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In 1890, Leonard Arlington Chase built a Dance Hall in Dunneville, north of Hollister that provided a venue for the community to release the stress of long hours of work with dancing and mixing socially with their friends and neighbors. The Dance Hall was moved to the San Benito County Historical Park in 1992, where it was going to be used as a dance hall to once again bring the community together for social gatherings.

On Jan. 1, 2006, heavy winds and rain caused the front of the building to fall out leaving the rest of the hall to collapse. This left the Historical Park and, more importantly, the community, without one of its most memorable social gathering places. However, the Historical Society believed that as part of its mission to preserve the history of San Benito County, our community needed to have a dance hall reminiscent of that built by Leonard Arlington Chase. So after eight and a half years, countless volunteer hours, endless fundraising, bighearted donations from its members and community businesses, hard work from the students from the Center for Employment Training, and generous grants from the Community Foundation for San Benito County and the Monterey Peninsula Foundation; on Saturday, July 26, 2014, the new Dance Hall at the San Benito County Historical Park will be opening its doors with a dinner/dance fundraiser celebrating our future history.

For a moment now, imagine how poignant it would have been to have had a photo and the names of all those who attended the opening of the original Dance Hall in 1890 to share with future generations. We can’t go back in time, but you now have the rare opportunity to become a part of the history of San Benito County by joining us for this grand opening celebration. We will take a group photo and create a plaque with the names of all the guests for permanent placement on the “New” Old Dance Hall that you, your children, your grandchildren, and all future generations will be able to point at with pride and say “I (my parents, my grandparents, my great-grandparents, etc.) was a part of the tapestry that is San Benito County. Join us on Saturday, July 26 from 5 to 10 p.m. at the San Benito County Historical Park (one mile south of Tres Pinos) and enjoy a scrumptious dinner from Ella’s Restaurant before dancing the evening away to the country western sounds of Buffalo Canyon Band. There will be libations served at the historic Cottage Bar, a silent auction, a raffle, a drawing for horse drawn buggy rides through the Historic Park and the fantastic opportunity to be part of history in the making.

Tickets are limited, so call Don at 831-902-9349 or email today to reserve your spot at this historic occasion. Tickets are $100 per person and if you purchase a sponsor’s table for six, you will receive several memorable gifts to enhance your evening. All profits will benefit the San Benito County Historical Society and R.E.A.C.H. San Benito Foundation.

Prior to this special event, there will be the third annual Park Celebration and Early Day Gas Engine & Tractor Show on Saturday, July 26 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission is free and guests are encouraged to bring a picnic or purchase food/beverages at the park while enjoying: Historical Village open house; Early Day Gas Engine Displays and Demonstrations; Antique Toy Making; Old Time Races (potato sack, three-legged, fire bucket, etc.) 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Firehouse re-dedication ceremony at 2 p.m.; Mariachi Juvenil Alma de Mexico from 2:30 to 3 p.m. a Dance Hall dedication ceremony at 3 p.m. and more.