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Who We Are

Protecting and Preserving an Historic Landmark

The Baum Opera House is managed and operated by the Baum Opera House Association, a registered non-profit organization. Our mission is to preserve, protect and enhance the historic Baum Opera House.

Rich History Embedded in the Community

Since its inception, the Baum Opera House has played a pivotal role in the Miamisburg community and not just as a cultural arts landmark. From hosting the first basketball game of Miamisburg High School to housing a dinner theater and even a bowling alley, the Baum Opera House has made its impact on history over the last 135 years.


Charles Baum purchased a plot of land for $1,600.20 and built the Baum Hotel. The immediate success of the hotel allowed Baum to pay off his debt in 4 years. Guests at the Baum Hotel received first-class treatment with free carriage rides from the railroad to the hotel.


The Star City Opera House, also built by Baum, opened its doors to Miamisburg locals and delighted travelers. With a seating capacity of 800, it was the largest opera house between New York City and the Mississippi River.


The Miamisburg Fire Department carriage (now on display in the front hall) found a home in the Baum while the firehouse was undergoing reconstruction. Due to the housing of the fire engine, the front carriage doors flanking the entrance to the Opera House were installed.


During World War I, the Opera House hosted basketball games and a presidential rally for William Jennings Bryan, a three-time Democratic presidential candidate.

Mid 1930

The Opera House was the place to be for dancing with ballroom dancing on one floor and 50/50 dancing on the other.


The Baum, also known as the “Zoo”, goes to sheriff’s auction and is purchased by Jim and Mady Ransdell with plans to restore it to its former glory.

Friends of the Baum How We Came About

Even with its historic significance of being part of the Miamisburg community for over 100 years, the Baum had been left to disintegrate and was scheduled for demolition in 1994. Jim and Mady Ransdell chose to purchase the historic Mansard-style brick building and give it life again. An organization which included the Ransdells, volunteer laborers and a board of directors began restoring the building. Over the last two decades, the Baum has been transformed through the partnership of volunteers, fundraisers, grants, memberships and donations. Robert Templer was one of the donors who made a significant impact on the transformation of the Baum Opera House. With his generosity and partnership, the first floor was restored and one of the rooms inside garners his namesake.

Valued Members

As a donor to the Baum Opera House Association, you become a member of the Friends of the Baum society. This group of valued donors receive quarterly communications from the Baum Opera House Association, recognition on the donor wall located in the Baum Opera House, and invitations to events at the Baum Opera House.


Roof Restoration

The Baum Opera House is in need of a new roof. The new roof will resemble the original one from 1884. The Baum Opera House Association needs to raise $60,000 to begin the roof replacement.


Stage Lighting
and Stage Improvements

With new lighting, we can improve the experience that our guests have at events. The Baum Opera House Association needs to raise $15,000 to improve the lighting equipment and stage.


General Building Maintenance


Board Members


Joshua Fox Esq.



Josh Liles


Jessica Stebbins

Staff Members


Whitney Bridewell

Members At Large

Pat Foley Amy Shreve
Jeff Nestor Joshua Fox Esq.
Josh Liles Carolyn Kilpatrick
John Caudy Jessica Stebbins

In Memorium

Ross Morris
Mary Goodwin
Dick Church

Become a Member Today

Help preserve a piece of Miamisburg history