Old Mission History: Teenage Dance at the Grange Hall, 1954

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At the annual Boursaw Reunion gathering this summer, I had the good fortune to meet Jan Schavey Goodman. She grew up in a house on Smokey Hollow Road near the intersection of Smokey Hollow and Boursaw Road.

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The white farmhouse with the big green barn – which Jim and Lucy Heller so lovingly restored when they lived there some 15 or 20 years ago – was home to Pat and Mabel Schavey. The house to the south, which is no longer there, was home to Laurie and Mary Schavey and their kids, including Denny, Jan and Joan. The Schavey’s originally hailed from Dewitt, Michigan.

Jan is a wealth of information about Old Mission history, and she sent along a group of photos (and a video!) that I’ll be posting here on the Gazette. Today’s installment is a picture of teenage  partygoers at a monthly Grange Hall dance in 1954.

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To my knowledge, there are (at least) two locations where a Grange Hall was located on the Old Mission Peninsula. One was the building on the corner of Swaney Road and Brinkman Road, dating back to at least the early 1900s.

The other, where this dance photo was taken, is the building we now know as the Peninsula Township Hall at 13235 Center Road. Jan said they had monthly dances at the Grange Hall, attended by Old Mission Peninsula teenagers.

Jan says the dances were held on the main floor of the hall (where the township meetings are now held), “and we had live music, mostly garage bands of peers,” she notes. “My sister had her wedding reception there, with dancing upstairs and tables for dining downstairs. That was 1955.”

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Grange Hall Dance, 1954, Old Mission Peninsula | Photo courtesy of Jan Schavey Goodman

Here are the people that Jan identified in the photo:

  • Bryce Boursaw (my husband Tim’s uncle): Far right in the photo, standing with his arm on the piano.
  • The Lardie Sisters: Nancy Lardie, bottom row seated fourth from left, and Judy Lardie, in the middle of the second row with arms crossed.
  • Joan Schavey (Jan’s sister) and Jan Schavey, in the second row, seated, third and fourth from the right.
  •  Elmer Jamieson, holding up the right side of the cow.

Can you identify any of the others in the photo? Tell us in the comments section below.

Read more about the Grange Hall goings-on here.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I did not attend many of the dances, but recall them being on the main floor. These were square dances and Peninsula teens were known as good square dancers. During the annual Sadie Hawkins dance at TCHS, we peninsula teens always formed our own square because we knew how to follow the call.

    Second standing girl on the left may be Cyr Grover, now Ankerson. In the middle standing in a white blouse with decoration on the shoulder is Sherry McKian.

  2. Mabel Schavey was my great-grandmother and we lived in that house when I was 4 or 5 years old. My grandmother was Betty Andrus.

  3. My Mom, Evelyn Kroupa, played piano for the dances, Bob Sanborn called the square dances, and George Broad and his Band played guitars and kept it lively. I have many fond memories from that time. Karen Kroupa and I are 2nd and 3rd from the right, 1st row. (I am sort of between 1st and 2nd row. ha) Mary Frances Crampton is in the middle of the front row. Mary Jo Kitchen is in the middle of the 3rd row, and I think that is Margo Lardie and Janie Giles she’s looking toward.

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