Featured News, Siskiyou, South County

McCloud Dance Hall Continues with New Life

Last Saturday the McCloud Dance Hall on the corner of Pine St. and Broadway opened its doors for the first time for a ‘BBQ Meat and Greet.’. Dancing to live music once again, the local community came to what was known as Dance Country for a ‘soft opening,’ hosted by the new owners, Kristen Cunningham and her business partner Crisbin Barrymore. 

People toured the building, shared old stories about the Dance Hall over dinner, and then danced to the music of Micro Mistic and McCloud’s own Monkey-Lash band.

People said they enjoyed the evening and want to support one of McCloud’s original hotspots for fun that is now coming back to life.

After a year of squatters taking over the building when the last owner, John Rickard passed away and his wife Melissa became ill, there was lots of damage and historic items taken or destroyed.  The new owners have been working hard on cleaning up the destruction and preserving what is left with the help of many locals that have come together to help and become good friends with Kristen and Crisbin. 

Kristen Cunningham says, “We bought the building in August 2022 and we are grandfathering in the scheduled workshops of this season. That includes the Burning Tango Festival, the Yogi people, John Wineland’s workshop, and square dancing. In between we will keep working on improvements.” 

Where do you start with such a big project? 

For the last three weeks, they have had a crew sanding the 5,000 sq ft maple hardwood floor of the dance hall and they are not done yet. For the first time, there is hot water in the downstairs restrooms but there is a lot more plumbing to be done. Between retreats, there will be construction on the roof and the foundation, fixing the water damage, and painting the exterior. 

“Just cleaning the floors and scrubbing the walls has made the building so much brighter,”

Says Cunningham.

“This open house is a practice run. This is a rewarding soul-work passion for me. It takes a community to make a team to work together and honor all who help make this building work through the years.”

When the mill owned the town, the Dance Hall was for dances and events. Locals still talk about the local favorite band that was popular back then called the Hot-n-Tots.  It later was used by the Free Masons from 1918 to 1976 conducting their secret meetings upstairs. 

Dave and Suzanne Abbott bought the building from the Masonic Temple in SanFransisco in 1986. They first bought the original cafeteria which was called McCloud Cookhouse, at the top end of Main Street in McCloud as a place for square dancing since Dave was a square dance caller and square dancing was their passion. They lived in Redding at the time and wanted a place out of the heat. When the Dance Hall went up on the market, they bought it because they needed a bigger place for their square dancing retreats. They built the RV Country campground in 1980 so out-of-towners had a place to stay during the retreats. 

The Abbotts found McCloud when they came up to watch the movie Baby Blue Marine when it was being filmed in hopes to see some movie stars and fell in love with the town. Along with the RV park, and Dance Hall, they also built the Blue Star Memorial in 2002 in honor of Suzanne’s parents. It is the little garden and flag pole on the highway at the entrance of McCloud for veterans. They buy a new American flag for it every year. 

The Dance Hall was built in 1906. It still has the hand stenciling on the pillars that was done in the 1920s.  

The Rickards bought the Dance Hall 25 years ago and the Abbotts carried the note for it. They kept it as the Dance Country Hall and continued having retreats in it. Melissa also opened a little art/gift store in it as well. Both the Abbotts and the Rickards lived upstairs during the times they owned the building. 

the new owners, “We are so delighted Kristen has the building. It is in the perfect hands. She is going to make it great again. We are on the sidelines cheering her on. It is people like her that make McCloud such a special place. It makes me want to cry happy tears.:”

Suzanne Abbott says

Kristen Cunningham is the mover and shaker of the Dance Hall project. She says, “I have been coming up here through the years and these people are my people. Music brings people of different cultures together. it is sacred. The energy of the dance floor brings people together and connects people. I don’t need a crystal ball and sage, just give me some good sound and a base. ” 

Kristen refers to herself as a raver from Gen X.  She has traveled the world meeting people through music and dance. “This building is a temple of empowerment and healing. I want to book all kinds of music retreats; weddings, and community events” 

To find out more about McCloud Dance Hall, go to mcclouddancehall.com or call (530) 853-1177, or email [email protected]

Supporting each other, the owners of the Country RV Park, Warren, and Tammy Frank, with Susan McGee who works with the Franks, the original owners of the McCloud Dance Hall Dave and Suzanne Abbott, Kristen Cunningham who is the current owner, and George and Cheryl Whitmer who are long time vacationers of 30 years to McCloud. 
 Harlan Bowen, long-time square dancer and good friend with the original County Dance Hall owners Suzanne and Dave Abbott. Harlan is helping the new owner Kristen Cunningham fix the Dance Hall and bring it back to its grandeur.
McCloud Chamber President Quentin Zahara, welcomes the new McCloud Dance Hall owner Kirsten Cunningham during the “Meat and Greet”. 

Community members come together over dinner at the McCloud Dance Hall “Meat and Greet” to talk about the building in the old days and see what the new owners are doing with it now and to give their support. 

McCloud Dance Hall owner Kristen Cunningham (top right) with her new friends that are helping with the building; Manny from Mt. Shasta who is the maintenance manager, Karen who is the building’s manager of the McCloud Dance Hall, and friend Victoria who also helps out. 

The McCloud Dance Hall logo. 
Live music by Micro Mystic and McCloud’s own band, Monkey-Lash played during the McCloud Dance Hall open house last weekend. 

People from the McCloud Dance Hall ‘Meat and Greet’ dance in the 5,000 square foot room to live music which will soon be a common hot spot again in McCloud as the new owners bring the historic building back to life. 

McCloud Partners, LLC. Mike Blum, Bruce, and Linda Berlinger stand with McCloud Dance Hall owner Kristen Cunningham along with filmmaker Autie Carlisle in the upstairs apartment of the historic building that looks over the town of McCloud. During the “Meat and Greet” Kristen gave tours of the whole building. 

Chefs Travis Olexiewicz and Jeff Durand barbequed for the McCloud Dance Hall’s “Meat and Greet.” They cooked up different kinds of meat on their portable BBQ and prepared everything in the hall’s large kitchen area.

Avery Theatre CDF&W CHSRA Copco Dunsmuir Dunsmuir Elementary Dunsmuir Wildcats Easter Egg Hunt Etna EtnaCa FERC Forest Service Irongate Iron Gate Junior High Rodeo KCOC klamath Klamath Dams Klamath National Forest klamath river Klamath River Dams KNF KRRC Main Street Homestead McCloud Montague Mount Shasta Mt Shasta obituary Rodeo Salmon Scott River Scott Valley Scott Valley Agriculture Water Alliance Siskiyou Siskiyou Art Museum Siskiyou County Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors Siskiyou District Attorney Office Siskiyou Golden Fair The Well USDA KNF weedca YPD Yreka


  1. Jill Y Warner

    I am so happy to see this building being restored to its former glory. Such a beautiful historic building worthy of the love being out into it. The energy is so positive. It will be wonderful to see it come to life again. I was honored to have my wedding reception there in 2000, which was an extremely rare privilege. Good luck with this adventure.

  2. Karen wood

    I have so many happy memories of the time I spent in this building. In fact, when my family moved to McCloud in March of 1988 Dave and Suzanne let us empty the moving van and store our furniture in the dance hall until our home was available. We then spent many hours square dancing, participating in several square dance packages. Later my husband worked in the dance hall, freshening up the paint etc. He also hung the wallpaper and painted the upstairs living quarters. I am anxious to visit McCloud soon and see for myself the work being done to bring this beautiful building back to the beauty it deserves.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *