Dance halls dotted each community in Gillespie

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Even though this week’s Standard-Radio Post carries a dateline of Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, the newspaper was published on Monday, Dec. 30 so that most of our readers would receive their newspapers before the new year begins, rather than after the holiday.

And since it comes out on the “eve” of New Year’s Eve, readers this week will notice that there are any number of New Year’s Eve dances scheduled across the county at which revelers can say goodbye to the old year and welcome the new.

Even though the number of dance halls has dwindled over the years, there was a time when virtually every community in the county had a dance hall.

This was before the time of rapid transportation, so the residents did not have far to travel to find entertainment.

One of the earlier and most fashionable dance halls in Fredericksburg was the Nimitz Hotel Ballroom where the Casino Club, a social club of the late-1800s and early-1900s, held their dances, including a Sylvester Ball on New Year’s Eve.

Other halls in town included Peter’s Opera House and Dance Hall, which stood at the corner of West Main and North Orange streets at the location of Guaranty Bank. The first part was constructed in 1870 and added on to and modernized in later years. Peter’s was razed in 1960 to make way for Fredericksburg Savings and Loan.

Klaerner’s Hall stood behind Klaerner’s Confectionery at the corner of East Main and North Llano streets, about where Chase Bank’s drive-in facility is now located.

Across town was Seipp’s Hall that formerly stood at the present location of Pat’s Hall.

Seipp’s burned down during one of Fredericksburg’s most disastrous fires that occurred on Christmas Eve, 1947, when four people lost their lives.

 The old Hermann Sons Hall, at the corner of West Austin and North Crockett streets, was also a popular location. And, the Hermann Sons Bowling Alley was located in the same building.

An “old-timer” that is probably one of, if not the oldest dance hall in town is the Fredericksburg Social Turn Verein, better known as the Turner Hall, on West Travis Street, across the street from the Fredericksburg Middle School. 

For more on this story, read this week’s print and online editions of the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post. If you are a print subscriber, your full online subscription is free. All you need to do is call 830-997-2155 to get a password. If you are not a subscriber, call 997-2155 or click on the ‘Subscribe’ button on the left side of the home page and sign up today!

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