As of July 2018, the beloved 100 Men Hall is under new ownership. Rachel Dangermond and her son Tin (the new owners) are bringing the Hall into the future. Dangermond, a writer and facilitator working in New Orleans, was drawn to the 100 Men Hall because of its historic place as an energy center for African-American music and social history in Bay St. Louis. Dangermond and the 100 Men Hall make a perfect fit since she writes widely about race and parenting. She also facilitated conversations on race and equity for the Mayor’s Office in New Orleans. Dangermond plans exciting changes for the Hall but notes that hosting musical events will continue to be its main priority.
Dangermond plans to operate the Hall as a multipurpose venue serving Bay St. Louis, the Gulf Coast, and New Orleans. “I'm extremely excited about joining the Bay St. Louis community,” she declares. “We are happy to host all events and occasions celebrating life – arrival, departure and everything in between. Want to elevate your event by having it in a unique historic building? Think of our Hall as a place where you can hold an elegant anniversary celebration or celebrate your nuptials with a food truck wedding.” An important change for the Hall will be the addition of writer workshops and retreats, artists in residency, and pop-ups, community dialogues and youth activities. The Hall is perfectly suited as a listening room, pop-up, rehearsal space, movie set, and creative space.
Built in 1922, the 100 Men Hall was started by 12 African-American men who organized in the late 1800s to provide burials and medical needs for the community. Over the years, the Hall hosted many blues, rhythm & blues, and jazz acts. Local residents recall performances by Ray Charles, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, BB King, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Fats Domino, Etta James, Ernie K-Doe, Deacon John, and numerous others. The Hall was an important stop on the historic 'chitlin circuit' – performance venues where African American musicians played during segregation. The 100 Men Hall is one of the rare historic blues venues still standing and still operating. The Hall was slated to be demolished in 2005 but Jesse and Kerrie Loya intervened, and through grit and grace restored this historic gem – adding owner’s living quarters. The Loyas re-opened the Hall in 2010 and continued to uplift its history and purpose until selling to the Dangermonds in 2018.
Coming soon: the Hall Warming Party. Stayed tuned!