" There is an interesting and little known story in connection with how Bayreuth became the Wagner town. It was on Dec. 14. 1871, that Wagner first visited Bayreuth with a special introduction from king Ludwig II. to Feustel, a wealthy banker of Bayreuth. He was heartily received by a deputation, special apartments were prepared for him at the Hotel Sonne—the room which Adelina Patti is occupying this year—and the same day an inspection was made of the immense opera-house. Although this Is a veritable palace of a theater, built in 1748 by Giuseppe Gali Bibiena. It was found entirely unsuitable by Wagner.
A site for building a theater n accordance with Wagner's ideas was chosen—a hill called the Stuckberg—and the owner, a Mr. Rose, consented at once to the proposals made for erecting a new playhouse on his ground, and every one was highly pleased. It seems, however, that they had reckoned without their host, who appeared in the shape of a brother-in-law who was coproprietor, and who distinctly declined to sanction the arrangement. Thinking that everything was settled, Wagner returned to his home In Switzerland, where, a week or so later, Feustel and the Burgomaster of Bayreuth, Herr Muncker, followed him and informed him of the unexpected development. Wagner, being much upset, declined to have anything further to do with Bayreuth, and the Burgomaster and Feustel went away.
On the way back, however, one of the latter's goloshes (1) came off, and he discovered that he was wearing a pair which did not belong to him. The two friends thereupon returned to the house. and found that, in the confusion of leaving, one of them had taken Wagner's rubber overshoes in mistake for his own. They were received by Wagner's wife, Cosima, who was greatly amused at the occurrence, and told them that her husband had wished to walk off his irritation, and had, before starting out, called for his goloshes, but was told by his patriotic handmaiden that " those two nasty Germans had sneaked the shoes."
The amusing side of the incident brought back their courage, and they tackled Cosima Wagner, who agreed with them that a mere change of site for the new playhouse should not stand in the way. She promised to use her influence and she kept her word. Shortly afterwards news was received that Wagner would consent to the new site proposed—viz.: the Bürrgerruth, the property of the town, and this is where the theater now stands. Thus a pair of goloshes saved Bayreuth. "
From Chicago Daily Tribune, 1901.09.01, p. 11.
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(1) GOLOSH, or Galosh (from the Fr. galoche, Low Lat. calopedes, a wooden shoe or clog; an adaptation of the Gr. καλοπόδιον, a diminutive formed of κᾶλον, wood, ποῦς, foot), originally a wooden shoe or patten, or merely a wooden sole fastened to the foot by a strap or cord. In the middle ages "galosh" was a general term for a boot or shoe, particularly one with a wooden sole. In modern usage, it is an outer shoe worn in bad weather to protect the inner one, and keep the feet dry. Goloshes are now almost universally made of rubber, and in the United States they are known as "rubbers" simply, the word golosh being rarely if ever used. In the bootmakers' trade, a "golosh" is the piece of leather, of a make stronger than, or different from that of the "uppers," which runs around the bottom part of a boot or shoe, just above the sole. (From Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911).
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|Friedrich von Feustel (1824-1891)|
|Theodor von Muncker (1823-1900)|
|From Google Maps|