The Old Barn Theater in Collinston has some big events coming up this year.
They have just finished their monumental 100th production, Tarzan, in March.
Marvin Hull, president of the Old Barn Theater Company, said they were asked to come up with a production for the 150th anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike at Promontory Point on May 10.
Their contribution to Spike 150 is producing three vignettes of The Crossing: Box Elder’s Golden Treasure, which will run May 7, 8 and 9. Hull said The National Stage Coach Association Freight Wagon Association asked them to produce a play to coincide with the Sesquicentennial Celebration of the driving of the Golden Spike.
He said the response from those involved has been great.
“I think people will learn about the significance of this place,” he said. “The historical vignettes give three different historical views of the crossing.”
Hull planned musical numbers for each of the vignettes, Wells Fargo Wagon, Grandmas Feather Bed and Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay.
Laura Selman, a Tremonton resident and member of the National Stagecoach Freight Wagon Association, was the one who suggested the organization do a play at the Old Barn to celebrate the driving of the golden spike.
“The Old Barn is the best preserved stage stop in the United States,” she said. “We called him and asked him if he would write a play for us.”
“When I saw what it was they were doing,” she said, “I thought, we need to open it up to everyone. So that’s what we did.”
There will be two free shows on both May 7 and 9; one at 7:00 pm and one at 9:15 p.m. They are also doing a special performance for the National Stagecoach and Freight Association, and one for some of the school kids in the area.
People must call Selman for reservations at 435-452-1674.
“It’s going to be a good production, we feel good about it,” Selman said. “The Old Barn Board of Directors has been great to work with.”
The barn, and surrounding land, are on the historic Hampton’s Bear River Crossing. In 1853, Benjamin Y. Hampton and William S. Godbe set up a ferry to get people across the river. Before that time, Native Americans, fur trappers and mountain men forded the river at the location.
The original ferry was part of the California Trail’s Hensley, or Salt Lake, Cutoff where thousands of overlanders crossed the Bear River on their way to California for the Gold rush.
A tractor overturned the ferry and a toll bridge was built. A barn for stagecoaches and a hotel built of rocks rounded out the station. The hotel is currently a residence and the stagecoach barn has been converted into the Old Barn Theater.
There are markers for both the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers and California Trail not far from the theater.
Box Elder County purchased the bridge in 1883. In 1904, when the rails reached Malad, Idaho caused the traffic to decline and closing the bridge.
“There aren’t many who know about the historical significance of the area,” Hull said.