Almost a century since the last dance of its kind, Heritage Park Museum is revving up for a 1930s-themed shindig in their historic Dance Hall tomorrow night (Friday, July 27).
Costumes are optional but prizes will be awarded for the best dressed. Music will be provided by The Music Room, and a beginner swing dance lesson begins at 8 p.m.
The dance hall was hand-built by resident teenager Vivian “Dixie” Dix in 1929. Dixie’s parents, Ethel and Everett, came from Detroit in the mid-1920s and eight years later purchased George Cobb’s hotel on the south end of Kalum Lake. Their goal was to transform it into a destination for wealthy tourists, drawn to the area’s abundant hunting and fishing.
“With nothing else to do, Dixie decided to build a dance hall next to the hotel,” said Erika Loggin, collections researcher for the Heritage Park Museum. “The building is made of vertical logs because they were easier for a fourteen-year-old girl to pull into place, with help from Everett and Dixie’s horse Neto. Some Terrace residents still remember riding out to Kalum Lake on the back of a truck to go dancing—and maybe meet a rich tourist!”
On June 26, 1929, the Omenica Herald reported, “E. Dix put on the first dance of the season on Saturday night at Kalum Lake where he erected a new dance hall last winter. Everyone reports a dandy time. Quite a number went out from Terrace.”
The event this Friday is being held in honour of Dixie, and is the first dance to take place in the hall in 85 years.
The dance runs from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets are $5 and available at Misty River Books or at the door.