Terrace Gardens dance hall was built in the 1930s by Ian Barrie and Bill Schaan. Lively dances here were the highlight of many vacations and there has been more than one romance hatched on this dance floor. The professional bands that played had names like the Knights of Rhythm, Jeff and his Boys, the Terriers, and the Singing Rascals. Ian himself also played in some of the bands.
In this quote from Waskesiu Memories Volume I, Ian recounts some of his early memories of Terrace Gardens and one special dancer.
“I find it hard to believe that we were able to exist on such small profits. We had quite a schedule. Saturday, our big day, was $1.00 a couple. Sunday, we could not open until after midnight and on Saturday we had to close at midnight. The other nights of the week were Jitney dances….. 10 cents a dance. You’d choose your partner and pay when you got on the floor. One of the most popular girls at Terrace Gardens was a lass called Pony. A very pretty lively Indian Girl who was Grey Owl’s wife. She was a wonderful dancer. She’d dance every dance, sometimes to Grey Owl’s annoyance.”
History greets you at every turn in Waskesiu.
Around the townsite you will encounter signs marking heritage buildings and places of interest from the past. Use the links below the map to connect to archival photos, historical facts, and entertaining stories connected to that place.
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