By Thomas A. Adler
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Extra resources for Bean Blossom: The Brown County Jamboree and Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Festivals (Music in American Life)
The lumber for that tent was secured from the Art West Lumber Company of Helmsburg, Indiana. There were more seats—we had 3,300 paid admissions, average 3,000—besides the children that we raised the sidewall up and let ’em get in for nothing—were in the tent every Sunday evening. Neighbors, we didn’t have no juvenile delinquency back then. That was the good old days! Along in later years, the Brown County Jamboree first appeared, so it was started on the open-air platform, the fine boys the Cook Brothers came along, put a big-top tent out in the garden, and it—ever’ time the rain come, it leaked.
Wallace wrote Smith, speculating on potential bookings and conveying a performer’s-eye view of the right people to talk to and the right organizations to approach for Smith and the embryonic Jamboree to secure more entertainment work. The open-air Sunday-evening show at Williams’s gas station and lunchroom served for a short period—perhaps as brief as a single summer, but in any event no more than two years—as a key element in Williams’s promotional efforts. The platform, like the highway frontage space in front of it, was truly open to the air and to the sight and hearing of anyone who could get to town by car or horse or on foot.
He built a single-pen board-andbatten cabin just east of the highway as a weekend retreat. ”2 Between 1939 and 1941, Rund bought more land in Bean Blossom and immediately sought to make it profitable. ” Three lightly framed cabins, much inferior to Rund’s own house, were built near the northwest end of the property’s small lake. Although 22 . Ch a pt er 3 uninsulated, lacking running water, and heated only by “chunk-burner” woodstoves, they expressed Rund’s vision of success through Brown County tourism.