March 16th we went on our second dance hall road trip organized by Erik McCowan. Our first stop was at Fischer Hall and Bowling Alley, going into the bowling alley first. The address if you want to visit is 115 Fischer Store Rd, Fischer, Texas. There was a lively game of 9 pin bowling going on. Several of the gentlemen stepped up to explain the game to us.
There are nine pins set in a triangle formation: eight white and one red in the center. The object is to knock down all the white, leaving the red pin to get 12 points in the frame. If you knock down all the pins, including the red, you get 9 points in the frame. The pins are not reset after each player. Your teammate bowls after you to see how many points that frame will get. There is an exception. The last bowler, whatever they score is the score for that frame, so if they only knock down one pin, that is the score on the frame.
This is a team sport. You pay $9 for three games, then draw a domino to determine your team, with six people per team. $9 pays for: $1 per game (you play 3), $5 for the setter and $1 in the pot. If you win, you’ll come away with about $4, minus the $2 per beer you purchase. Very affordable for an afternoon of fun! There are no automatic setters (note the teens behind the pins) and no automated scoring – it’s done on a blackboard.
This bowling alley is open to members Monday through Thursday from 9 to 7, open to the public on Fridays. We were told you don’t have to be German to play, “but it does help!”
We then walked next door to Fischer hall. It was decorated for a wedding planned that afternoon. This is a wedding venue, but they have music festivals several times a year. If you are interested in renting the hall, call the bowling alley next door (830-935-4800.) They are currently booked every weekend through May.
A little history I learned prior to the trip: It is still operated by descendants of the original family who built it (circa 1895.) The town continues the German pioneer pastimes with a handset nine-pin bowling alley. Several scenes from Willie Nelson’s movie “Honeysuckle Rose” were filmed on location here. The interior of the Hall is an architectural wonder with beautiful old hand hewn beams and rafters.
According to a post on Facebook, the building was made by a shipwright. Another internet search told me this was originally a one-room school house. We were told several scenes from Willie Nelson’s movie “Honeysuckle Rose” were filmed on location here. The interior of the hall has beautiful old hand-hewn beams and rafters.
For some more history on Fischer, the hall and surroundings, please read Lewis Smith’s short account here.
It was a great first stop on our tour. We loaded up the bus and headed off to Albert Dance Hall and Icehouse, which is featured earlier on this site. (July 7, 2018 Pig Pen and Albert Dance Hall.) After Albert, this tour stopped at Luckenbach (another previous feature made on July 7, 2018), then off to Sisterdale Dancehall and Opera House – a new one for us!