Peters-Hacienda Community Hall
Sealy, TX 77474 United States
Peters Hall at Trenckmann and Peters San Felipe Roads is an old octagonal dance hall.
The Peters-Hacienda Community Hall is located in Peters, between Bellville and Sealy, a German community named for local resident Albert Peters. In 1883 a post office was established and the community had stores, cotton gins, a church, a hospital, and two schools. These structures unfortunately no longer exist and the post office was closed in the mid-1940s.
The Peters–Hacienda Schuetzenverein (Shooting Club) organized in 1897 as a traditional sportsman’s club, initially built a simple dance platform in 1898–99 in the Huff family pasture, north of Highway 36 and near present Farm Road 331.
In 1900, on a plot of land donated by the Seigart family at the corner of Peters–San Felipe and Trenckmann roads, members of the organization built this eight-sided wood frame dance hall. It was designed by Joachim Hintz using a modified design of the Bellville Turnverein, with a center pole to support the shingled hip roof, a spacious floor for dancing, and a cupola to provide ventilation and air circulation in the crowded hall. Glass-paned windows let in light and air, and benches along the walls provided a place to rest or to watch the dancing.
Although Peters Hall was built for shooting competitions, dancing eventually became its main use. Dancing was an important social event for German residents, and often entire families would attend. In the early 1900s, ladies used swatches of their new calico dresses as tickets. At these early dances only men paid admission, but later both dancers and spectators were charged.
Dances soon became a regular event held at the hall on the second Saturday of each month, including a masquerade dance at which prizes were awarded in such categories as most beautiful, most comical, and best couple. Also popular were the Christmas dances in which Santa would make an appearance, and New Year’s Eve dances.
Since its original construction, many changes have been made to the hall. In 1910 a stage with a roll-up curtain was built. Before this, bands had performed around the center pole. After the stage was constructed, the center pole was boxed in. In 1940 Houston Lighting and Power brought electricity to the area making it possible to use an electric pump to provide water for inside restrooms. In 1958 a bar was built onto the hall, and in 1965 a butane system for heating was installed. In 1975 a kitchen was added, including a stove, refrigerator and water heater. In 1977 three bays of the hall were enlarged by eighteen feet to provide space for tables and chairs, leaving the original dance floor open.
The hall’s name was changed to Austin County Gun Club in 1943, and again renamed Peters–Hacienda Community Hall in 1995.
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