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New owner has big plans for historic music location

The new owner of a historic music venue in Bay St. Louis has big plans for the location

The Sun-Herald reports that Rachel Dangermond is the new owner of 100 Men Hall.

The 1922 blues hall was a center of African-American social life and entertainment. Such legendary artists as Etta James, Ray Charles, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry and James Brown performed there.

Former owners Kerrie and Jesse Loyas bought it in 2006, saving it from a post-Hurricane Katrina demolition. They restored it and reopened it in 2010.

Dangermond says she envisions the 100 Men Hall as a multi-purpose venue that will include writer workshops, retreats and artist in residency programs as well as other activities. Dangermond also plans to incorporate different music such as jazz, rockabilly and Cuban music.

“We are happy to host all events and occasions celebrating life — arrival, departure and everything in between,” Dangermond told the newspaper. “I definitely see family reunions in the future.”

“Think of our hall as a place where you can hold an elegant anniversary celebration or celebrate your nuptials with a food truck wedding,” she said.

Dangermond is a writer working in New Orleans. She said she was looking for a place to live and hold writers’ workshops. A friend told her about the historic hall, and she said she immediately felt a connection.

The hall was started in the late 1800s by 12 black men who organized to provide burials and medical needs for the community. It became an important stop for black musicians who played during segregation.

Dangermond plans a Hall Warming Party in the fall.

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