The Violet Festival Committee will present the stage play “The Chapters of Alfred Dolge: Chapter 2: Honor the Industrialist” at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19, in the Dolgeville Central School auditorium. The play is the stage version of the street production that was presented during the Violet Festival in June.
The first in the series of productions, “The Early Years with Alfred Dolge in Brockett’s Bridge,” was presented during the 2012 Violet Festival. The production highlighted a day in June 1879 when Dolge participated in a local parade and dedication celebration. This year’s production characterizes a similar day in June 1882 when Dolge had been a resident for approximately eight years.
In that year Chester Alan Arthur was president, having assumed office from the vice presidency after the death of President James Garfield from blood poisoning after having been shot by an assassin. The railroad industry was booming and industrialization was rebounding after a mild depression. At the time Dolge was 31 years old and with his wife, Anna, had two sons, Rudolf, 13, and Wilhelm 6. Dolge and his family were present with local citizens to enjoy the festivities and to discuss the growth and potential of the little settlement.
In Scene No. 1, “Going to the Parade,” Dolge and his family on their way to the parade on that day in June 1882, after leaving their Elm Street home. They stop on the corner of Elm and Main streets to admire the new factory on their way to greet other family members and local citizens of the time.
In Scene No. 2, “The Business Meeting,” Dolge focuses on the dedication ceremony, believed to have occurred in 1882, for the new factory building, the truss bridge and the Edison dynamo on the East Canada Creek, to generate the electricity for his new limestone factory. The factory is being dedicated and the audience meets the foremen who work in the new factory.
In Scene No. 3, “The Picnic,” Dolge focuses on a type of get together which, from all historical accounts probably occurred during the early Dolge era in Brockett’s Bridge. The interaction between the socially conscious local residents and the lady German immigrants, many of whom were seamstresses employed by Dolge, is depicted. The audience will hear the people celebrate the success of the petition that changed the village forever. During the winter of 1881, the citizens unanimously petitioned to change the name of the community from Brockett’s Bridge, to Dolgeville.
The Violet Festival Committee will present “The Chapters of Alfred Dolge: Chapter 3: Reforming Education and Recreation” in 2014. The play will be set in 1888 in Dolgeville.
To be part of next year’s production, call 429-9530.