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To many, the Surf Ballroom is an American Cultual icon as well as an important historical landmark. The original Surf Ballroom was located across the street from its current location on the shores of Clear Lake. It officially opened for business on April 17, 1934 with a $1.00 dance on a 90x120 foot hardwood dance floor. The venue also featured a roof garden for dancing outdoors, five lakeside windows and a boardwalk leading to nearby docks. The Surf was one of three such ventures for its developer, Carl J. Fox - along with two sister ballrooms, The Terp located in Austin, Minnesota (built in 1938) and the Prom located in St. Paul, Minnesota (build in 1940). It's been said that Carl Fox borrowed against his life insurance to start the endeavor. He sold the three ballrooms in December of 1946 to Prom, Inc. of Chicago for a reported total of $1,300,000.

Tragedy struck the Surf in the early morning hours of April 20, 1947 when fire destroyed the building. Plans for its repla ...

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