History behind building destroyed by fire in Plattsmouth.
According to information at the Cass County Museum, what was Nebraska’s largest stage at the time opened in 1882 in the three-story Waterman Opera House building erected on 401, 409 and 419 Main Street. The written archives say the opera house seated as many as 1500 people. (1890 census records show the population of Plattsmouth at over 8,000, the highest of any census year for the city.)
George H. Thompson, an architect on the Waterman Opera House project, received a patent in 1883 for an “improved fire escape” designed for the building.
The Waterman Opera House was damaged by a fire in 1893 and later re-opened as a two story building. Many businesses operated in the building through the years including a newspaper, clothing store, assembly hall, paint store, book store, and others.