History

Cherry Springs: One of the Most Historic Dance Halls in the World

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Cherry Springs Dance Hall wasn’t always named so, but a cherry by any other name would smell as sweet! Established in 1889 as a stop for cattle drives by Herman Lehmann (grandson of the most famous Indian captive in Texas) as the Cherry Spring Tavern, this building was also known as Klingelhoefer Hall in the 1930s and ’40s after owner Alfred Klingelhoefer. At one point, it was also named the Last Chance Tavern. Located on 17662 North U.S. Highway 87 between Fredericksburg and Mason, the farming community was part of the old Pinta Trail.

Cherry Springs: One of the Most Historic Dance Halls in the World

Facebook/Don Gray

What kept Cherry Springs Dance Hall on the map was the music! The Negro Swing Band rocked the house on Christmas Eve 1941, Marty Robbins played on September 16, 1953, King Perry and his Colored Recording Orchestra jazzed it up on January 17, 1954, Ernest Tubb and the Texas Troubadours played there twice in 1962, and George Jones came to crone on June 30, 1962. The walls were used to greats of the day, but one act was not yet famous when he played there. October 9, 1955, had an impressive lineup for the admission price of $1.50, which is about $14.36 in 2019 inflation rates. The line-up was Johnny Cash, Wanda Jackson, Johnny Horton, Porter Wagoner, and a three-man band featuring a young singer advertised as Clovis Presley. *hint* That wasn’t actually his first name!

Cherry Springs: One of the Most Historic Dance Halls in the World

Facebook/Frank McCook

The interior sported themes consistent with the Hill Country, including custom-made cedar tables, a hand-carved cypress bar, and an outdoor rodeo arena. Overall the hall is 11,000 square feet with a 1,400-square-foot wooden dance floor. Although cited by the State of Texas Music Office as “one of the most historic dance halls in the world,” this spot was mostly abandoned by 2015. It is not currently in operation, but the owner is working to restore it, along with support of several preservation groups within Texas. See if you can help by contacting Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc.