Quietly hidden in the center of town, Bainbridge beckons visitors to come and experience a memorable performance at its vintage Town Hall Theatre on North Main Street. The theatre would be hard to recognize from the street, except for the simple theatre sign erected as a local Eagle Scout project some years ago and the small marquee advertising the next show.
The Town Hall Theatre is a unique 1910 vintage theatre on the second and third floors of the Main Street Town Hall building, and has been carefully and patiently restored to its original look. The theatre itself is something to experience – 250 seats, an upper balcony, beautiful restored tin ceiling, and tall columns that frame the wooden stage.
Coming to the Town Hall Theatre in Bainbridge is like meeting with an old friend for an intimate conversation. The wood floors creak as you walk up the steep stairs to the auditorium on the second floor. On a performance night, the smell of popcorn is in the air, and the sharp scuffle of chairs sliding under tables blends with the sound of auditorium seats opening and snapping closed.
People in the community treasure the theatre, and an active Jericho Arts Council brings entertainment to the theatre all year, inviting visitors and community members alike to enjoy some entertainment while relishing the theatre’s rich heritage and architectural beauty. The Arts Council was formed in 1976 to restore the theatre from years of neglect, and restoration was completed at the end of 2009. Now the Jericho Arts Council is the steward of the Town Hall Theatre, and the group hosts a range of performances in the theatre appealing to young and old.
The theatre is used for more than […]
A variety of lively birds make their home in the wetlands wildlife preserve near the I-88 onramp in Bainbridge. Fun to watch today as they swoop and soar around the area, these birds dwell there now because some Bainbridge residents had a vision 35 years ago to provide such a place for the birds, and the future generations of people who would watch them.
A large, enthusiastic group of people attended the park’s dedication Nov 1, 1980, including friends and family of its namesake and those who worked nearly three years to make the park a reality. The Bainbridge Sportsmen’s Club dedicated the preserve to the memory of Marshall “Bud” Andrews. Bud was a clerk of the Village and Town of Bainbridge and an avid sportsman. As if to provide some authenticity to the celebration, large flocks of ducks took off and circled the park at the conclusion of the dedication.
The Memorial Park began as a 28-acre park, and expanded to 45 acres a few years later. A concrete dam was installed to maintain the water level and provide a consistently watered habitat.
The land was purchased from Ernie Newman by the Town of Bainbridge; 75% of the cost of acquisition was paid by New York State through the Neighborhood Park Land Acquisition program. The Bainbridge Sportsmen’s Club contributed the other 25% and paid for the survey and appraisal of the land. The Club manages the park according to a long-term lease with the Town of Bainbridge.
A large variety of birds have found their home there, from bald eagles to herons, wood ducks to smaller waterfowl. On any day when the birds are about, visitors can be seen lined along Back River Road, binoculars drawn and […]
Jedidiah Strong Smith, a contemporary to Lewis and Clark and pathfinder through the Rocky Mountains, was born in Bainbridge (Jericho at the time) in 1799. Two monuments in Bainbridge mark the significance of his life of the more than 70 monuments across the country that note his travels– in Utah, Nevada, Kansas, etc.
Jed lived in Bainbridge for the first ten years of his life. He moved on to Pennsylvania, and when he was 21, he began his adventures in the West, where he:
Discovered the South Pass over the Rockies
Traveled overland from California from the east to the west
Was the first known white man to cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains from west to east
Was the first to open a trail from the Salt Lake Region to the Colorado River (I-15)
Was the first to open a route from California to Oregon;
His total miles travelled in the wilderness from 1826-1831 equals twice the mileage of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
He was described as a “Christian Gentleman on the Frontier.” He went out on his last trading party expedition and was killed by a Comanche War Party when he was only 32.
His name has been bestowed on rivers, mountains, parks and buildings. And in his hometown of Bainbridge, he has two memorials:
The first was erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1950 – a plaque in the village park, identifying Smith as born in Bainbridge and as the Pathfinder of the Sierras.
A larger monument was erected in 2005 just northeast of the Village on State Route 7. In a triangle of green, the stone identifying the area as Pathfinder Park invites people to stop and wander – sit in […]