The Dances in Bradford NH

An ad for the dance Back in the 1930s and 1940s in many of the villages of New England were held dances referred to as "Barn Dances" or "Round and Square Dances" or "Eastern Barn Dance Style Square Dances". As people did not travel the distances for recreation that we do today many towns had a local group of musicians who supplied the music for these dances, as well as a "caller".

This website documents one group of musicians, Myron "Mike" Colby's Orchestra, and the caller, Frank Fortune. This combination of talent and yankee ingenuity resulted in one of the most popular dance halls in the central part of New Hampshire. Frank Fortune renovated an old cow barn in Bradford, NH which became known as Bradford Arena and hired Myron Colby, a well-known local fiddle player, and his Orchestra to furnish the music. The Arena was patronized by 350 to 450 enthusiastic dancers every Saturday night for many years.

The Myron Colby Orchestra
Frank Fortune calling with the Myron Colby Orchestra at the Bradford Arena in Bradford NH  circa 1952.   From left are Bob Messer, Luther Fairbanks, George Rounds, Myron Colby, Nellie Blake, Frank Fortune.   (Click image to enlarge)

Site last Updated March 22, 2009