Impact of the Civil war and the First Fire on the School
The outbreak of the Civil War made a great difference with the attendance at the school, especially since many pupils came from the South. Some of the Southern girl’s parents were astounded when they were told that Oramel’s intense loyalty to the Union caused made all students make a declaration to the North. Oramel also created tension for Southern students by firing off a cannon to signal, in celebration, each Northern victory.
Concurrently, in January 1868, a special-effects display during a performance resulted in a fire. To create thunder, Oramel rolled
cannon balls along the back of the stage. To create lightning, he set out pans of gun powder and ignited them. This particular night, the lightning special effects went out of control and the fire destroyed the school.