Entertainment at The Golden Lamb

By Charlie Zimkus

The Golden Lamb became Lebanon’s first theater in the 1820s when owner Henry Share — in an attempt to increase business — built a stage and booked a bizarre variety of attractions.

The hotel featured everything from musical performances to an Egyptian mummy and exotic birds. For two weeks in February 1824, a trained elephant performed.

A young actor named Edwin Forrest brought the first theatrical troupe to Lebanon in August 1823. At age 17, Forrest performed as Young Norval, the hero of John Horne’s “The Tragedy of Douglas; or The Noble Shepard.” Three years later, Forrest would debut in New York as Othello and become an overnight sensation and be described as the first true star of “the American theatre.”

For two nights in May 1833, Share brought to The Golden Lamb conjoined brothers Chang and Eng. The twins, born in Siam, became so famous that the term “Siamese twins” is often used to describe siblings in their condition.

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Warren County Historical Society
A poster advertises The Siamese Twins’ arrival at ”Mr. Share’s Hotel.”