Southern Utah News Articles
Heritage Happenings - Three Lakes Dance Pavilion
The Doc Aiken Story, Memoirs of a Country Doctor, by George Russell Aiken, M.D. is a fascinating autobiography of “… how a farm boy from Ohio, a Presbyterian, ended up in one of the most remote sections of the West, occupied mostly by the Mormons, Navajos and Paiutes…”
Doc Aiken was born in Ohio, on April 7, 1896, graduated from the Ohio State University Medical School in 1921, and by 1930, he and his wife had moved to Kanab. By 1936, he was able to construct and open Kane County’s first hospital. During his 64 years in Kanab (minus WWII naval service and a few other short absences), he served as mayor, city councilman and state legislator. He was instrumental in encouraging the city to purchase the Heritage House, and contributed his time, labor and guidance to the restoration and preservation of that historic building.
Many adults still living in Kanab owe their birth delivery to this skilled physician. Doc Aiken passed away on November 21, 1994. His autobiography offers some teasing recollections of his professional and recreational activities in Kanab and the surrounding areas.
In particular, hence the title of this article is a passage from his book. On page 112 he recounts “About 1936 or 1937, Hank and Ruth Bahen opened a men’s store in Kanab. At one of the Saturday night dances at the Three Lakes Dance Pavilion (sic), Hank was dancing with my wife, and was bragging about the size of fish at Fish Lake.”
Whoa! The Three Lakes Dance Pavilion? Here is a missing piece of historical information the Kanab Heritage Museum has only limited information. While the archives have a few photographs, there are no diary statements, letters, scrap books, personal photographs or promotional photographs of the dance pavilion other than what is included in this article. We are hoping some of the locals may have important contributions we can copy, have on loan or accept as a historical donation to the museum archives. Contact Curator Deanna Glover at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 435-616-7715.
(Historical research selections presented by James Page, a volunteer historian at the Kanab Heritage Museum.)