November 18, 2019

Deep River Town Hall Restoration Association Preserves History

Deep River Town Hall Auditorium April 7th & 8th 1931 in the Production of the College Flapper. Do you recognize anyone?

The Deep River Town Hall Restoration Association is ready to present the first historical exhibit on the Deep River Town Hall Auditorium.  The Life of the Deep River Auditorium: Past, Present and Future, has been designed by Linalynn Schmelzer. This Exhibit is made possible in the estate by a gracious monetary gift from Charles Messerschmidt.  The Restoration Association contacted a variety of resources to uncover the history that resides in the Deep River Auditorium, including the Deep River Historical Society, residents, town officials and stacks of old newspapers. It is projected that the exhibit will first open at the Deep River Library in late October and then travel around to other Tri-Town and Middlesex County libraries.

The Exhibit is in three sections; which includes images, audio and visual clips, and a display of historic items.  “It has been an intriguing and in-depth process uncovering old photos and their stories for this exhibit”, stated Mrs. Schmelzer.  The video clips include interviews with past performers as well as some who remember the Town Hall when it held the Post Office.  Sally Carlson-Crowell, a board member for the Deep River Restoration Association, shares a photograph of her parents on the stage in a production titled, “College Flappers” from 1931. In this photograph, her mother, kneeling in the second row on the right, was a student in the Deep River High School, what is now the Deep River Elementary School.

The “College Flapper” production of 1931 was advertised as the biggest event ever staged in Deep River.  It had prominent people as characters and guaranteed laughter.  It was sponsored by the Baseball Association and directed by Universal Production Company.   In this photo you can notice men dressed as women and you may notice Mayor Dickinson as the King of the Flappers or Gilbert Mather as the Football Coach.  What you cannot see is that this production had a special baby pageant that featured 100 local children, ages 5 to 8 making it the biggest event.

A few local residents have been recognized in this 88 year old photograph.  Pam Arnold Andenti was able to identify her sister, Phyllis Arnold Eldlidge, fifth in the second row kneeling on the right.  Phyllis, who is 99 years old, was a junior at the Deep River High School.  There were many towns people in this show, if you can identify anyone please contact Linalynn Schmelzer.
When people gather and begin looking back through the years, as they will for the 3rd Annual Deep River High School reunion taking place at the Historical Society, Sunday September 18th from 1-4 pm, there are chances that more photographs and stories will be unveiled.

If you would like more information on the High School Reunion please contact Audrey Ely at 860-526-5237.
If you have old photographs or stories, nothing is too big or small, please contact Linalynn Schmelzer 860-304-8459 or  You can also stay up-to-date with the Deep River Town Hall Auditorium on Facebook.