“Central Square Kenison Block”
Artist: James Geddes
This is an artist print 12x16 - ships with a black matting.

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Auburn Central Square Kenison Block 

Central Square in Auburn has been the hub of town for years. We always
attended the Christmas tree lighting there when I was growing up in
Auburn. This sketch focuses on the opera house built in 1891 on the left
and the Kenison building built in 1897 on the right. The opera
house was the center of society entertainment in Auburn throughout the
early 1900's. Placer High School students also used the
grand old building for graduations and plays that the seniors presented.
The Keeena Williams Grocery on the right was one of the largest groceries
in town.

By the 1940’s Opera became less popular, and the State Theater
was offering first run movies. The Opera House caught fire in the early 40s
and the business closed.

There were also many people in the Auburn area that
bowled on teams. The teams would travel to Newcastle and Grass Valley
to compete in leagues. In 1944 Jim Jacobs, Bill Hodkins. Harold Short
and Walt Johnson invested in the declining Opera House. They contracted
 with Brunswick to install a modern 5 lane bowling alley. New teams and
leagues were formed, and outside teams would come to bowl at the Opera Bowl.