Cut a rug. Roll up a rug. That didn’t happen only in a flooring store. It happened in parlors and dining rooms all over Kewaunee County, at least for those who had rugs.
If there was anything the county’s hard-working Germans, Bohemians and Belgians looked forward to, it was their music. And their beer. When Harriet Hall was interviewed about the early settlement called Wolf River, she said any time there was a fiddler around, there was a dance and plenty of homemade beer to quench the thirst.
Hunsaders’ band, which included Grandpa on violin, cornet or tuba, played in many private homes including his own where the dining room was the scene of dances into the 1920s. Those who could afford real rugs in the parlor or dining room rolled them up. Who would chance having a rug damaged by shoes and dancing? Besides that, rugs slowed down dancing feet much as grass did generations earlier. Shoes slid more easily across the floors of halls where corn meal was sprinkled. Sometimes those shoes slid so fast that the person wearing them went down, spraining an ankle or even breaking a leg.
Oldsters who complain about young people and what the loud music is doing to their ears could have harped on the same thing during their grandparents’ youth. Just under 100 years ago, in 1921, C.A. Guth installed a Magnavox Victrola in his music store. It was said that in still weather the thing could play music loud enough to be heard as many as three miles away! Guth planned to play new records on the instrument and felt it could eliminate the need for orchestras at public dances.
Sources: The Commercial History of Algoma, Wisconsin Vols. 1 & 2. Photos are the blogger's.