Lyceum was organized in 1885 as a young mens sodality. It grew enormously
and adapted to the changing needs of the parish. Ultimately, besides championship athletic teams, the Lyceum became famous
for its cultural pursuits. French, embroidery, dancing, and gymnastic classes were conducted there regularly for the young
Peter's Lyceum Players produced such smashing dramatic and musical hits that the auditorium could no longer hold the
crowds, and in a downtown theater, they played to standing room only for three nights, plus a matinee performance, every year.
Helen Barnett was one of the most successful ingenues, for she became a star on Broadway, the leading lady in George
M. Cohan's show, Helen of Troy, NY. At St. Peter's Lyceum, she starred in the early and most prolific days of Troys
Gilbert and Sullivan team, Joseph E. Galligan and Michael Fitzpatrick. The Lyceum became one of the most successful youth
organizations in the State. However, it, too, was the victim of fire. It burned down in the early morning of November
9,1899. A larger building was built to replace it at a cost of $18,000.00. And the Lyceum reopened in June 1900, to go on
to bigger and better things: the Helen Barnett shows, the Wachter brothers basketball games, and dances featuring the
new fox trot.
January 1934 clipping from a Troy newspaper shows a group of ten St. Peters Players preparing for the production of The Best People, a comedy in three acts, directed by the late John R. G. Nicoll. In the group are Dorothy Roach, Sally
Downey, Mary Mattimore, Ed Herbert, Thomas Bourke, Margaret McInerney, William Dewan, Ed Witbeck, Harry Hartnett, and
William Gorman. Dancing followed the performance, to music provided by the Rhythm Girls.
St. Peter's 150th Anniversary celebrations [in 1974], two floors of the Lyceum were needed to accommodate the families
of present and former parishioners who attended the Family Communion supper on March 3. And the successive events:
the corned beef dinner on March 14; Saratoga Night in February and Las Vegas Night in May; and the parish Bazaar in September,
were conducted in the famous old Lyceum.