Walking History tours to be offered June-September

By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

Waterville Main Street Association Secretary Jenna Dixon has planned four walking history tours of Waterville over the summer.

Dixon owns the Nifty Theatre and has researched the life of Beulah Brown, wife of William Nifty Brown, who built the Nifty Theatre in 1918.

Beulah Brown was an accomplished pianist and played for the silent films that were held in the theatre. She also taught piano lessons to Waterville children.

According to information from the online source Wikipedia, the Browns operated the theater until 1959. William Brown died in 1960, and Beulah Brown sold the theatre for $1 to Claude Case with the agreement that she could live in the lower apartment of the building where she and her husband had made their residence. She passed away in 1970.

Dixon will be dressed as Brown for the walking tours and is thinking of herself as playing the “Essence of Beulah Brown.”

The route for the tours will begin at the Douglas County Historical Society Museum, continue down Locust Street to the Nifty Theatre, cross to the other side of the street and end at the Waterville Historic Hotel. Parking is available at the museum.

Times for the tours will be from 2 to 3 p.m. June 16, July 14, Aug. 18 and Sept. 15. For more information, contact Dixon during the evenings at (509) 393-6684.