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Matthew D. Friend © 2013

AUGUST 8, 1894


The new building of the Alturas Commercial Company was thrown open to the public yesterday. It is situated on the northeast corner of Bullion and Main Streets, on the very best lot in Bailey, and is forty feet frontage on Main Street by one hundred twenty on Croy Street. It extends through from Main Street to the Alley.

The building has an elevation of 1.5 stories, with a roomy cellar and a substantial roof so constructed as to admit of it being raised at any time for the purpose of building one or more additional stories. The walls rest upon a stone foundation, are of solid brick, and two feet thick. The front is of brick, iron and French plate glass and the whole building is as nearly fireproof as it can well be made here.

About four o'clock in the afternoon the children's matinee began, the entertainment being in charge of Mrs. MYRTLE TURNER, Mrs. LEON FULD, and Mrs. T. A. STARRH.

It opened with a grand march by the children. As they were of all ages, from four to fifteen years, and the majority of them had never stood on a ballroom floor before, the reader may imagine the arduousnass of the task, which the ladies had.

What with the coaxing of the parents to get their darlings in line, and the difficulty of keeping them in place while the line was forming down the 120 foot hall, it took fully half an hour of the hardest kind of work to get the youngsters started. But once started, it was a caution to see the spirit and vim with which they marched. It was evidently one of the events of their young lives.

The ladies were indefatigable, especially was Mrs. TURNER active in running hither and thither, beckoning to this one, admonishing that, gently twisting another about to align him or her with the others. She flitted from head to rear of the line like a butterfly among flowers. And it is a wonder that she did not drop to the floor from sheer exhaustion. One lady assistant - Mrs. J. C. FOX - did have a sinking spell, and dropped to the floor, unable to rise, for about twenty seconds. After which she at once went home with two of her children. The program included two children's grand marches, some fancy dancing by pupils of Mrs. TURNER, and a solo, by special request by the lady herself.

The hall presented a brilliant scene at night. American flags were stretched across the front sashes, broad bands of hunting formed a striking border to the plastered walls, garlands in the national colors were suspended from the fourteen foot ceiling to the side walls, while the electric light illumined the whole.

There were seats around the room for 275 persons. Every seat was occupied, even when fifty couples were on the floor, and men stood three and four deep near the front. Fully 400 persons must have been in the hall, while a good, round 100 more must have lingered for hours on the cooler sidewalk and around the side and rear openings.

The night was clear, cool, beautiful; the glass had not been put in the windows, the breeze had full play in and through the room, and not withstanding the crowd and the spirited dancing, everybody there felt delightfully cool.

The orchestra comprised, J. A. PLACE, violin; JOSEPH MONTGOMERY, cornet; “SCOTTY” GALLAGHER, flute; CLINT SANDERS, bass viol and trombone; L. C. BAILEY, tambourine; and DOC JONES, piano. All entered into the spirit of the occasion with such vim that such music was never heard here before.

The violinist is an artist - instrumental, vocal, and facial. When the music admitted of it he sang the words adapted to the music, and he seemed to indicate every note with some play of the muscles. It was not a grimace, a contortion, but a sort of responsive second to the violin. Then, too, his violin was at all times heard above - or through - the notes of the piano, cornet, tambourine and all.

There were many there from Bellevue - the FRENCHes, the MCGUINNESSes, the MCPHEEs, the DELANOS, the CLAYs, Miss SCHUH, and others; SAM FRIEND and half a dozen other gentlemen - no ladies - from Smoky; “SPLINTER” BRADLEY and others from Deer Creek; several from the Red Elephant and Bullion; a few from Camas Prairie, likewise from the East Fork and Ketchum.

Notwithstanding the miscellaneous character of the crowd there was not the slightest jar, not the least unpleasantness, and, in the language of the boys, “everything went off smooth as oil." This, however, is nothing new. There has never been a fight in a ballroom in this region, everyone taking pride in the fact, and being desirous of maintaining this good record.


Newspaper Title: Wood River Times
Publisher: T. E. Picotte
Date Published: 8 Aug 1894
Article Title: A Local Event
Extracted By: Charlotte Slater [lotties@xxxxxx.xxx
] Sent: Tuesday, January 27,2004 11:57AM


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