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TIN HALL DANCE HALL
TIN HALL DANCE HALL. Located twenty miles northwest of Houston off U.S. Highway 290 at 14800 Huffmeister Road in Cypress, Texas, the Tin Hall Dance Hall is Harris County’s oldest honky-tonk. Except for a brief period between 1986 and 1990 during which time the hall underwent a temporary change of ownership, the facility has been hosting public events since 1889. Fred Stockton, a great-grandson of one of the area’s founding families, owned the establishment into 2014.
The original building was constructed in 1878 in the town of Cypress. Soon after being completed, it was destroyed by a fire that was thought to have resulted from an unattended pot-bellied stove. A new building was constructed in 1890 out of corrugated tin with the financial support of the Cypress Gun and Rifle Club. In the 1890s the hall also was used as a gathering place for local dairy farmers. A second story and 4,400-square-foot dance floor were added in the 1920s, and by 2007 the total size was 24,000-square feet with a capacity of 1,200 people. Not only did the hall house a still during Prohibition in the 1920s but it also withstood the great hurricane of 1900 and in fact still served as a designated hurricane shelter for Harris County in the early twenty-first century. At that time the Gun and Rifle Club still owned the building and leased it out as a dance hall.
Throughout its history the hall has featured a number of musicians, including Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Clyde Brewer, Pappy Selph, Bob Dunn, Asleep at the Wheel, Ray Price, Hank Thompson, Gene Watson, Don Williams, Earl Thomas Conley, Johnny Rodriquez, Hank Williams III, Pat Green, the Bellamy Brothers, Johnny Lee, David Allan Coe, B. J. Thomas, Ronnie Milsap, Percy Sledge, Roy Clark, Doug Kershaw, and Bobby Bare.
In the 2010s the Tin Hall hosted weddings, receptions, reunions, and other private functions. The facility offered a number of amenities including catering, live music, a laser light show, horse-drawn carriage rides, photography, and even a mechanical bull ride, and was open to the general public a number of times throughout the year, including New Year’s Eve. Mark Martinez purchased the hall in 2014. In 2016 ownership of the hall reverted back to previous owner Fred Stockton, along with his business partner Joe Duong, who planned to move the structure (or parts of the structure) to a new location in Cypress. Tentative plans included repurposing the building into a restaurant, but the days of Tin Hall as a dance hall were over.
Fred Stockton, Interview by Tamara King, September 24, 2006. Tin Hall (www.tinhall.com), accessed August 29, 2015. Geronimo Treviño III, Dance Halls and Last Calls: A History of Texas Country Music (Plano: Republic of Texas Press, 2002).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Tamara King, "TIN HALL DANCE HALL," accessed August 14, 2018, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/xdt04.
Uploaded on March 20, 2015. Modified on January 25, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.