Blueroom Dance Hall in Strasburg ND
(December 8, 1996)
On Sunday afternoon at I was driving to meet a German-Russian
family in Fargo, I was listening to KFNW FM Christian Radio....Tim
Dockter, the radio newscaster presented a special report that the
famous dance hall in Strasburg, ND, had been lost to a Saturday
evening fire. There were no further details given. Reports will
appear in ND's Monday morning newspapers. The loss of the bar and
dance hall was estimated to be about $150,000.
Known to many in south-central North Dakota as "The
Blueroom". For many wedding couples in the Strasburg/Linton/Hague
area of Emmons County, ND, the festive German-Russian weddings took
place at "The Blueroom" with many delicious German-Russian
dinners and suppers.
From Jolenta Fischer Masterson
Wow, why should it come as hurting news..I think
that building was there before I was born, although earlier it had
been known as the MattRay ballroom, named for its owners, Matt Fischer
and Ray Bueckler. Our home was on the other side of the block from
the ballroom, and as a child I would go to sleep listening to the
polkas and waltzes on dance night. The building also doubled as
a movie theatre for many years...and on dance nights they would
simply shove all the theatre seats to the side and it became a dance
hall. I think we all hurt a little when a place of many memories
goes up in smoke.
I well remember where your home in Strasburg and
visiting your grandparents home.
Your memories about the dance hall are very touching.
I hope that other subscribers will share memories they might have
about the MattRay later Mattern's Blueroom. There were many family
reunions, many weddings, and many fond memories shared in this historic
There likely was a tear or two shed by many as the
dance hall went up in flames in one of our German-Russian villages
here on the Dakota prairies. Strasburg will not be the same without
"The Blueroom". It had recently been air-conditioned and
redecorated by new owners.
"The Blueroom" hosted many famous dances
including the Lawrence Welk Band and other traveling bands. While
Mr. Welk began his musical career performing at wedding dances in
his youth and then when he would return to play in Strasburg, "The
Blueroom" had large and overflowing crowds.
I learned to dance the German polka and waltz at
"The Blueroom". It is a sad day for the community of Strasburg
and for the German-Russian community in North Dakota with the loss
of such an important structure. The music culture of the Germans
from Russia has lost an important landmark.
This article was in The Forum (Fargo, ND)
Monday, December 9, 1996:
"First destroys Strasburg's historic Pin Palace"
Strasburg, ND (AP)
First destroyed the historic Pin Palace bowling
alley and cafe.
The building - where musician Lawrence Welk worked
as a boy suffered more than $150,000 in damage Saturday.
Brian and Holly Salo had purchased the bowling
alley three days earlier after leasing it for two years.
No one was injured in the fire , which started
when the charbroiler ignited in the kitchen. The building's sprinklers
extinguished the fire almost immediately. Brian Salo left to go
home about 1 pm, but returned to find the building's roof in flames.
"What we're figuring is that the fan from
the hood (above the charbroiler) sucked the fire up through to
the roof," Salo said.
The Blueroom dance hall in Strasburg is still standing....it
was the Pin Palace that has suffered a big loss for this small German-Russian
community. Brian Salo is of German-Russian ancestry from Aberdeen,
SD. He makes wonderful German-Russian dishes and pastries. We hope
the Salos will rebuild and stay in the community of Strasburg.