News from Garfield Farm
Traditional Barn Dance, June 16, 2007 at Garfield Farm Museum
Bring your dancing shoes down to Garfield Farm Museum on Saturday, June 16, 2007 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. for a traditional Barn Dance. Live music and calling will be provided by the Warrenville Folk Music Society starting
at 7 p.m. Dancers of all ages and abilities are welcome.
Bring a picnic dinner and enjoy a historic evening down on the farm. Light refreshments will be available for
a small fee. Admission is $8 for adults and $3 for children under 13. Donations will be accepted to help save
the farm's oldest barn which was resently struck by lightening, the historic 1842 wheat barn.
Large community dances were an everyday part of life in rural America. They provided an opportunity to socialize with neighbors, conduct business deals, court and arrange marriages, or simply relax after a hard day's work on the farm. Traditional dance forms such as contra, line and circle dances allowed each participant to dance with everyone else. They were paced so the dancer could converse with each new partner.
Rich and poor, town and country, would come together for an evening of socializing and entertainment. Because
of the mingling of all ages and social sectors, everyone was expected to be on their best behavior. Polite manners
were to everyone's benefit. Besides making the evening more enjoyable, they could have a positive effect on a
person's future. The young man who was polite on the dance floor might be recognized and acknowledged on the
street the next day by his pretty dance partner, perhaps opening the door for courtship. A child who behaved at dances might earn the good praises of his parents. Well-mannered and elegant couples might earn the respect of their neighbors, superiors and the community in general.
Just like the job interview for adults or the first day at a new school for children today, dances were the place people wanted to make a good impression. They were the place where people created public images and forged reputations. Today, as our friends and families are spread out across the country, our sense of community is often fractured.
Garfield Farm Museum's barn dances are a chance to find that community spirit while enjoying a wonderful evening
of picnic, refreshments, history and graceful dancing. You may meet someone from 50 or more miles away and leave as new friends. For more information call the museum at (630) 584-8485, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Garfield Farm Museum is located 5 miles west of Geneva, IL off ILL Rt. 38 on Garfield Road. The 370-acre site is a historically intact former 1840s farm and teamster inn being restored as an 1840s working farm museum by
volunteers and donors from around the country.