July 7, 2018: Albert Dance House & Pig Pen Saloon

July 7, 2018

Albert, TX is a ghost town near Fredericksburg. It had a population of seven in 2015. With two businesses – Pig Pen Saloon and Albert Dance Hall – 1535 S RR 1623, Albert-Stonewall, TX (Gillespie County) it’s easy to miss. But if you are in the area – don’t.  The food truck attached to the Pig Pen Saloon has some of the best pulled pork sandwiches. We should have shared one they were so large.  As out of the way it felt to us, it’s on a fairly well traveled road and there were a few regulars enjoying a cold beer when we walked in. If you need a phone number it’s 830-644-2042.

Albert, TX built a new school building in 1900 which the young LBJ would attend. The dance hall was built in 1922. The entire town was purchased by the Easley family in 2009. The “town” was named after Albert Luckenback in 1892. 

The Albert Dance Hall was build in 1922 by Max Beckman, featured German brass bands rotating between Luckenbach, Hye and Weinheimer Dance Halls, and provided the community a place for Saturday night dances and social gatherings. The Pig Pen Saloon hosts musicians on the patio under the big oak.

There are large trees surrounding the saloon. We arrived just before a short rain burst, so we ate inside rather than on one of the many picnic tables on the patio and scattered around the grounds.  A concrete restroom was at the end of the sidewalk and was surprisingly clean and well stocked.  The saloon had a very tiny raised stage for a band – if the band consisted of a guitar player and MAYBE a singer. Music was playing from the satellite so we spun around a few times in front of the bar. The windows, like many of the old dance halls we’ve seen are wooden slats that are pushed outward and held in place with a piece of wood.

20180707 Pig Pen next to Albert Hall

The bartender was very friendly and when I asked if there was any way we could look inside Albert Ice House, she grabbed the keys and walked us over. I expected her to open the small door and let us look inside, but she surprised me by walking through and opening the big garage type door at the end of the dance floor. She smiled and told us to take our time.

We found some music on the iPhone and danced without worrying about floor traffic!

Albert Ice House has dances in the middle of the week and some weekends. We weren’t there on a date a band was scheduled, but would like to return. The floor was smooth, well maintained and I loved the lights in the rafters.

After lunch and a dance (or two) we headed off to Luckenbach.

We visited this hall again on a dance hall road trip in March, 2019. Here are some photos taken during that trip.

Maybe our next visit will have a live band!

We visited again with the Dance Hall Road Trip group March 2019. The day after we were here I saw a post that the dance hall was for sale! I hope any new owner keeps it available for dancing!

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