Oscar Wilde In America


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

Freehold

New Jersey 


Shinn's Hall

Monday, May 8, 1882


The Decorative Arts

Verification

Newspaper report

Monmouth Democrat, (Weekly), May 11, 1882


Newspaper Advertisement

Monmouth Democrat, (Weekly), May 4, 1882

Venue


Shinn's Hall 

107 Bennett Av., Freehold, NJ (now the midpoint of Lafayette Street at Court House Square)


Opened: before 1876 (George W. Shinn)

Seating capacity: 1000

Aka: Shinn's Hall - Opera House and Skating Rink, c. 1885

Renamed: Freehold Opera House, c. 1892

Converted: for the National Guard of the State of New Jersey, c. 1911


No contemporary image is known to exist of the location as Shinn's Hall. This is a detail from a c. 1911 photograph of the building after its conversion to an armory for the NGSNJ.

Subsequently demolished.





Sanborn Map Company, Freehold (Sheet 1), N.J. (1885)

Princeton University Library

Accommodation

It can be inferred from a contemporary newspaper article that Wilde stayed overnight in Freehold, as might be expected in what was then the remote town of Freehold.


Quite a crowd gathered at Matawan Station last Monday evening, and again on Tuesday morning, to see the "too utterly-utter" Oscar Wilde...

Matawan Journal, May 13, 1882, 2


However, no record has been found to verify at which hotel he stayed, although his choice was limited, probably to the American Hotel or the Washington.

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Oscar Wilde In America | © John Cooper, 2020