CHERRY SPRINGS DANCE HALL
CHERRY SPRINGS DANCE HALL. Located at 17662 North U.S. Highway 87 in Cherry Spring, Texas, approximately sixteen miles northwest of Fredericksburg, Cherry Springs Dance Hall was established in 1889 by Herman Lehmann, the adopted son of the Comanche chief Quanah Parker. German settlers from Fredericksburg had founded Cherry Spring by the early 1850s, and the town soon achieved “moderate prosperity as a commercial center” located on the main route between San Antonio and El Paso.
Lehmann originally opened the hall as a rest stop for cowboys passing through Cherry Spring as part of the long cattle drives heading north to Oklahoma and Kansas. By the mid-twentieth century the hall had become a popular music venue which hosted some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Buck Owens, Ernest Tubb, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Asleep at the Wheel, and numerous others. On October 9, 1955, the Louisiana Hayride tour performed at the hall with a young, relatively-unknown singer named Elvis Presley whose name was incorrectly listed by hall owners as “Clovis” Presley.
The interior of Cherry Springs Dance Hall is decorated with custom-made cedar tables, wagon wheel chandeliers, and a hand-carved cypress bar. The hall is 11,000 square feet in size, including several rooms, a large stage, and a 1,400-square-foot wooden dance floor, along with an outdoor rodeo arena located behind the building.
Over the years Cherry Springs Dance Hall has had multiple owners and has suffered from a lack of consistent upkeep. Dance hall preservation groups, including Texas Historic Dance Halls, place the hall at the top of their lists as a priority property in need of restoration. Such organizations are hoping to draw greater public attention to the need for preserving Cherry Springs Dance Hall and other historic musical venues throughout Texas.
Geronimo Treviño III, Dance Halls and Last Calls: A History of Texas Country Music (Plano, Texas: Republic of Texas Press, 2002). Honky Tonk Texas, USA, “Dance Hall Directory” (http://www.honkytonktx.com/dancehalls/), accessed May 20, 2008.