Taken from the New Hartford Tribune:
“There was a large crowd in attendance at the Home Guard dance given in the town hall on Monday evening of the preent week and eachn one present had the very best kind of a good time. The hall was very attractively decorated with flags, bunting and army muskets and two large portraits of President Wilson were displayed at the front of the hall. Excellent music was furnished by Nobile’s orchestra from Winsted with the dancing continuing until one o’clock Tuesday morning. Refreshments of ice cream and soda water were served in the rear of hall and a large company of spectators viewed the dancing from the balcony. Captain H.E. Newport and P.J. Johnson, who had the dance in charge, are very much pleased with the success of their efforts and the public at large certainly appreciate the work done by these two members of the Home Guard Company in arranging so skillfully the details of the occasion. The proceeds will net something over thirty dollars which will be used in procuring some needed equipement for the company. Guests attended the dance from Winsted, Collinsville, Torrington, Simsbury, Hartford, Bristol, New Haven, and other places. It is expected tht the company will give other public entertainment benefits later in the season and no doubt the public will at all times be ready with a generous and repeated patronage.”
The Connecticut Home Guard was established following the United States’ entry into World War One in 1917. By March of 1917 some 20,000 men had enlisted in the Connecticut Home Guard and by the end of that year fully half were trained, armed and otherwise equipped. The guard was established to protect cities and industries throughout the state from potential attack by German forces. They were especially strong along the coast: New London had three infantry companies and one machine gun company. They also participated in recruitment drives and in general fund-raising, especially the liberty loans.
The town hall is, of course, the same building as today. One can, standing in the senior center, easily imagine it being used for dances with spectators and music in the balcony.