Recapturing Kernersville's Theatrical Legacy
Kernersville was once famous for having America's first private little theater in Körner's Folly. Jules Körner used his home for both entertaining and entertainment. Polly Alice Körner wanted to bring culture to the town and help the youth become better people through the arts.
Krossroads Playhouse wants to honor that legacy by creating a dedicated live performance venue in downtown Kernersville and having youth programs as an integral part of that space.
215 North Cherry Street
Originally, part of the property was owned by the Kerner (or Körner) family.
The first mayor of Kernersville, Whitaker, purchased the land and built the farm house in 1885. Through the decades others added sections on. The brick section was added in the 1960s for Jean Staples. According to a 1970 deed selling land to the Carolina telephone company, the heirs of Mrs. E. P. Whitaker included: John Ed Staples & Jane B. Staples, Sally Staples Fry & Lamarr E. Fry, Carolyn Staples Tilley & R. L. Tilley. In 1996 John E. Staples & Sally S. Fry sold the property to Terrence M. Cronin. After his death, his heirs: Steven & Toni Cronin sold the property to the founders of Krossroads Playhouse in 2018.
History and Treasure Found at the Old Homestead
Of course, everyone dreams of finding hidden gold when they dismantle a really old building. Perhaps the entire theatre could be funded by coined silver hidden in the fireplace. While nothing that impressive was found, there were some treasures nonetheless, including silver and gold. A 1942 Mercury silver dime (worth about $1.79) and a gold National Music Society pin (worth about $8) were found. So there was both silver and gold. Also, a blank check from the Bank of Kernersville. So if that bank still existed, we could've been rich. There were even raffle tickets for a new 1957 Chrysler. Maybe we're already winners and just don't know it !