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DANCE HALLS IN TEXAS

Photo Gallery

In alphabetical order by towns
Albert TX - Albert Dance Hall
Albert, TX - Albert Dance Hall
Gillespie County

Photo courtesy Michael Barr, June 2019

See Drinking Beer Under the Trees at Albert
by Michael Barr

Bertram TX - 1904 Dance Hall
Bertram, TX - Bertram Dance Hall
Burnet County

TE photo, 2005

Big Spring TX - Stampede Dance Hall
Big Spring TX - Stampede Dance Hall, opened May 8, 1954,
Home of Hoyle Nix
Howard County

Jimmy Dobson Photo, August 2017

Buckholtz TX -  SPJST dance hall, meeting hall
Buckholts has one of the rare SPJST octagonal buildings,
used as dance and meeting hall.
Milam County
Photo by John Troesser, 6-03

Cat Spring TX Octagonal Dance Hall
Cat Spring, TX - Former dance hall
Twelve-sided Building
One of the few remaining German-constructed dance halls in the area
Austin County

Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, July 2011

TX - Cherry Spring Dance Hall
March 2016 photo © Michael Barr
Cherry Spring Dance Hall
by Michael Barr

17662 North U.S. Highway 87, Cherry Spring, Texas
TX - Cherry Spring Dance Hall stage where Elvis played
The stage where Elvis played
March 2016 photo © Michael Barr
Cherry Spring, TX - Cherry Spring Dance Hall
Gillespie County

TX - Old Double Bayou Dance Hall on Eagle Ferry Rd.

Double Bayou, TX - The old Double Bayou Dance Hall
on Eagle Ferry Rd.
Chambers County

Photo courtesy Ethan Grossman, February 2018

Historical Marker (on Eagle Ferry Road off Hwy 562):

Double Bayou Dance Hall


Nestled in the thick woods and low-lying marshlands of east Texas lies the predominantly African American community of Double Bayou, named after twin waterways in the area. The community was originally settled by rancher John Jackson around 1847. Later, a local general store became the center of the community. Sugar cane, cotton and oil attracted farmers and workers to the commercial link to Galveston. After a hard day’s work, these workers, African American and Anglo, flocked to the little one-room dance hall which became known as Double Bayou Dance Hall.

In the late 1920s and early 1930s during Juneteenth, many celebrants would travel from Galveston to Double Bayou. At its inception, the dance hall was little more than cedar logs laid out as a dance floor. In 1941, a storm destroyed the structure. Using the original materials, the dance hall was rebuilt after World War II not far down the road from the original location by Manuel Rivers, Jr. (1907-1983). Despite its meager appearance, the music that poured through the windows and doors filled the woods with the rich sound of Texas Blues.

One resident of Double Bayou, Floyd “Pete” Mayes (1938-2008), grew up around the old dance hall and premiered in 1954 with his band, the Texas Houserockers. Over the next several decades, many blues legends performed at Double Bayou Dance Hall as it was a popular destination along the Chitlin’ Circuit, a group of nightclubs safe for African Americans to perform. Despite cultural and economic differences, once people entered Double Bayou Dance Hall, they shared their love of music and love of Texas Blues.
2015
TX - Double Bayou Dance Hall  historical marker

Double Bayou, TX - Double Bayou Dance Hall Historical Marker
Chambers County

Photo courtesy Ethan Grossman, February 2018


Edom TX - Dance Hall
Edom, TX - Opry House Dance Hall
Van Zandt County

Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2011

TX - Fischer Dance Hall
Fischer, TX - Fischer Dance Hall
Comal County
Photo courtesy
Michael Barr, June 2019

Gruene Texas - Gruene Hall
Gruene, TX - Dance Hall
Comal County

May 2013 photo courtesy TxDOT
TX - Gruene dance hall interior
The dance hall interior
Photo courtesy George Shaffer

Halsted, TX - Halsted Dance Hall

Halsted, TX - Halsted Dance Hall
photo circa 1915
Fayette County
Wessels Family Collection
Submitted by Carolyn Heinsohn, Fayette County Historical Commission


London TX - Ivy's London Dance Hall
Photo courtesy Kathern Hogan, Sept. 2012
London, TX - Ivy's London Dance Hall
Texas' oldest ongoing dance hall
providing live bands and dances on Saturday Nights
Kimble County
London TX - Dance Hall
London, TX - Ivy's London Dance Hall
"Live Music Every Saturday Night"
Kimble County
Photo courtesy Kathern Hogan, Sept. 2012

Nada Texas Dance Hall
Nada, TX - Nada Dance Hall
Colorado County

Photo Courtesy Steve Dean, October 2007

Nechanitz TX - Chicken Ranch Dance Hall
Nechanitz TX - Chicken Ranch Dance Hall
Fayette County

Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, July 2011
Nechanitz TX - Chicken Ranch Dance Hall sign
Nechanitz TX - Chicken Ranch Dance Hall
Fayette County

Photo courtesy Gerald Massey, July 2011

Nordheim TX Shooting Club Dance Hall
Nordheim, TX - Nordheim Shooting Club Dance Hall
DeWitt County

Photo Courtesy Will Beauchamp, October 2008
Nordheim Shooting Club, Nordheim TX
Nordheim, TX - Nordheim Shooting Club Dance Hall
DeWitt County

Photo Courtesy Will Beauchamp, October 2008

Raisin Texas Old Frederichs Hall 1890
Raisin TX - Old Frederich's Dance Hall, circa 1890
Victoria County

Photo courtesy Frank Richard Brown
[The photo is] from a collection of old photographs that belonged to my great grandmother, Dora Kobitz of the Cross K Ranch that resided on the Victoria County shore of Coleto Creek.

Our family, the Kobitz family, lived on a large ranch that bordered Coleto Creek on the Victoria County side. Most of this property was taken when the Coleto Resovoir was built in the late 1960's. but there is still a small parcel about midway between Raisin and Coletoville. My Grandfather, Preston Charles Kobitz, was the last born male in the Kobitz family, and the last to live in the old ranch house.

In the late 1980's he wrote his remembrances of life in Raisin/Coletoville during the early 1900's; The following passage is taken from those writings:


Time Has Passed it By....

"Raisin was quite a little burg. Otto Kolh had the big general store. Before the Postal Service started the rural mail service, he was also Post Master. There was also a cotton gin, two dance halls. There is a picture of the Frederick Hall among the old pictures. There was a blacksmith shop and two saloons.

Frederichs Hall was quite large, and at Christmas there was a big live oak decorated with popcorn on string. I do not recall if there were apples and oranges. I do recall that there were many gifts under the tree. There were many barbecues, usually on July 4th or other special days. The charge was usually fifty cents for all you could eat. It included potato salad, noodle salads, coffee, vegetables, pickles, bread, and anything you would serve at home for a dinner, it would be on their table. This was always a gala occasion. It would start in the afternoon and end up with a dance at night. The saloons, of course, did a big business! There was always a number of fights and you could bet that a man named John Marr was in at least one of them. The cotton gin, the blacksmith shop, the Otto Kolh store are all gone, have been for years. Also the saloons. Time has passed it by."
- Frank Richard Brown, June 22, 2007

Swiss Alp TX Dance Hall
Swiss Alp, TX - Swiss Alp Dance Hall
Fayette County

Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2014
Swiss Alp TX Dance Hall Sign
Swiss Alp Dance Hall
by David Knape

Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2014

Weesatche dance hall Weesatche dance hall back
Weesatche TX - The Weesatche Dance Hall c.1913
The Weesatche Dance Hall is still open for occasional dances as posted by the sign out front.
Goliad County

TE photos, July 2001

Dance Halls in Texas
by Lois Zook Wauson
I loved going to dances in South Texas, during the 1940s. Every one went, from mothers and fathers to the children. It was our social life. I lived in Wilson County, 20 miles southwest of Floresville. Every week there was a dance at Three Oaks Hall. The week before there would be one at Hobson.

If there was a dance at Three Oaks or Hermann Sons Hall in Poth, my brother Lawrence and I were going to go, no matter what. I loved going to Hermann Sons Hall best.
Poth Texas - Herman Sons Hall
Poth, TX - Hermann Son's Hall
Wilson County

Photo courtesy Lois Zook Wauson
Country-dances were popular in South Texas. When I was small, in the late 30s and early 40s, I remember going to dances at Kasper School. The band would consist of a guitar player, a fiddle player and maybe a harmonica player. They cleared out the desks and put everything in one room, opened up the big folding doors between the two big classrooms. They threw cornmeal all over the floor to make the floor slick and easy to slide on. As every one danced and danced, small children played outside and watched through the windows or went in and danced with each other. As a child, I remember standing outside on the porch and watching through the open windows as they dancers did the Cotton-eyed Joe, the waltz, two-step or polka. Before electricity came in the early forties, when the REA came through, they put up kerosene lanterns to light the place up. I loved the sound of the music and the beat of the men's boots or heavy shoes on the wooden floors.

There have been dances over at Three Oaks since before I was born. My mother and father had their first date going to that New Years Eve dance at Three Oaks in 1931.

When I left home in 1950, I moved to San Antonio and spent quite a few Saturday nights at Fest Hall, at the Circle B, and later on at The Farmers Daughter. Just before I got married and even afterward, when my husband and I would go dancing with my aunts and uncle and friends, we went to Helotes to the John T. Floores big dance hall. The outside patio, with it large spacious concrete floor was wonderful on warm spring, summer and autumn nights. We went to see Charlie Walker, a local singer, and even got to hear a newcomer everyone was talking about. His name was Willie Nelson. A few times I had dates to the Silver Dollar Saloon in Bandera, where we danced the night away, then drove back to San Antonio, at 2:00 in the morning.
Bandera Texas silver Dollar  door
Photo courtesy Byron Browne, December 2007
Bandera, TX - Silver Dollar
On main street
(See Bandera by Byron Browne)
Bandera County
After moving to North Texas near Ft. Worth, in 1968, we even went to a few dance halls with our grown kids, who loved the old time country western dances. Our favorite was Nine Acres Club out in Colleyville. I only went to Billy Bobs in Ft. Worth one night. By then my dancing days were going by. But I still yearned for the good old days of going to country-dances.
Hermann Sons Hall as Church Poth TX
Hermann Son's Hall as church in February 2006
TE photo
My memory has taken me back to one night long ago. It is Saturday night! It is the summer of 1948. The sun is going down in the west. It is still hot after a sweltering hot day! The temperature was still near 99 degrees. The dance halls were calling. I was 16. And I was going to the dance at Hermann Sons Hall in Poth. I hurried, along with my brother and sister, to milk the cows. The sweat was rolling down my face and back. I had to take a bath. Well, taking a bath at our house meant filling up the big wash tub with water which was set up in the bedroom, and then scrunch myself down in it and bathe. We had no running water. Finally I felt clean and the breeze blew in through the window to cool me off. I put on my white cotton peasant blouse and my big full pink printed skirt that would swirl around when I spun around the dance floor. I had rolled my hair in pin curls earlier in the day and now I combed it out and my hair was soft and curly. I just hoped the humidity and heat wouldn't make the curls droop too soon.

I applied my red lipstick and slipped on my sandals. My brother Lawrence, only 14, drove the old gray pickup truck, and we took off in a cloud of dust for Poth. I wondered who would be there? To dance with, I meant. The boys! I knew my friends, Crystal, Jennie Lee, Dorothy Ann and other friends would be there. But, I was thinking of the boys.

We drove up in the big dirt parking lot, already full with cars and pick-ups. As we walked in the door of the big white frame building sprawled out under the trees, I could hear the oompah-pah of the polka the band was playing. I smelled the strong smell of beer, coming from the bar area, and walked into the big hall. The dancers were swirling and dancing round and round the room, and I could see the walls lined with benches, people sitting there, talking and watching the dancers.

My brother took off to find his friends, and I began to walk around looking for Crystal or Jennie Lee. There was Jennie Lee dancing and laughing with Paul, her boyfriend and I saw Crystal, dancing with some boy. He was happily stepping on her feet, and she was trying to get out of the way, and acting like she was having a lot of fun. But, I knew better. I sat down on the bench and waited for the set to finish, and she saw me and walked over, smiling and thanking the tall gangly boy for the dance. When she sat down, whispered that she just couldn't hurt his feelings and refuse to dance with him.

I shook my head and smiled, knowing what she meant. We always seemed to be dancing with the wrong boys. The ones we wanted to dance with had other girlfriends. Finally came the time we were waiting for, the Paul Jones. That was where the girls and boys got in a big circle in the center of the hall, with the girls in the center and the boy to the outside. We all walked around in opposite directions in the huge circle as the music played, boys and girls, and then the whistle blew loudly, then the boy next to you grabbed you and started dancing. You never knew whom you would get, but sometimes I was lucky. The boy would be tall and handsome and a great dancer. I was disappointed when it was over, and we sat back down and waited for the music to start up with Cotton Eyed Joe. Now that was something we could all dance to, without a partner. It was just dancers sometimes in a line of two to six people. We danced and swayed and back stepped and front stepped for sometimes two sets, if the musicians were agreeable to doing it again. Everyone loved the Cotton Eyed Joe.

The night wore on, and the heat in the hall was getting unbearable. Only big fans stirred the air, with the human bodies all hot and sweating, and dancing and moving. There was not much coolness in the place. The men and boys kept going to the bar area and going outside. They got rowdier and rowdier and every once in awhile I could hear yelling and hollering outside. Someone broke up a fight. But I didn't ever go outside. I stayed inside, even during intermission.

Toward the end of the night, as I was sitting there, laughing and talking to Dorothy Ann, I could see one boy coming toward me, smiling. My heart jumped in my chest. Was he coming to ask me to dance? He didn't say a word, he just reached out his hand and I lifted up mine and I stood up. The boy I had been wishing I could dance with all night was right there before me! We "two-stepped" and waltzed around and around the dance floor, and when he put his cheek next to mine, I wanted to faint. All too soon the dance was over and he walked me back to the bench and smiled and walked off.

I left the dance that night, my head in the clouds. It was the best dance of my life. The clouds were beginning to build up some in the west. I could see the darkness on the horizon and then a streak of lightening. A breeze was kicking up the dust in the parking lot. It was cooler as I got into the pickup, and my brother started it up and we drove out to the farm.

We talked. I had seen him dancing one time, but he had mostly been hanging round with his friends. After all he was only 14 years old. He liked the girls, but just didn't have the nerve yet to dance with them.

My brother asked me if I had a good time and I had fun and did I dance with anyone. I told him I had danced a lot and it was fun. He glanced over at me, as he shifted the gears in the pickup, and started past Schneiders Cafe on the road and headed west across the River, to home, smiling knowingly.

He asked, Oh Yeah? Who did you dance with?

None of your business! I said, smiling, tossing my hair, my curls gone and my hair stringy and damp and drooping down on my neck. But I didn't care. It was all worth it. I had had a good time at the dance. I wondered who was going to play at Herman Sons Hall next week. I was sure Daddy would let us go. For tonight I was happy! It looked like it might rain, and maybe it would be cooler next week!


© Lois Zook Wauson
"They shoe horses, don't they?" March 11, 2010 Guest Column

Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share history/stories and vintage/or recent photos of Texas dance halls, please contact us.

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