The Odessa Record -

Fall Fest follow-up; fiddle orchestra at opera house; Dupre or Depre Morgan

Series: Harrington News | Story 50

October 10, 2019

Karen Robertson

Group Therapy, a fiddle band made up of 30 members played for a crowd of 180 people at the Harrington Opera House on Saturday, October 5.

Chamber of Commerce

The Harrington Area Chamber of Commerce met Wednesday, October 2, at noon at the Post & Office with the following attending: Tim Tipton, Paula Harrington, Karen Robertson, Jill Barth, Saige Wilson, Bunny Haugan, Jim Knapp (Lions Club), Cassie Nixon (Huckleberry Press), Rollie Behrens, Cherie MacClellan.

The Street Dance which took place Friday, Sept. 27, and benefited the Harrington Town Square Project's goal of meeting the offered $30,000 Innovia Foundation matching grant. Statistics from the event included $667 from the Beer Garden (the beer was donated by Benneditos Pizza of Spokane) and $200 from Julia Jacobsen of Hazel's Dozen (pulled pork and taco vendor, which sold out in two hours).

The Chamber purchased a park bench for $1,500 that will be dedicated to Shorty Sewall, a large donor to the Chamber prior to the initiation of the project. Chamber sold six of the seven trees that will be planted in the lot. Donors gave $200 per tree. Paver Brick donations have been ongoing for several months prior to the new thrust during the Fall Fest, and those statistics are not readily available.

Chamber's discussions on Saturday's Fall Festival was an overview of the success of most of the events, the exceptions being the canceling of bingo due to low participation and the Beer Garden due to weather.

Other topics were a suggestion to increase the posting of articles on Harrington businesses, mention that the Country Back Roads Map will be updated this year, and Chamber elections will occur at the November 6 meeting.

HOHS event

JayDean Ludiker and her fiddle orchestra "Group Therapy" performed Saturday, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m. to a full house, with most counts in the vicinity of 180 attending. "Group Therapy" members were: Paul Anderson, Rod Anderson, Lorraine Armstrong, Bronko Borozan, Becky Cook, Cole Cook, Mary Cooper, Scott Cooper, Kathleen Cullen, Barbara Curtis, Brian Curtis, Dan Everts, Linda Everts, Jim Foss, MaryJo Foss, JayDean Ludiker, Bob McMillan, Joan Mooney, Bonnie Reeves, Donna Reuter, Terry Semanko, Janet Shelby, Earlyn Tannhouser, Janis Tomasek, Bob Watke, Denise Watke, Sherri Weibers, Fred Wieber, Carlene Young, and Joe Young. They are considered a fun group of folks from diverse backgrounds with a common love of Old Time Fiddle music. They have been playing together for over 12 years. They have members from Coeur d'Alene, Davenport, Chewelah, Metaline Falls and points in between. They meet weekly in Spokane Valley for class. Their group of about 30 people includes 20 fiddles, guitars, mandolins, stand-up bass and vocals. Their music includes waltzes, foot-stomping hoedowns and tunes that will take you back to another time.

Thrilling the audience, JayDean and her Group Therapy began with "Manitoba Golden Boy," "Down Yonder," "Red Wing" and "Golden Slippers." As they played "Five Foot Two" the audience was definitely alert to the music. This was followed by "Faded Love," "Riding on a Load of Hay," "Isle of Capri" and "You are my Sunshine." When a full house offers such splendid applause, one is aware that the evening is an absolute success. "Margie," featuring Bonnie Jo Reeves on mandolin and vocals, with Janet Shelby on fiddle, continued to please the audience. One could hear a little laughter when they began to play "My Daddy Was a Dutchman." "Southern Belles from Nashville, TN" was performed by Ludiker. Finishing the first set were "Blue River Waltz" and "Tick Tock," much to the delight of those attending.

Following intermission, the group began with "Cannon Reel." "Paper Doll" which featured Fred Weiber on fiddle, with vocals, with Rod Anderson on guitar brought steady applause. This was followed by "Donald Cameron/Bill's Dream," "Chicken Polka" and "Old Rose." Jim and Mary Jo Foss singing "Ain't We Got Fun" caused quite a stir in the auditorium, as many knew this old favorite. "Lumber Jack," "Leila's Waltz" and "Helena Polka" continued to entertain. Ludiker performed "Black Mountain Rag" which was a lively tune. For their concluding number, "Stinky Blues" featured Bob Watke on harmonica with Scott Cooper on bass. As can be well anticipated, the audience clamored for an encore by making a standing ovation which was well received, and Ludiker along with Group Therapy entertained with one last song, "Wabash Cannonball." The audience was invited to sing-along and they happily complied. A second encore was attempted which was met with "bye-bye." The audience again cheered for the excellent performance.


Recently a phone call from Jamie from Sandpoint was received at the library inquiring about Dupre or Depre Morgan. Jamie found an old book, copyright 1908, in an old house in Northport, Wash. An inscription in the front of the book directed him to Harrington's Family Theatre.

In 1913, the Gwinn Brothers sold the local Family Theatre to Dupre Morgan, and in 1915 it was moved into the new building owned by Bart Schmitz, south of the large Lighthizer Block (currently the Memorial Hall). News accounts showed that Schmitz erected the building specifically for their use, Dupre having a partner named Drinkard. These latter two men bored holes in the cement floor and firmly attached seats with screws. The seats closed up as one stood. Under each seat was "a wire so arranged that it provides a hat rack for each person, unless sitting in the front row. The building is of tile, cemented, and the exterior has been painted yellow, making at present a very attractive appearance. A furnace will furnish heat when the weather demands it." The opening show in the new building was the final episode of the "Million Dollar Mystery."

In June of 1925, Depre Morgan sold the Family Theatre to William Schmidt with the stated intention of investing more time on his farm. The Harrington Mule Show pictures "will be shown at the Family Theater Aug. 5th (1925)." Could copies of this production be discovered today? In 1930, Edwin C. Reeder opened "The Music Box Theatre" in the former Family Theater after making many changes in the building. In 1933, Wayne L. Talkington opened the Talkie's Theatre in the same building. In 1935, while Cliff Coleman, Jr. was operating the machine a reel of film ignited. He attempted to toss the reel out the window, but it hit the wall and bounced back into the middle of the operating room where it ignited another six reels and the loss was about 7,000 feet of film. The fire department checked the blaze and Coleman suffered some burning to his hands. In 1944, William Voise was the new manager.

The "sorry sight on main street" was razed. In January of 1959, the old theatre seats were removed, the property yet belonging to Wayne Talkington, who then gave it to the city. The Lions Club assumed responsibility for tearing the structure down and arranged for Bill Martin and his son, D.C. to raze the building for materials they could use or junk. The building stood from 1915 to 1959.

Karen Robertson

The group performed "Margie," which features Bonnie Jo Reeves on mandolin & vocals. Performing were, left: JayDean Ludiker, fiddle, Janet Shelby, fiddle, Bonnie Jo Reeves, mandolin/vocals and Rod Anderson, guitar.

And of Dupre Morgan, we learn that he was born in Washington state to George Morgan, Sr. (1854-1926) and his wife Elizabeth Ensley (1863-1947), early pioneers of the Earl District. His initial application for a homestead was made October 1, 1889 in Sec 12 Twp 24 Range 35. By the statehood census of 1889, they reported three children. Mrs. Morgan was a teacher in the Harrington district in 1894. George and Elizabeth had eight children: Lela, Ethel, Dupre, Virgil, Hazel, Sadie, George, Jr. and Grace. Depre Morgan died in 1978 at the age of 89. His wife was the former Ruth Charlton. Instead of returning to farming, it appears he moved to Colville. They operated a theatre in Colville from 1926 to 1950. In 1937, it was called the Alpine Theatre. When he was in his 80s, he built a house in which he did all the work and then sold it. They moved to Seattle in 1974. He was survived by his wife, a daughter and two grandchildren.


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