Entertainment in the Early Days

Before the day of hard-surfaced roads and easy travel by automobile, the pioneer town was the center for the educational and social life of the townspeople and farmers of its trade area.  In Binford, the "Opera House, built soon after the town was established, was the focal point of many of these activities.  Here were held the dances attended by both the young and the not so young - masquerade dances on Halloween night, a Washington's Birthday ball, or a gala event for a presidential election night, when election returns were posted on a bulletin board and excitement ran high.  Here, too, were staged "home talent" plays, school programs and basket socials.  For many years it served, also, as a movie theater during the era of the silent film, and as a gymnasium for both independent and high school basketball games.

During the summer months Binford's baseball team drew huge crowds of spectators to cheer or boo, as the case might be.  The grandstand is gone, but the baseball park is there to remind those who remember, of the players on the team.  They recall names like Fred Lewis, Albert ("Ding") Ringlee, Oscar ("Rabbit") Alm, Harold ("Hod") Ehlers, Oscar Greenland, Albert and Henry Alfson, Carl ("Irish") Peterson and Gulliver Peterson.

Midsummer was the time for an annual "Market Day" celebration, when the band, under the direction of Ole Brodshaug, led the parade to open the festivities.  Activities consisted of races of all kinds, baseball, and softball games, a tug of war, and just plain socializing with the neighbors.  The day ended with a dance at the Opera House.

Source: Griggs County History 1879 - 1976 Page 16

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