The first cheese factory was opened in the former Snedden stone home on the hill but in 1932, a building was moved from Pakenham to the north end of the bridge where a farmer’s cooperative operated the Rosebank Cheese & Butter Co. until 1954. Then the building was converted to Nontell’s Dance Hall. This dance hall was an exciting addition to the community until it burned to the ground a few years later. — Marilyn Snedden
If you didn’t meet your dream boat tonight, there was always next week at the Dance Halls. These were wonderful places – full of hopes and dreams, full of music and song, full of youth and vitality, noise and energy.
Anticipation and hope lit up the dull days in between. Girls and boys, from all over the country, came to dance the night away. In the 1950s they waltzed and fox-trotted to the big bands and in the 60s they jived, huckle-bucked and twisted to the fabulous music.
We set off to the dance hall every weekend, hungry for excitement. When we arrived there it felt as if our world had gone from black and white to color.
In the cloakroom, we watched girls who had cycled in from the country remove their headscarves and raincoats. We watched as they backcombed their hair and applied their ‘battle red’ lipstick. Some men, in the 1950s, were known to rub goose grease onto their hair in order to style it. Later in the night, this melted under the bright lights of the dance hall. It ran down their faces and smelt terrible, I am told – for this was before my time.
Other friends remember the local carnivals, which took place in villages. Dances were held in a marquee erected in a newly mown hay field. The priest would come, armed with a blackthorn stick and hit the cocks of hay, behind which couples were engaged in ‘close kissing and embracing, repeated and prolonged.’
How can sitting on a sofa with a smartphone be compared with all the excitement of those dance hall days!
Carleton Place Canadian 1958
Classified Announcements for Dance Halls that issue 1958
Dancing Saturday Nights– Town Hall– Carleton Place–Music by CFRA ‘Happy Wanderers’ Admission-75 cents
Dance-Franktown-Friday-Thompson’s Orchestra- Refreshment Booth-Admission 75 cents
Dance every Friday Night-Appleton Community Centre Hall- Music by the Rhythm Rangers-Refreshment Booth- Admission 50 cents
Dance in Appleton Wednesday Night– Ontario Farmer’s Union-Ashton Local No. 257-Irvine’s Orchestra- Admission 50 cents
Dance – Perth Town Hall- Friday night- Rock N Roll, Modern, Round and Square Dancing 9-1:30 -Music by Jerry Badour and his Western Airs- Admission -75 cents
Ted Hurdis– I remember my dad telling me that Almonte was “dry” way back. You used to be able to get a special coke at the Superior restaurant. Also lots of spirit at Wava’s Inn dance hall back then.
Kim Davis My mom used to go to dances there. Said it was 10 cents for a cab to get there 😁
Sherry Blakeley Udall My Mom talked about the Cedar Inn and the dances there all the time. Yet, I have never seen a photo of it. Anyone out there have a photo of this place?