Concert series helping Leadville buy, restore the legendary Tabor Opera House |

Concert series helping Leadville buy, restore the legendary Tabor Opera House

The city of Leadville is trying to buy the legendary Tabor Opera House. A concert by King Cardinal is part of that effort.
Special to the Daily |

If You Go ...

What: King Cardinal.

When: Today; doors open at 6:50 p.m. for VIP seating, 7 p.m. for general admission. Show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Tabor Opera House, 308 Harrison Ave., Leadville.

Cost: $40 VIP, $20 general admission.

More information: This is a Silver Circuit show and part of the Save the Tabor season. Leadville is trying to buy the legendary Tabor Opera House. Buy tickets online at, or in person at the Tabor Opera House, Leadville city hall or the Leadville Visitor’s Center. To learn more about Save the Tabor and how to help, or purchase tickets to one or all of the 2016 Summer to Save the Tabor events, go to or

LEADVILLE — The Silver Circuit rides again.

Leadville’s legendary Tabor Opera House has hosted entertainers such as Oscar Wilde and Harry Houdini as they made their way from Denver to San Francisco during the mining heyday.

The Tabor will host the King Cardinal Band tonight in a performance that marks the fourth in a Save the Tabor season dedicated to restoring the historic structure.

The city of Leadville is raising money to buy it, and it’s almost there. It needs around $100,000 more to buy it from Sharon and Bill Bland. The Tabor has been in Sharon’s family for 61 years, since her mother, Evelyn Livingston Furman, bought it from the Leadville Elks Club in 1955 to keep someone from leveling and paving it to put up a parking lot — which is exactly what he wanted to do.

“Everyone in town and everyone in the family thought she was crazy. But when she got something in her mind, she moved forward with it,” Sharon said.

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Sharon was 12 years old when they started giving tours for 25 cents each.

“We took people all over that opera house,” Sharon said. “Once you get inside and experience it, you feel a sense of ownership in it.”

Built in 100 days

The Tabor, known as “the most perfect place for amusement between Chicago and San Francisco,” was built in 1879 in 100 days by mining tycoon Horace Tabor.

It has been designated a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and holds an Endangered Place designation from Colorado Preservation Inc.

In the late 1880s, Peter McCourt established the Silver Circuit as a way for acts to travel the region and perform in various opera houses and theaters. McCourt was the manager of the Tabor Opera House in Leadville, assistant manager of the Tabor Grand Opera House in Denver and was Baby Doe Tabor’s older brother.

The original Silver Circuit ran from 1890 to 1944. This year, Dana Crawford is reviving the Silver Circuit to run from Leadville to Trinidad, Steamboat Springs and Denver.

King Cardinal is a Colorado band and will headline the inaugural Silver Circuit tour. The band’s second release, “Once A Giant,” creates a sound reminiscent of The Band or The Flying Burrito Brothers.

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