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Heritage Group North looking for ballroom information

Masquerade ball planned Nov. 23

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Heritage Group North in Pine River will host a masquerade ball Saturday, Nov. 23, at River Fitness in Pine River, but first the group hopes to learn all it can about Pine River's past dances.

Masquerade balls and dances were commonplace in Pine River since its inception. The Barclay Ball Room was commonly used following its 1899 construction by Amarilla Barclay. However, researcher Pat Johnson with Heritage Group North has found mention of what may be three different dance venues in the Pine River community.

In 1901, newspaper stories from Cass County and Pine River mention dances at the Barclay Dance Hall, however, a later story talks about Gilbert Hall and stories from 1908 mention the Opera Hall, which may or may not be a different venue.

“Now it's not calling it the Barclay Hall, it's saying 'the opera house' which is my dilemma,” said Johnson said, explaining her research.

Though it is highly unlikely there is anyone around to remember these dance halls first hand, Johnson and Heritage Group North invite anyone who has information of any kind about these locations to contact them so that they can have a more accurate idea of Pine River's dance hall history.

Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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