The Mishawaka History
On a spring afternoon in 1916, musician and motorcycle-traveling adventurer Walter S. Thompson was riding through the sparsely inhabited Poudre Canyon when he heard a song from the land too clear and powerful to ignore. The majestic mountain vistas and idyllic riverbank setting sang the notes of a sacred place and Thompson decided then and there to fulfill his dance hall dreams. Thompson homesteaded the property and spent the next several years building the Mishawaka Dance Hall by hand. Three years later, the Mishawaka was born and Thompson’s wife and children were reunited with him in this Poudre Canyon paradise. The Mishawaka quickly earned its time-tested reputation as a destination for music and celebration beyond compare.
Over the decades, the Mishawaka’s ownership changed hands, vacation cabins came and went and countless performers took to the riverside stage. And like the river, the music flows on. The Mishawaka as you see it today was reinvigorated in 2010 by Dani Grant and her husband Matt Hoeven, entrepreneurial music lovers from Fort Collins who, remain focused on maintaining the authenticity and character of the venue and surrounding lands that have so enthralled audiences and performers. The Mishawaka enters a new stage in its storied history as a world-class destination for performing arts, celebratory events, and timeless memories—with that we say “Welcome.”