The history of the Matthews Opera House and the lively era that saw its construction will be the focus of a children's book, tentatively titled "The Crown Jewel," to be published in November 2015, reports the Black Hills Pioneer.
The book, inspired by a similar book about Deadwood's Franklin Hotel, features local children as the main characters during the time of growth and excitement of early Spearfish. The opera house was built in 1906 when ranching, forestry and mining were driving economic growth and the local college was growing. One of the children can see Shakespeare, who tells her the tricks of the theater trade.
The book is being written by Joanna Jones and Laurie Williams-Hayes, both of Spearfish. The project has received funding from the Frontier Fund and the Spearfish Community Foundation to help pay for printing.