GRUENAU HALL. Gruenau Hall is located on Farm Road 108 in the German community of Gruenau in northwestern DeWitt County. In 1900 the community constructed the original Gruenau Hall for the Turnverein, or athletic club, and a Schuetzen Verein, or shooting club. Throughout its history, it has also been used for community dances, festivals, meetings, wedding receptions, family reunions, and other events.
To provide additional space for the growing community, the verein constructed a new hall in 1927. According to dance hall historian Geronimo Treviño III, materials for the new building were brought in by wagons from Yorktown, with all of the wood cut and fitted by hand, and “everyone marveled at the octagon shaped structure with intricate woodwork and the center pole that supported the roof and ceiling.”
The Babe Schindler Orchestra played the grand opening dance after construction was completed. On April 25, 1948, the Texas Top Hands played at the verein’s fiftieth anniversary celebration.
In 1965 the hall was expanded to provide more floor space, and it continued to serve the community in various capacities until January 2007. On the morning of January 17, 2007, Gruenau Hall burned to the ground. The fire also damaged the facility’s dining hall and barbecue area. Despite the devastating loss, the community members worked tirelessly to raise the funds to reconstruct the hall. Through their dedicated efforts, Gruenau Hall was reconstructed, and a new maple dance floor was installed. The grand reopening was held on September 25, 2010, for a crowd of more than 900 people.
“Fire Destroys Gruenau Hall Reduced to Smoldering Rubble,” FireFightingNews.com (http://www.firefightingnews.com/article-us.cfm?articleID=24449), accessed September 30, 2008. Gruenau Hall (http://www.dozerservices.com/wordpress/) accessed June 28, 2011. Geronimo Treviño III, Dance Halls and Last Calls: A History of Texas Country Music. (Plano, Texas: Republic of Texas Press, 2002).