Dances at the Tecumseh Theater

Bobby Burns Society Dance Ad from Jan, 1932 (Left) Youth dancing at Indian Hall in the 1940s, second floor (Right)

The second floor of the Tecumseh Theater has long been a place full of vibrant expression. One popular form of expression that took place on the second floor of the Tecumseh Theater was that of dance. Interestingly, the second-floor represents a tangible connection to the immigrant-rich history of Shawnee. During the Hocking Valley coal boom, coal companies specifically sought out eastern Europeans to work in the coalfields that filled the Valley due to their prior experience as miners. In Shawnee, there is Scotch Hill just South of town and Welsh Hill just West of town among the Seven Hills that envelope Shawnee. As a way to preserve and express their own cultural identity and as an expression and connection to heir native heritage, the Scotch and Welsh held dances and celebrations on the second floor. Scottish residents held many “Bobby Burns Society” dances as a way to celebrate, preserve, and promote Scottish language, poetry, and art. Welsh residents held “Eisteddfods,” a celebration of Welsh literature, performance, and music. Big bands, Jazz bands, local and Shawnee High bands continued the celebrative atmosphere providing the background music to many dances, graduations, and community socials into the 1950s.

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