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.

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.

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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.

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:

Back Row, left to right: ??, Jim Longcore, Jack Holmes, Joe Kratky, Jim Dohm, Carl Carpenter

Second Row from Top, left to right (under the cow): Jim Smith (Smitty), Jim Potter, Jim Kratky, Duane Kroupa (bending down), Elmer Jamieson, Dick Bendickson, John Ostlund, Gary Longcore, Bill Kitchen, ??, Leroy Ostlund, ??, Rick Potter, David Lardie

Third Row from Top (girls), left to right: Mitzi Longcore, Cyr Grover, ?? Hager, Shirley Kroupa, Marie Lyon, Kay Kitchen, Sylvia Sandborn, Marilyn Rea, Luella Bates, Carol Ann Kroupa, Sherry McKian, Judy Lardie, Mary Jo Kitchen, Marge Lardie, Mary Jane Giles, Tom Kroupa, ?? (behind Tom), Pat Kelly, Robert Brown, Bobby Sandborn, Bryce Boursaw, Larry Franklin (?)

Fourth Row (girls seated), left to right: Patsy Kroupa, Lillian Bates (kneeling), Katy Longcore, Kay Jean Leighton, Nancy Lardie, (?? behind Nancy), Linda Herkner, Joan Kratky

Behind, kneeling, left to right: Marion Lindsey,  Joanie Schavey, Janet Schavey, Rita Buchan, Misha Kowalski, Bev Underwood, Marilyn Kroupa, Karen Kroupa, Judy Jamieson

If you can identify the question marks, let us know in the comments section below.

Read more about the Grange Hall goings-on here.

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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  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.

    • Thanks, Marilyn! Thanks for filling in some OMP history here – love it. I still have the throw that your mom crocheted for me when I graduated from high school and went off to college. A beloved treasure. And of course, she and my mom were such a great team at the piano and organ at Ogdensburg United Methodist Church. Such great memories.

  4. What a treat to see the picture of the 1954 Grange Hall dance. Brings back many happy memories of so many high school friends. Makes me wonder where they are now.
    I’m glad to have found the Old Mission Gazette. Kaye Jean Leighton Wilcox


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