Sandy Beach and the Big Band Era
An important factor to the growth and success of the Sandy Beach Amusement Park was the Minnewawa Dance Hall. The Minnewawa was one of the biggest and best dance halls in the Midwest primarily because it had two bandstands with space for hundreds of couples to dance.Even during the Great Depression, Sandy Beach hosted many dance marathons. In 1931, the National Endurance Dance Marathon was held at the park; it lasted an incredible 80 days and two hours. In 1935, fire destroyed the wooden structure and the Minnewawa was never rebuilt. An outdoor dance pavilion featuring a huge patio called the Moonlight Terrace Gardens took its place. The Sandy Beach Park had many popular dance halls, including Dreamland Ballroom, the Plaza Showboat, and the Moonlight Terrace. All these dance halls attracted the biggest names in musical entertainment throughout the years, including Rudy Vallee, Guy Lombardo and Lawrence Welk.
In 1936, French Wilgus sold the Wilgus family interests on the east side to Charles Horvath, a Cleveland entrepreneur and operator of the Minnewawa Dance Hall. Mr. Horvath continued to operate the Sandy Beach Amusement Park while French Wilgus operated the hotel, restaurants and dance halls on the west side. Claiming that Wilgus was violating liquor laws, the State of Ohio
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Entertainment.
Location. 40° 28.354′ N, 83° 53.664′ W. Marker is in Russells Point, Ohio, in Logan County. Marker is on East Main Street (Ohio Route 366), on the right when traveling west. Marker is in the park area, behind Taco Bell. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 121 E Main St, Russells Point OH 43348, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Interurban Transportation (here, next to this marker); Miami- Erie Canal / Lewistown Reservoir (a few steps from this marker); Boats of Indian Lake (a few steps from this marker); Sandy Beach Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Our Lady of Fatima (within shouting distance of this marker); Native Americans (within shouting distance of 1913 Flood (within shouting distance of this marker); Islands and Beaches (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Russells Point.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 7, 2017. It was originally submitted on June 6, 2017, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. This page has been viewed 166 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 6, 2017, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.