John Mason Dodge arrived in San Diego in 1870. Dodge first appeared as Bunthorne in Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Patience”. He began presenting minstrel shows and other entertainments around town. A visiting promoter from San Francisco, Robert Kirk, became his first partner.
Dodge and partners took over Horton Hall and the Plaza, where they presented lecturers, musicians, dramas, farces, operettas and minstrel shows .
Like Harold Hill in “The Music Man” Dodge helped found a band for the Knights of St. Pythias, including buying instruments, music and instructional material. E. T. Blackmer took on the task of teaching “the boys” to read music and play their instruments. As a corporal in the City Guard, Dodge formed their band, which used the Knights of St. Pythias members as the core of the City Guard’s new band.
More about Jack and the Band.