Exhibit features former Rustic TavernApril 12, 2021
By Herald Staff
JASPER — The Dubois County Museum is hosting a party from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday for the special opening of an exhibit for those who loved The Rustic Tavern (and Dance Hall).
The Rustic was located on Jasper’s northwest side.
On display will be part of the unique bar that graced The Rustic. The right side of the bar was salvaged from the fire that destroyed the building and operation in January 1980. The Gary and Brendan Aders family had recused the bar and have recently donated it to the museum.
The Rustic opened its doors on July 4, 1933, in the woods on State Road 45-56. It operated as a dance hall, roller skating rink, wedding reception venue and convention center. It was later known as the Sportsman Club and the Legion Club Canteen.
It was originally operated by Hilbert Fritch and Cyril “Toots” and Christine Haller. When it was destroyed by fire in 1980, the owners were Donald “Marty” Vogler and Virgil Mathies.
The popular venue for youth saw the place as a hangout for dances, weddings, music, big name entertainers from the 1930s through the 1970s. It was also notorious for fights and underage drinking. In one famous raid by excise and state police in December 1971, 60 people were arrested for numerous counts of possession of alcohol, underage possession and carrying in alcohol. A school bus was borrowed from Washington to transport the offenders.
The museum invites you to visit the museum Thursday to reminisce about those times spent at the Rustic. Also on display are a collection of articles about the Rustic, names of bands that played in the area and band instruments from that era.
The exhibit can also be viewed during the museum’s normal operating hours — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
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