2015 Historical Society Sampler Lecture Series:
Series tickets $35; members $30; individual programs $10.
Explore the fascinating and sometimes mysterious history of local dance halls and other venues. Trap doors… hidden tunnels… gangster connections.
Monday, March 16, at 3 p.m. – "We Sang, We Danced: A Musical History of McHenry County." Join Mary Ellen Heelan, of Cary, as she recounts the fascinating, often mysterious, history of local dance halls and the musicians who performed in them. Louis Cernocki welcomed the gangsters to his Crystal Ballroom in Fox River Grove and in the ’30s several “wise guys” kidnapped a security guard at the Fox Pavilion in McHenry and drove him to Chicago. In the meantime, their cohorts burned the place down. It did reopen later. Mary Ellen’s research continues to capture recollections and intriguing stories about long-forgotten, part-time musicians and venues such as the Marengo Opera House – served by a special train from Chicago. She also will play music from the period on piano and accordion.