There were few things that Americans of the 19th century liked better than dancing. Pioneers, soldiers, farmers, politicians, ministers and indeed all sorts of people wrote in diaries, letters and published articles regarding attending dances. Of course good dancing is a very joyful experience. As our forbears realized, dancing positively engages the mind, exercises the body and has a wonderful tonic effect on the soul. But there was much more than just the pleasure of dancing to attract participants. With no radio or CDs available, dances were an opportunity to hear and enjoy music. With no telephones or email available dances provided an opportunity to socialize, communicate and share news with others. With high cultural expectations of behavior, dances were especially an opportunity to polish one’s manners and develop the social skills expected of those in "decent company".
While the formal “Grand Ball” may have been the height of the 19th century dance experience, people from throughout the social spectrum also enjoyed dancing in less elegant settings and less ostentatious circumstances.

On prairies and plantations, in parlors and presidios, rural Americans of all sections and classes enjoyed any opportunity to do some lively stepping.

From Atlantic to Pacific and The Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast, they reeled and promenaded at soirees, shivarees, stomps, hoe-downs, corn-huskings, fandangos, harvest balls, barn dances, county fairs, birthday parties, wedding receptions, patriotic gatherings and church socials to tunes like “Soldier’s Joy”, “Jefferson & Liberty”, “Bonaparte Crossing The Rhine” or "Cotton Eyed Joe".

Often no more than a single experienced fiddler was required but a good 3 or 4 piece string band could draw folks in from miles around. Some came on foot or straddling the back of a mule while others pranced on racehorses, rolled up in carriages or arrived perched in fashionable buggies. Some wore their homespun “Sunday best” while others wore silken “store bought” goods. Some came from busy, growing towns while others traveled from distant frontier homesteads.
It may have been a New England Church Social, an Appalachian Wedding, a Carolina Soiree, a Kentucky Hoe-Down, a Nebraska Corn Huskin' Party, a Texas Fandango, a Prairie Harvest Dance or a Louisiana Cajun' Stomp.
It might even have been a Tucson Barn Dance!
But wherever it was or whatever it might have been called - one could be sure of warm smiles, friendly faces, a well-tuned fiddle and some fine lively dancing!

Fashion, Music & Dance:  Our focus is Rural America of the 19th Century ... and our music and dance will reflect that. But modern western folks of the 21st century are welcome too. Whether "Old Country" or "New Country" come and have a good time!

Coffee at the Ranch

The We Make History Family enjoyed good ol' Western style fellowship at one of our favourite spots for lunch, coffee & cool, refreshing Quench - AJ's Fine Foods in the La Encantada shopping center at Campbell & Skyline.

See Photos from past Tucson Barn Dances  2008  2007

























Western Art & Photos





















































By Pony Express

Dear Col. and Mrs. Scott,

Many thanks to you indeed for hosting the Tucson Barn Dance. My family 
and I enjoyed everything to the utmost. The music was superb, the 
company grand, the dancing delightful. We loved dressing in historical 
style and finding others who enjoy the same. This kind of activity is 
something our country really needs. Thank you for all the work you do.

Your friends in Christ,
Jorge and Sue R. and Daughters


Please also see our “Etiquette & Expectations” page as well as our "All About Us" page.


This page is best viewed at a display setting of 1920 x 1200.

This page, all attached pages, the entire site and all content are the property of We Make History © 2001-2010.

All rights reserved.

No copying or reproduction of any kind is allowed without express written permission.





























We Make History

Email to the Barn



House Standards

The 2008 Tucson Barn Dance

The 2007 Tucson Barn Dance

The 1st Virginia Infantry

The 1st Minnesota Infantry

The American Heritage Festival