History comes back to life in Pacific

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PACIFIC, MO (KTVI) - If you`re wanting to see a part of the 1904 World`s Fair still standing you`ll have to head to Pacific, Missouri.

There you`ll find Jim McHugh sitting down with some history.

'They brought 11 carloads, train cars worth of all kinds of building material, decorations and ornamentals and things from the fair,' says Jim McHugh, Owner.  'Brought it out here right across the street ...and they built this building out of it.'

McHugh`s grandfather Lawrence, and his business partner James Dailey, built the McHugh and Dailey Mercantile Exchange in 1908.

Along with they opened a third floor opera house.

It was home to performances and graduations in Pacific, and a lot of play.

'As kids we used to come up here all the time,' says Sally McHugh-Madsen, Daughter. '

'My uncle used to do sculptures up here and he`d have paint.  We used to run around and it was a great place to jump up on the stage and play up here.  It didn`t look anything like this.'

But now, 107 years later, Jim McHugh has restored its grandeur and this grand piano too.

'This piano was built about 1890 by the Decker Brothers Company in New York,' says McHugh.

At the time they were bigger than Steinway.

And before he gave `em hell, then senate candidate Harry S. Truman gave `em the Missouri Waltz when he stopped by the opera house in November of 1934.

'He played this piano and is reported to play the Missouri Waltz on it, he always did,' says McHugh.  'He ended up hating the Missouri Waltz cause people ended up asking him to play it all the time.'

Wednesday night the ghost of Harry Truman might be hanging around as the opera house re-opens and the World`s Fair of 1904 will continue to live on, in Pacific, Missouri.

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