I Hope You Dance!

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Kendalia Halle

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By John Hallowell

An old west tradition lives on in the small community of Kendalia

Kendalia has never been a big town. Named (as was Kendall County) for George Wilkins Kendall, the famous war correspondent and founder of the New Orleans Picayune, who pioneered sheep ranching here in the late 1840s, Kendalia was founded in 1883 as a center for ranching families about twenty-five miles northeast from Boerne.

The good folks of Kendalia have always been an energetic, fun-loving lot, and it was early on in their history that Kendalia Halle was erected for their entertainment and social pleasure.

At the turn of the last century, Mr. George Elbel donated the land and materials to make the hall a reality. Built of red fir lumber which was shipped from Oregon by train to Boerne, then hauled to Kendalia on horse-drawn wagons, the hall has helped to hold the small town together for more than one hundred years.

Kendalia Halle

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The hall was purchased in 1996 by Lee and Judi Temple, who have made some major renovations during the last several years. Lee Temple even worked with contractor Frank Hallisey to design a method to straighten the hall, which was leaning about 12 inches to the west.

To accomplish this feat, Hallisey used a series of pulleys and cables. Additionally, he reinforced the building’s foundation with steel and concrete. Recently, he paneled and strengthened the interior of the entire hall with beautiful pine. The final touch was done by Metal Roof Restoration, a company owned by Temple and Hallisey, which restored the existing metal roof, sealing hundreds of leaks.

The hall has hosted many great musicians in its time, and country music star Geronimo Trevino recorded his “Live from Kendalia Halle” album here in 1997. In addition to dances, the Temples make it available for weddings, parties, receptions, family reunions etc. Says Judi, “It’s a real privilege to ensure that future generations will enjoy the dance hall as past generations did before them.”

If you like the “old west” atmosphere, this is a great place for your next gathering.

Kendalia Halle