Washington DC History Resources

Matthew B. Gilmore

Photos from the Archives: Ford’s Many Theatres

FORD'S THEATRE | BLOG

An 1873 print of John T. Ford's current and former theatres in Baltimore and Washington, as well as his Baltimore residence. Library of Congress, LC-DIG-pga-01569. An 1873 print of John T. Ford’s current and former theatres in Baltimore and Washington, as well as his Baltimore residence. Library of Congress, LC-DIG-pga-01569.

Today, when I tell someone that I work at Ford’s Theatre, the person instantly knows where I mean: the venue made famous (or infamous) in 1865, when John Wilkes Booth murdered President Abraham Lincoln there. But before the assassination, if I’d told you that I worked at Ford’s Theatre, you might have asked, “Which one?”

By 1865, John T. Ford’s venue on Tenth Street in Washington was but one of five holdings in his theatrical empire.

National Theatre, Washington, D.C., operated by John T. Ford, 1856-57. National Theatre Archives. National Theatre, Washington, D.C., operated by John T. Ford, 1856-57. National Theatre Archives.

Ford, a native of Baltimore, had stumbled into the theatre business in the early 1850s, while running a small newspaper stand in Richmond, Virginia. In 1855, he partnered with two others—George Kunkel and Thomas Moxley—to operate…

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This entry was posted on September 11, 2015 by in Uncategorized.
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