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As It Was: Joseph Endert’s Talents Benefit Crescent City, Calif.

Joseph Endert, his mother, stepfather and 11 siblings left Ohio for Del Norte, Calif., after hearing of its fruitful farmland.  They reached San Francisco and took a side-wheeler boat to Crescent City, arriving in 1871.

Endert became a man of many talents, including a skilled acrobat and trapeze artist and an industrious entrepreneur who helped develop an entertainment industry in the region. 

He built the Endert Opera House in 1886 on Crescent City’s Third Street.  It had a first-floor dance hall and skating rink and an upstairs theater that held live performances and projected silent movies.  The Endert family ran the business for more than 50 years.

The building was demolished after being damaged by a cyclone.  The present-day Del Norte Triplicate newspaper occupies the site.

Endert and his business partner, Joseph Capprise, also ran the Elite saloon and a soda water factory.

Endert established the Del Norte County Bank, was elected tax collector for the area, and for a time also served as the sheriff.


Sources: Fornoff, Robin. "Endert's Opera House Featured Variety of Shows." Del Norte Triplicate, 3 May 2007 [Crescent City, Calif.]. www.triplicate.com/csp/mediapool/sites/Triplicate/News/story.csp?cid=4349142&sid=923&fid=151. Accessed 21 May 2017; Images of America: Crescent City & Del Norte County. Charleston, S.C., Arcadia Publishing,, 2005, pp. 25-29.

Valerie Ing was a teenager when she hosted her first music program on the airwaves. As a student at SOU, she was JPR’s Chief Student Announcer and the first volunteer in our newsroom. She's now JPR’s Northern California Program Coordinator, hosting Siskiyou Music Hall from JPR's Redding studio in the Cascade Theatre.