**Photos provided by Clem & Sally DeRosier
Posted: Wednesday, November 03, 1999
The mystery of the origins of Sleepy Hollow Road south of Brainerd may remain lost in time.
Clara Jenkins was 27 when she sold 400 tickets for the first night of dancing at Sleepy Hollow Dance Hall. Customers parked from the dance hall back nearly a quarter mile toward Highway 371. It was the summer of 1941.
Beer could be had for 15 cents a bottle or two bottles for 25 cents. Chicken sandwiches were a quarter. Tickets to the dance equaled the price of a can of pop today.
"It got to be quite a popular place back then," Jenkins said.
Reporter's note: After a story last week about Sleepy Hollow Road and its name, The Dispatch received several calls from the neighborhood, including one that shed a little more light on the Sleepy Hollow Dance Hall.
Saturday night dancing was king, especially during the war years. As many people as could fit tightly packed in a car came to Sleepy Hollow to dance the night away.
A four- or five-piece band played. They came from Little Falls, Bowlus and Princeton, earning $20 to $25 a night. Two policemen were hired to ensure the peace -- one inside, the other out.
When Jenkins' father, Peter Gregersen, built the dance hall the road was a dead end. Gregersen arrived in the area from Little Falls and had six summer cabins called Cozy Beach resort. The year was 1921.
After living in Oregon for a while, Jenkins returned to live on Sleepy Hollow Road. The dance hall and cabins with their ice boxes and wood stoves are long gone now. But the name remained.
Jenkins doesn't know where her father picked up the name. He was not known as a reader of the famous literary legend. Gregersen, who bought the land around Crow Wing Lake from Brainerd business entrepreneur Con O'Brien, sold the resort and the dance hall about 1945.
The dance hall burned in 1955 and was never rebuilt.
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