Entertainment was confined to dances and card parties in the small log cabins of the pioneers before there were schoolhouses. The first people to arrive would remove the few pieces of home made furniture and put them outside and then hand hewn planks were placed on wood blocks along the wall for seats. Everyone came from forty miles around. They would arrive in time for supper, all being seated at a long table. A crowd would mean two or three settings. The horses were blanketed and tied to sleigh boxes full of hay. Dancing got under way as soon as the dished and chores were done.
There were waltzes, two-steps, round polkas, the log cabin rye waltz, dip polka and many other lovely and graceful steps which are rare nowadays. At midnight there was a lunch. During intermission there was always what nowadays would be called a Floor Show, with songs, recitations and step dancing. The late Ira Mitchell sang southern songs in a Darkie drawl. Johnny Barkor did some slick card tricks. Mike Towhey jigged to Turkey-in-the-straw.
Sometimes, he also jigged to the Irish Washer-woman while little Polly Harrison (Mrs. A. Pellitier) did the Highland Fling. Dancing resumed then until daylight. Music was by violin, guitar, mandolin, and accordion. Occasionally the musicians were spelled off by a few tunes from a small gramaphone with a huge horn. Everyone ate breakfast before leaving for the long trek home. The dances were always at New Years and the seventeenth of March, the latter event always taking place at Morgan's at Wistaria.
Many people would gather in the same way for card parties. Because the only means of transportation was by horse or horse and wagon and in the winter, sleighs or skiing, entertainment was confined more to the homes. As one old-timer pointed out, there was always your own two legs to carry you to where you wanted to go. Also, many of the people were too busy with their ranches and farms, if they left, someone would have to stay to make sure the animals were fed and bedded at night.