Dance Inspirations for Adenville

Adenville Dance Inspirations

We Fitzgerald fans will never get to read the notes John wrote before he created his two beloved series. The best we can do is piece things together from the scraps available. Today we look at Town Dances. Though never apart of The Great Brain Series, dances were integral to Papa Married a Mormon.

Papa and Mama

Comparison’s Ahead – Enjoy.


Adenville, in it’s infancy held regular dances in the Mormon Tabernacle hall basement. Tom first sought to court young Tena Nielsen at a box social fundraiser. Aware that his presence would not be well received, he waited in the Tabernacle chapel.

He sat there until he heard the sound of music coming from the social hall beneath….As always, he was amazed at the talent for dancing displayed by the old and the young.

He bid on Tena’s box, but never got a chance to dance with her that night. For that they would have to wait.

Bridge Building

Tom Fitzgerald was not immediately welcome in Adenville. Nor was his young Mormon bride. In an effort to keep the peace, young Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald kept to themselves. One night after their first child was born, Grandma Nielsen urged the couple to go up to the Tabernacle social hall and enjoy the dance. Acquiescing to her wish they headed off. As they grew closer to the building, “Papa felt Mamma’s hand trembling.”

Upon entering the room, “Bishop Aden stopped in front of Mamma and smiled. ‘May I have the pleasure, Sister Fitzgerald?’ ” His gesture broke the ice for the entire community.

Hometown Inspiration – Price, Utah

In the early years of Price City, between 1882 and 1910, dances were very a popular past time. “They were often held in the log meetinghouse.” Merchants held dances when they opened new stores. Churches routinely held dances for wedding receptions or holidays. The music was furnished by local musicians and bands.

One of the highlight dances held around 1898 was The Modern Woodman of America Dance. It was a masquerade ball “the ladies each brought a lunch in a basket which the club presidency auctioned off to the highest bidder. The lady who brought the basket had to share the contents and eat with the gentlemen who had won the bidding.”

I wonder how Thomas Fitzgerald, Sr. fared at that dance?

With so many dances to choose from, I imagine John didn’t even have to reach to create the dances we readers can enjoy in his books.




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