Iva Dingwall was born in Elk River, MN in 1877. She played the barn dance fiddle music that her father played when she was growing up. This recording of her represents the only recordings we have of a Minnesota fiddler born in the 1800's. Thankfully she also jotted down her accounts of her fathers playing and the tunes and dances that were used. Here is one great story-
" How often do I recall my father and mother coming to the schoolhouse at three in the afternoon to take me home because he had to play for a dance perhaps ten miles away. We were hurriedly dressed, and if it were winter, on our way by 4 o'clock because travel was so slow with a couple of old "nags" hitched to farm sled and we must be there no later than seven. They liked to start the fun early, and dancing usually continued on until daybreak. Then we started back home, arriving there sometimes as late as 8 in the morning- about time for father to begin his morning chores. It must have been very tiresome for them, sitting in the cold and driving that distance after being up all night, but for my sister and I it was fun. Straw was placed on the bottom of the sled and blankets spread over it to make a bed. With the old flat-irons heated and placed at our feet, we were as "snug as a bug in a rug" and slept as one of their sayings went- "just like a log" ".
You can find more of her frontier writing here.
Sally Over The Water