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Edgar S. Paxson (1852-1919) painted six backdrops for the theatre in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The energetic, quiet, friendly young man was born near Buffalo, New York in April 1852 and came to Montana in the spring of 1877. He worked as a cowboy, shotgun rider and military scout. In 1879 he settled with his wife and son in Deer Lodge and became a professional painter. In addition to sign and house painting, he decorated saloons and painted backdrops and scenery for theatres in area communities. Over the years, the Paxson backdrops were sold and changed hands several times until they were returned to the Opera House Theatre on loan from the Granite County Museum early in 1998. Of the original six backdrops, only the five featured here remain often used in productions, they provide excellent staging and ambiance.