Lambton Heritage Museum
Grand Bend, Ontario

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Grand Bend - Our Stories, Our Voice
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Sam and Marguerite Carrire often went with us on summer evenings to the Casino, a dance-hall on the lakefront run by Mr. and Mrs. Eccleston. A large barn-like building [early dance hall on beach] with a good hardwood floor, railed off to provide plenty of space for spectators and for dancing partners to move about between numbers, it was a popular rendezvous for summer residents and for young people in the country for miles around. Occasional evenings were given over to square dancing- "barn dances" they were then called - and for this, old-time fiddlers provided the music. The regular dance band which Mr. Eccleston brought, in from London, Ontario, were all members of one family - dark, handsome youngsters of Italian descent who called themselves "The Lombardo Boys", though one of the "boys" was their sister. Little did we suspect that within a few years they would become world famous as "Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians". The whole family including, father, mother, sister, Guy, Liebert, Carman - and was there another? - used to live in a couple of large tents which they pitched in the woods at the edge of our lot. They were rather a trial to us for they kept late hours and were often noisy and quarrelsome, but we forgot about this when we heard them at the Casino.

 

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