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As It Was: Rain Fails to Spoil 1880 Christmas Ball in Ellensburg, Ore.

In 1880, inclement weather took a toll on the expected attendance at Miss Anna Geisel’s Christmas Eve Ball, held in her newly opened dance hall in Ellensburg, present-day Gold Beach, Ore.

Despite heavy rains, the hall’s participants were in excellent spirits, making up for their small number by enjoying themselves even more immensely.

At midnight, the throng of hungry dancers went next door to a cheerfully decorated residence for a fine supper of hot turkey and other seasonal delights.

After the feast, the party headed back into the storm, planning on several more hours of dancing, but it was not easy to get there.  The continual downpour plugged an underground drain in the road, resulting in formation of a large pond between the two buildings, varying in depth from 1 to 2 ½ feet.

In jest, the men held back their gallantry, watching in amusement while their female partners made attempts to ford the obstacle.  Undaunted, the ladies forged ahead into the stormy waters and did the least cussing.

The music and dancing resumed, continuing until an early morning hour.

Source: "Miss Geisel's Party." Port Orford Post, 30 Dec. 1880.

Laurel earned a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Humboldt State. Her research efforts as a volunteer for the Curry Historical Society produced numerous newsletter articles and exhibits and earned her a reputation as a seasoned local history buff. Laurel is the author of "Renderings from the Gold Beach Pioneer Cemetery", a 50-page booklet containing a walking tour and snippets about the lives and times of folks buried there. She is also a contributing writer to Oregon Coast Magazine.