Beyond the saloons, gambling halls and brothels, many residents found ways to socialize and
relax in a more respectable manner. Fraternal organizations, like the Free Masons provided a
social outlet for men who were members. Balls and dancing parties were held two or three times
a week in the early years. Traveling theater troupes and circuses occasionally stopped by town
and were extremely popular. Spelling bees, picnics, gathering wild flowers, horseback rides and
fishing were popular and helped residents break up the monotony of everyday life.
"We had a number of fine balls attended by all the respectable people and enjoyed by
young and old alike. Best suits packed in the bottom of our "war bags" and long fogotten
were dragged out, aired and pressed, as best we could and made ready for those festive
occasions. The dances were very orderly; no man that was drinking was allowed in the hall.
The young people danced the waltz, schottish, varsoviane and polka, but the older ones stuck
to the Virginia-reel and quadrille. There were usually about ten men to every woman at these
balls so the women danced every dance. These gatherings were very informal and enjoyable.
Tickets were $5.00 gold and there was no supper served." - Granville Stuart 1863