Melodeon (Boston, Massachusetts)

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The Melodeon (1839 - ca.1870) was a concert hall and performance space in 19th-century Boston, Massachusetts, located on Washington Street, near West Street. Musical concerts, lectures, sermons, conferences, visual displays, and popular entertainments occurred there.

Charlotte Cushman
Theodore Parker
Donetti's Comic Troupe of Trained Animals, 1852[1]
Lola Montez, by Southworth & Hawes, 1851
William Makepeace Thackeray
Professor Anderson, Wizard of the North


The Melodeon occupied the building of the former Lion Theatre (1836–1839) and Mechanics Institute (1839).[2]

Proprietors of the Melodeon included the Handel and Haydn Society (1839); Leander Rodney (1844); Boston Theatre Company (1852); E. Warden (1857; temporarily renamed The Melodeon Varieties); Charles Francis Adams (1859).[2][3]

Performances & events[edit]



  • 1850
    • Annetta Stephani.[4]
    • Handel's Jeptha, with Boston Musical Education Society.[4]
    • "Optical wonders. Whipple's grand exhibition of dissolving views! Magnifiying daguerreotypes, kaleidoscope pictures, & pyramic fires."[4]
  • 1852
  • 1854
    • Magician Macallister.[4]
    • "Splendid mirror of North and South America"; presented by J. Perham.[4]
    • "Italia", panorama by Waugh.[4]
  • 1855
  • 1857
  • 1858
    • The Bunyan Tableaux.[4]
    • Orpheus Glee Club, Lucy A. Doane, Hugo Leonhard.[4]
  • 1859
    • Melodeon Minstrels.[2]



  1. ^ "Donetti's Monkey Troupe". Gleason's Pictorial. Boston, Mass. 3. 1852.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Justin Winsor. The memorial history of Boston, v.4. J. R. Osgood and Co., 1881; p.371.
  3. ^ a b c Eugene Tompkins, Quincy Kilby. The history of the Boston Theatre, 1854-1901. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1908.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af American Broadsides and Ephemera, Series 1
  5. ^ The Rover, v.2, no.10, 1843
  6. ^ Theodore Parker. Speeches, addresses, and occasional sermons, v.2. W. Crosby and H. P. Nichols, 1852; p.298.
  7. ^ "Professor Anderson". Gleason's Pictorial. Boston, Mass. 3. 1852.
  8. ^ Dwight's Journal of Music, June 5, 1852
  9. ^ New-England Anti-Slavery Convention; Fun in the Boston Melodeon. New York Times, June 1; p.2.
  10. ^ Frederick Wagner. Eighty-Six Letters (1814-1882) of A. Bronson Alcott (Part Two). Studies in the American Renaissance, 1980; p.216-217

Coordinates: 42°21′15.52″N 71°3′44.26″W / 42.3543111°N 71.0622944°W / 42.3543111; -71.0622944