Oscar Wilde In America

DETAiled verification of Oscar Wilde’s lecture tour of North America



(Chatterton) Opera House

Moday, February 27    , 1882

The Decorative Arts


Newspaper report

The Chicago Tribune, Mar 1, 1882, 7 col. 1

Reports “Oscar Wilde...arrived from...Springfield, Ill., where he lectured Monday evening.”

New York Dramatic Mirror


(Chatterton) Opera House

Sixth and Jefferson Streets (SE corner), Springfield, IL

Opened: 1866 (as Rudolph Opera House)

Mostly destroyed (fire): March 17, 1876

Rebuilt: 1876—79

Reopened: Sept. 10, 1879 (as Chatterton Opera House)

Closed: May 13, 1924, later condemned as unsafe

Replaced by: Orpheum Theatre 1927—1965

Played host to Mrs. Langtry, Lillian Russell, Edwin Booth, Rose Coghlan, William F. Cody, Adelina Patti, et al.


Evidently Wilde did not stay overnight in Springfield. After the lecture, Wilde traveled night and day on February 27/28 arriving at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Chicago, IL, before beginning the next leg of his tour in Dubuque, IA, on March 1. This was the next day as 1882 was not a leap year. 

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Oscar Wilde In America | © John Cooper, 2020