The Austin Chronicle

Day Trips: Twin Sisters Dance Hall

The oldest dance hall in Texas?

By Gerald E. McLeod, January 9, 2015, Columns

Twin Sisters Dance Hall, outside of Blanco, could be the oldest dance hall in Texas, depending on how you make the assessment. Considering it was built eight years before Gruene Hall, which claims the title of oldest, Twin Sisters ought to at least be an asterisk on the bragging rights chart.

Hidden in the woods off U.S. 281, six miles south of Blanco, the barn of a building is just what you expect of a 145-year-old dance hall. The outside walls are gray tin pressed in the pattern of stone blocks.

Inside, tiny white lights illuminate the well-buffed dance floor that was new in 1911. Projecting from either side of the dance floor are long tables filled with regulars who bring snacks to go with the cold adult beverages from the bar. Nobody sits in the metal folding much.

The problem with Twin Sisters' claim to oldest dance hall is that it was originally a community center for the first colony of German settlers to Blanco County. On Saturday night it hosted dances, and Sunday mornings the preacher took the stage. Unlike Gruene Hall, Twin Sisters Hall discontinued operation for a time when the cowboys got too rowdy.

Twin Sisters Dance Hall, 6720 U.S. 281, is run by a nonprofit organization that holds dances on the first Saturday of the month. For information, call 830/833-5773 or go to For information about Texas historic dance halls, go to

1,224th in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 33284, South Austin, TX 78704.

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