Getting down in Browns

Annual Browns Park hoedown draws 60 music lovers, dancers

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Approaching Lodore Hall, the nearly 100-year-old one-room schoolhouse bounced with life.

A wave of violins, twanging banjos and dusty boot stomping came full force upon entering the hall in Browns Park, location of the Browns Hole Homemakers Club fall hoedown.

About 60 people came to the family-friendly dance from as far as Illinois, Boulder and Baggs, Wyo.

"It's a group getting together and having fun," said Dora Watson, a member of the Browns Hole Homemakers Club. "Those kids really love getting out there. That's what we do it for."

Since the club formed in 1952, Lodore Hall has played host to hundreds of its dances.

Proceeds from the dance go to maintaining the historical building, which is one of four buildings in Moffat County on the National Historic Register.

The club meets once a month at the old school house to plan future events, including a Christmas party and a spring dance, which are both held at Lodore Hall. Also, the club makes trips to the Jarvie Ranch with prepared meals and food to sell to the visitors and workers.

Watson said the friendly and fun atmosphere is what brings families to the dances.

Most parents were struggling to keep up with the young ones, but everyone was smiling. And while the do-si-doing kept the floors shaking, there were plenty of slow tunes to keep the pace from getting out of control.

"It gives kids something to do, rather than thinking all there is to do is partying," Watson said.

Although it's called the Browns Hole Homemakers Club, you don't have to be from Browns Park to be a member.

For only $10 a year, anyone can take part in the historical community-orientated club.

"It's really to help out the hall and the community," club member Bob Molloy said.

Ray Magness, of Craig, has been a member of the club for five years and said he enjoys the camaraderie of the hoedowns.

"I'm from Pennsylvania and things are a lot different out here than where I'm from," Magness said. "They're a lot friendlier."

For more information on the club, or to join, call Mara Molloy at 269-3000.

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