#lookback: Fun Times in the 1920’s

Locals would get together and play music for the dances. This mandolin was likely used at these dances.

A series where we take a #lookback at the stories and history of our community, brought to you by Mick Pryor, Financial Advisor with Edward Jones.

The odds are your grandparents likely knew how to work hard, how to help neighbors and have a good time. Sure some stories may not be repeated exactly how they happened, or are they? Journals are a priceless artifact that any family or institution could have. Journals bring you back in time and make it easy to put yourself in the moment oftentimes feeling as if you were there too.

The Dubois Museum has multiple journals from 1900 to 1930’s. One thing common in them all: ranch dances. Seems as though everyone went and everyone had a good time. Half of the adventure was getting there and home. Often people would leave early evening to attend the dance and may not make it back home until sun up then continue their day of work like a normal day.

Travel was difficult with the early cars. This particular dance in a journal dated January 23, 1927 states that they finally left at eight in the evening. The water would boil in the car so they stopped every so often to let the car cool down. Then the driver forgot about a steep hill with a sharp curve in the middle of it. He had to use the emergency break to try to slow down and that helped but they were still going really fast. The women’s journal states “I laughed until I was nearly sick for, before we took the bend I could see we wouldn’t have quite enough speed to tip over. The rest of the trip was uneventful, but we did make it in time for the first dance.”

“Talk about a good time-everyone was jolly and we had a hilarious evening. I laughed till my face positively hurt and so did everyone else. For the first time in my life I danced a quadrille and speaking of sport, it was the best ever. Once I just missed being swung off my feet.” Quadrille is a square dance preformed with four couples. Square dancing still happens every Tuesday in the summer in Dubois at the Rustic Pine Tavern.

This couple tried to leave at 2:30 am, but the car would not start, it was a cold night. After a lot of fussing and help from Mr. Harrison they were on their way. “It was 4am when we returned to my cabin. Alice Howell was going to stay with me that night and when I found out we’d be real late leaving Harrison’s I told her she’d better ask Sam in to wait with her and they could build up the fire and be comfortable. She had and they were – for he was holding her on his lap and neither bothered to move.” They all decided it would be foolish to go to bed so they played black-jack and poker for two hours then started their day.

Next up for the Fremont County Museums

October 6th, 3pm at the Riverton Museum, “Ghost Stories, Urban Myths & Legends”

By Alma Law, Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series

October 13th, Noon at the Riverton Museum, “Fall Fest for Kids”

Children’s Exploration Series

October 20th, 3pm at the Dubois Museum, “Halloween Crafts & Games”

Children’s Exploration Series

October 26, 6:30pm at the Riverton Museum, “Haunted Downtown Walking Tour”

Wind River Visitors Council Adventure Trek Series

October 26 & 27, 6:00-9:00pm at the Pioneer Museum, “Halloween Night at the Museum”

Children’s Exploration Series

The Dubois Museum, the Pioneer Museum in Lander and the Riverton Museum work extremely hard to provide programs, care for the facilities, create exhibits and care for the thousands of artifacts and archival documents in the collections of the museums. In order to consistently accomplish these objectives the museums are more reliant than ever on donations from the private sector. Please make your tax deductible contribution to be used specifically for the benefit of the museum of your choosing by sending a check to Fremont County Museums 450 N 2nd Rm 320 or taking it directly to the museum you choose to support.

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