Granville Opera House

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The Granville Opera House was built by William Worden in 1849 and was originally used as a Baptist Church. Eventually, the congregation outgrew the building, and in 1882 it was sold to the township for $5,000.[1] Later that year, the building was moved across Main Street by a team of oxen and was placed on top of another one-story building. Over the years, the lower floor was used for retail businesses and town and government offices, while the upper floor was used as a theater and public meeting space. [2]

In June 1981, the Granville Opera House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. [3] Even with this designation, the building fell into disrepair and the high cost of renovating the building led to a debate over whether the building should be destroyed or restored. The argument was put to rest when a fire caused irreparable damage on April 7, 1982.[4] The blaze was started by a heating lamp which was warming the baby chicks that were traditionally given away on Easter. [5]



  1. “Flames Destroy Historic Building”, Newark Advocate, April 8, 1982.
  2. “Historic Opera House Devastated”, The Licking Countian, April 15, 1982.
  3. “Granville Launches Fundraising for Opera House”, Newark Advocate. April 21. 1982.
  4. “Controversy Also Burned in Granville Fire”, The Columbus Dispatch, April 11, 1982.
  5. “Historic Opera House Devastated”, The Licking Countian, April 15, 1982.