  • Eric Tingstad and Nancy Rumbel for another outstanding concert!

  • The Davenport Study Club for the beautiful antique display case for the lobby.

  • Billie Herron for teaching piano lessons in the Art Room and donating proceeds to HOHS

  • Amy Yirak and Carol Giles for providing quiet arts & crafts activities during "Piano Lesson Time" on Wednesdays.

  • The Harington School bands and choruses for giving their Holiday Concert in the Opera House and donating proceeds to the Opera House!

  • Davenport Dance Academy for their wonderful evening of dance (A Little Taste of Christmas) to benefit the Harrington Opera House

  • To Santa Clause and Mrs. Clause (a.k.a. Kerry & Kelly Hensley) for visiting with good boys & girls of all ages at the Harrington Opera House in December.

  • Steve Brewster for giving a "Sound Tech" class and helping us sort out our new sound system!!

  • Mark Stedman, Gordon Herron, & Ed Haugan for installing ceiling fans in the Opera House!

  • Lincoln County EDC and Commissioners for awarding a .09% Sales Tax Grant or $25,000 to the HOHS towards the Elevator Project!

  • Ray Harrington and and helpers, Gordon Herron, Ed Haugan, and H-CATS members Branden Bragg & Casey Brooks for working on patching the plaster on the proscenium of the stage, on October 15th.

  • US Bank for $2,000 towards new portable sound system.

Note to HOHS supporters - The refreshment table at our events helps bring in much needed donations. We can always use extra desserts, finger foods, beverages, etc. If you can help, contact Bunny Haugan at City Hall 254-4345 or contact us at infoat symbolharringtonoperahouse.org   Please check out the calendar and indicate for which event(s) you are willing to help provide refreshments and a general idea of what you might bring i.e. dessert, cheese & crackers, hors d'oeuvre, beverage, etc. Thank You!

Benefit Events Needed - The Harrington Opera House Society is looking for groups and individuals willing to perform, present, or exhibit at the Harrington Opera House for free or extremely reasonable fees to help fund our efforts to rehabilitate the Opera House auditorium and the Bank Block Building. Proceeds will help pay our operating expenses or fund priority projects such as the purchase of a sound system, installing an elevator, and rehabilitating the stage rigging and lighting.

If you or your group are interested, or you have artists or events to recommend, contact us at infoat symbolharringtonoperahouse.org or call Linda Wagner at (509) 253-4719.

The HOHS Annual Meeting
Attendees of the January 10, 2011 meeting at the Harrington City Hall, enjoyed delicious refreshments during the presentation of the Annual Report accompanied by Power Point slides. A short business meeting followed the report presentation.
Report (Word)   Report (PDF)
   Power Point (Click to advance slides)

2010 Photo Page (PDF)

All Welcome to attend the next Harrington Opera House Meeting:
Monday, February 7, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
Minutes and More on Meetings

Building Rehabilitation Update

October 31, 2010 - The floors have been leveled, and ceiling in the lobby and auditorium us up!!! New wall sconces have been added to the auditorium walls. Also, exterior wood trim work is being repainted! Photos coming soon!


Help Restore Part of Harrington's History!

October, 2010
Recently, much of the original equipment from the Harrington Palm Barber Shop was discovered for sale on the Internet. The items, dating from the early 1900's, were quite "pricey" and beyond the Opera House's budget. Rather than risk losing these historical items for all time, arrangements were made to acquire them.

Click HERE for a list of the items and how you can help the Harrington Opera House keep a part of Harrington's History available for public display.

Inland Northwest Community Foundation Logo

     Grant Received!



Gordon & Billie Herron at INCF Annual Reception


The Harrington Opera House Society recently received a grant of $18,000 from Inland Northwest Community Foundation in Spokane.  It is a grant from the Community Strategies Grant Program and is for the sheeting and insulating of the Auditorium and Lobby ceiling areas. This is an important step towards being able to heat and eventually air condition more efficiently.

The Opera House Society was honored, with other grant recipients at the Foundation's Annual reception at the Davenport Hotel in the Grand Pennington Ballroom on June 10, 2010. Over $800,000 was distributed for the fiscal year 2010 from this grant program.  The Inland Northwest
Community Foundation is celebrating it's 35 years as a community philanthropy organization.  This is the second grant awarded the Opera  House from this organization.  The first was for the building of the new stair case in 2007 for $29,000.00.

Destination for Tour Groups

Inland Empire Tours brought a group of 11 to visit the Harrington Opera House on April 11, 2010. The tourists, originating from Spokane, were also treated to visits to local gardens, arranged by Harrington Opera House volunteer, Ed Haugan. The tour guide was very impressed with both the historic Opera House & Bank Block Building and the yard/gardens and plans to arrange another tour in the summer.

Wedding photogrphy in front of H. Opera HouseWedding at the Opera House!

On Saturday, March 20, 2010, Jordan Wagner and Heather Yirak celebrated their wedding in the historic Harrington Opera House.

Click on
Britton Photography -Heather & Jordan Wedding Link
for beautiful photos of event.

A few "non-professional" photos (Click on photos for larger view)



Harrington Opera House Lobby

Billie & Eilleen

Harrington Opera House auditorium for wedding

Heather & Jordan in H. Opera House Lobby

Wagner Wedding in Harrington Opera House




Wedding Car from window

Building Update

Recent work included replacing the curtain covering the "Box Office" in the lobby with sheet rock. Eventually, wainscoting may be added to the bottom portion of the wall, replicating the historical decorative styling from the Opera House auditorium.

painting new sheet rock in HOHS Clint D working in HOHS lobby
Clint Dinwiddie working on "Box Office"
Click for larger & more views

HOHS featured on Cathy McMorris Rodgers August 2009 Web Page

The Annual Meeting
on January 11, 2010 was well attended. Gordon Herron, President, presented the 2009 Annual Report. Word Document   PDF accompanied by PowerPoint slides.

The February meeting was also well attended, and the next meeting is Monday, March 1, 2010 - 7:00 p.m. in the Opera House or Harrington City Hall, depending on weather.
New members welcome! Click HERE for more

Grant Received!
OnMonday, December 7, 2009, the Lincoln County Commissioners awarded the Harrington Opera House Society with a grant of $9,000 which will go towards installation of lighting in the Opera House auditorium and stairways.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers signs the Harrington Opera House Guest Book

Photo by Karen Allen

On Friday, August 14, 2009,
The Harrington Opera House Society

Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Cathy McMorris Rodgers on Harrington Opera House Stage

Photo by Peter Davenport

to the
Opera House & Bank Block Building

Left: Cathy McMorris Rodgers signs the Opera House Guest Book

Right: Volunteers and Cathy McMorris Rodgers on
Harrington Opera House Stage.
Left to right: Wanda Budrius, Cathy, and Carol Giles


Thanks to Alan Whitman and Washington Window & Door in the Spokane Valley
for the donation of the replacement window in the South wall of the lobby!
And thanks to Alan & Ed Haugan for the installation!


The Harrington Opera House
A shining star in the heart of Lincoln County

Click HERE for article by Karen Allen,
printed with permission from the May 2009 issue of Wheat Life,
the official publication of Washington Association of Wheat Growers.

Harrington Opera House Tile Project
Recent Grants Received

4,500 from U.S. Bank

$2,500 from the Avista Foundation
to be applied to our lobby & auditorium heating projects.

Thanks to Billie Herron for writing the grants and
to Avista & US Bank for their support!

 Wanda Buddrius helps with the bathroom tile project


Two Day Oil Painting Workshop
with Charlotte Schacher
May 15-16, 2009

Charlotte Schacher is a well known artist and an admired art instructor in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley. Along with wildlife paintings, she paints portraits and a wide variety of custom paintings.  Her work has earned her numerous awards and has been featured in private galleries in the Pacific Northwest.

Charlotte Schacher teaching oil painting class
Charlotte Schacher (left) gives student, Renea Larmer, some oil painting pointers.
U.S. Bank managers observe progress.
Students in Charlotte Schacher Oil Paininting Class
Wanda Buddrius, U.S. Bank Manager, Harrington Branch,
checks out class progress on Friday, May 15th in the Harrington Opera House "Arts Room."


Deb Hendrickson posing with Charlotte Schacher Paintings

Debra Hendrickson, 2009 Harringon Opera House Events Chair, posing with some of Charlotte Schacher's paintings in the lobby of the Harrington Opera House.



Click photo for high resolution file


The Harrington School Bands & Chorus
under the direction of Monte Swenson
entertained a full house on Thursday, April 16, 2009

Click Photos for larger view

Harrington 5th Grade Band        Harrington School Chorus

Harrington School Combined Bands          Harrington School Band & Chorus Members

Harrington Opera House Annual Report

December 31, 2008

Harrington Opera House Building at Dusk

The HOHS at dusk the week before the Bronn Journey Concert held on December 6, 2008

Presentation for Senator Morton - Sept. 2008 (PDF)
Good overview of the history of the Bank Block Building
and goals of the Harrington Opera House Society

Annual Report -
For an overview of HOHS activities in 2007, read the 2007 Annual Report.
                            Word Version     PDF Version

The Lincoln County Economic Development Council (EDC) Annual Meeting, "Evening for the Arts,"
Sponsored by Lincoln Co. EDC & Century Tel on March 27, 2008, was a gala evening. Held in the Harrington Memorial Hall, attendees enjoyed a sumptuous dinner hosted by the Harrington Opera House Society. Visual arts exhibited included the works of Joseph Goldberg, Jim Bauer, Edward Haugan, and Les Lepere. Pam Kelley, EDC Director, facilitated the evening with mini-presentations by sponsors and spokespersons for PDA projects throughout Lincoln County. Eileen Paulson, accompanied by Sara Jane Johnson on piano, provided interludes of music with Eileen giving an encore from the stage of the Harrington Opera House at the end of the evening.

HOHS members did a great job planning, cooking, and serving the meal which received numerous well-earned compliments. Thanks to HOHS volunteer efforts, the upstairs auditorium was equipped with temporary lighting so that the EDC meeting guests could experience the amazing acoustics while enjoying Eileen's encore musical numbers. Visit the Lincoln County EDC News page for a few photos. More photos coming soon.

Harrington Opera House Society Awarded Grant

Excerpt from Davenport Times, 1/10/08
The Lincoln County commissioners agreed to help fund five local projects recommended by the local Economic Development Council.

Grants were awarded to . . . (and to the) Harrington Opera House Society - $12, 150 to complete renovation of
the lobby area.

1/7/08 - Building Restoration Update

Temporary heat was recently set up for "work days" in the bank corner. The contractors working on the stairs need the heat to be installed in the lobby to finish woodwork. Gordon Herron is gathering bids for the heat installation.

Work was stopped after Christmas on the bathrooms. 2 more walls and ceiling joists need to go up before wallboard can be put up.

Gordon reported that some damage was done to the roof during the last wind storm and there is leaking. HOHS is looking for a contractor to repair the roof.

8/18/07 - Building Restoration Update
Remodeling of the bathroom adjacent to the dance studio on the first floor of the opera house has been completed except for painting. Labor for new sheet rock, flooring, & new toilet installation was done by Tim Hampson of Davenport Washington in conjunction with Warner Construction Co.

Mr. Mark Wetjen of Harrington, Wa. donated labor & materials to do the wiring in the bathroom and throughout the rest of the South West end of the ground floor.

Restoration of a County Landmark Takes Great Perseverance
By Megan Rieger
The dramatis personae of the Harrington, Wash., opera house still haunt the century-old stage. A chalked entry above the bathroom doorway reads, “In honor of Macer Scott, the boy who got tough with Teddy the Bear.” In the wings, the names of 12 cast members of “Why Smith Left Home” are listed.
Click HERE for More
Grants breathe new life into Opera House project
From the Davenport
February 15, 2007
Easter came early for members of the Harrington Opera House Society.
   Two grants received from the Inland Northwest Community Foundation (INCF)* and the Lincoln County Economic Development Fund (EDF) for $29,337 and $10,000, respectively, will breathe new life into the society's plans to renovate the facility so it could be ready for performances in three years.
   Society treasurer, Billie Herron, said she and her colleagues were encouraged by the grants, which will go a long way toward constructing a second entry/exit stairwell from the second floor Opera House to the downstairs area that once was the "bank" of the "Bank Block Building."
Click HERE for more

Inland Northwest Community Foundation Logo

*The Inland Northwest Community Foundation serves twenty counties throughout Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Founded in 1974, its mission is to foster vibrant and sustainable communities in the Inland Northwest.  In partnership with the donors they serve, INCF has awarded $29 million in grants and scholarships throughout the region since its inception.  These awards have enriched education, promoted arts & culture, provided critical human services, supported community and economic development and ultimately impacted thousands of lives in the Inland Northwest.
Bank Block Bulletin - January 2001
   PDF File (slow to load - best for printing)
   HTML File
May 8, 2001 News Article

7/26/2001 - Opera House Receives Grant!


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PO Box 618, Harrington, WA 99134
Contacts     infoat symbolharringtonoperahouse.org

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