In June, an act of arson destroyed Fredericksburg's Turner Hall, one of the Texas Hill Country's treasured dancehalls. In the months after the fire, the Board of Director's of Turner Hall deliberated to determine if they should rebuild. They are ready to begin the process, but they need your help to raise some funds for the rebuilding efforts. On Sunday, (Sept. 25) they will host a party at the Marktplatz in downtown Fredericksburg, Texas to raise money for the construction.
Built in 1871, the hall served as an important community center in Fredericksburg for more than a century. Countless regional bands, weddings and parties were held at the venue over the years.
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"We want to rebuild," Duane Durst, club president, told the San Antonio-Express News as he watched firefighters sift through the rubble back in June. "If we rebuild, we'll never be able to rebuild it to what it was. The history's gone."
Fortunately, not all of the hall's history has been lost forever. Durst told Wide Open Country that salvage crews managed to retrieve a few remnants. He says they will use salvaged wood from the old dance floor as a centerpiece in the new dancefloor. Turner Hall also had a bowling alley, and they plan to use what's left of that to build the new bar. Durst says the Board of Directors is currently working on the blueprints for the new structure, which aim to preserve the spirit and design of the old building.
All said and done, they need to raise $1.2-$1.5 million to rebuild the hall. Most of that will come through insurance. At the upcoming benefit on Sunday, they hope to raise between $20,000-$30,000 to reach that goal. If they get the money they need through insurance and the fundraiser, the soonest they could start building would be the beginning of January.
The benefit eventwill include live music by John Arthur Martinez, Sammy Geistweidt and Wagon Aces, Ben Beckendorf, Mike Blakely, Bill Smallwood Band, Crystal Peak and Koncrete Kings.
Don't forget to bring your lawn chairs, folks!