The Crockford Club House first opened June 7, 1891 with John Miller & Samuel Weil proprietors. The two, who operated a saloon in the city, invested over $12,000 into the pleasure park located at the end of the Washington Ave line. Patrons could take a short streetcar ride to get rest and relaxation from the city. The Crockford had a large clubhouse with a tower, shown above. Large grounds around the clubhouse offered croquet and lawn tennis, a bowling alley, and summer houses. The club reopened in 1892 with only Miller listed as the owner, and the name Miller’s Club House first appears.
Despite advertisements touting an upscale reputation, the clubhouse became a noted gambling club. It was located across from the old Tri-State Fairgrounds, and on the 2nd floor there was a large room for guests to watch the races.
The pleasure park was largely a failure. It reopened several times but ultimately closed in 1907 when it could not get a new liquor license.
F Grote Manufacturing bought the land in 1912 and planned to build a new plant along the Ohio Valley Railroad (US 41 now traverses where the RR tracks once crossed Washington). Even though detailed plans were published in the paper, it is not clear if the plant was ever built. The company was never listed at the new location in the city directories or articles, and 1920’s bungalows soon replaced the old Miller’s club house.
Within the past ten years, the houses that replaced the clubhouse were also torn down. A combination McDonald’s/gas station now occupies the half block.
The Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus is gearing up to present a beautiful, historic performance titled Britten’s War Requiem: A Tribute To Our Veterans. The performance will take place November 15th at 7:00 p.m. in observance of the 100th anniversary of World War I.
Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem was first performed on May 30, 1962, and was commissioned to mark the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral in England, which was built after the original fourteenth-century structure was destroyed in a World War II bombing raid.
More than fifty years after its premiere, Britten’s War Requiem remains one of the most lyrical, haunting, and poignant choral works performed today. The Orchestra is joined by organ, soloists, chorus, chamber orchestra and boys’ choir to portray Benjamin Britten’s musical imagery of war and peace. The composer created this masterpiece by weaving together texts from the Latin Mass with shocking depictions of battle by Wilfred Owen, a British poet who died in World War I.
Leading up to the November 15th performance, the community will host a series of free symposiums about the history and background of War Requiem. The times and locations of these discussions are as follows:
Wednesday, October 29, at 7 p.m. The first symposium will be held in Kleymeyer Hall (Liberal Arts 0101) at the University of Southern Indiana. This symposium will be led by Dr. James MacLeod, Professor of History at the University of Evansville; Dr. John Jordan, Professor of Music History and Literature at the University of Evansville; and Maestro Alfred Savia, Music Director for the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra. The symposium’s focus will be on remembering World War I and World War II.
Wednesday, November 5, at 7 p.m. Held in SB 170 at the University of Evansville, the second of the symposiums will be led by Dr. James MacLeod, Dr. John Jordan, and Maestro Alfred Savia, and its focus will be the life and work of Benjamin Britten.
Wednesday, November 12, at 12 p.m. The final symposium will be held at the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana (318 Main Street). This symposium will be led by Dr. James MacLeod and Maestro Alfred Savia, and its focus will be the War Requiem and its performance. This symposium will be free and presented as a Brown Bag Luncheon (bring your own lunch).
Tickets are still available for the performance on November 15th at 7:00 p.m. It will feature Janice Chandler Eteme as soprano, Matt O’Neill as tenor, and Jon Truitt as baritone. The Evansville Philharmonic Chorus will be led by Director Andrea Drury, and the Children’s Chorus (auditioned from area schools) will be led by Director Ben Boyer.