Just a small post today but I wonder … were the Hazel Kirk mines and the village of Hazel Kirk, Pa. (in Carroll Township, about 10 minutes from Monongahela PA) named after the popular 1870’s opera Hazel Kirke? Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:
The play was written between 1878 and 1879 in the town of Dublin, New Hampshire. MacKaye meant it to be expressly for New York City‘s Madison Square Theatre, which MacKaye had recently renovated and completely remodeled. Originally titled An Iron Will, the play toured Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington until renovations on the Madison Square Theatre were complete. It premiered there on February 4, 1880 and the original production became immensely successful; it starred actress Effie Ellsler in the title role and ran for 486 consecutive performances, the record of its time. before closing May 31, 1881.
Because MacKaye revolutionized the concept of multiple companies performing the same production simultaneously, by 1883 the play had been performed more than two thousand times. By the mid-1910s the play had been produced in England, Australia,Japan, and elsewhere.
The first mention of a local performance of the opera in the Daily Republican (note the name was misspelled “Hazel Kirk”:
The ad below mentions another performance of the opera in 1889,most likely at Gamble’s Opera house in Monongahela. Note again the misspelling:
There were several film adaptations, one of which screened in Monongahela in 1913. Note the correct spelling:
Do you have any idea how the Hazel Kirk mines and the village of Hazel Kirk PA got their name? I’d like to hear from anybody who either worked in the mine or grew up in the village. You can share your story in the comment section.
For more information about the village of Hazel Kirk and the Hazel Kirk mines see: