Senglemann Hall at 531 North Main St, Schulenburg, closed in the 1940’s around the start of WWII. Before it closed, it housed a Western Auto downstairs, and the dance floor upstairs was storage for several decades. Highway construction bypassed the town and the business closed. Dana and Hana Harper bought the building in 2007. The hall reopened in 2009. Momma’s is the restaurant below the dance hall.
For some history, check http://sengelmannhall.com/join-the-texas-dance-hall-tradition
During the extensive renovations, they found a lot of the hall’s original architectural features still intact. When paint was removed, the original stenciling on the walls was exposed. You can see it next to the original woodwork.
The plank flooring, carved marble pillars and pressed tin ceilings downstairs in Momma’s restaurant are all original.
Upstairs they added a balcony where the original used to be, overlooking Main Street. It’s available for smoking.
The original chicken wire caged bar is still in use.
The dance floor upstairs retained the original 117-year-old, long-leaf pine dance floor.
The mahogany bar downstairs was recreated from old photos.
That’s not all – it’s reported to be haunted! Floorboards creak and voices are heard upstairs when no one is there. We didn’t experience any sightings.
If you are hungry, Momman’s restaurant is downstairs. They offer handmade pizza, burgers and Texas cuisine. They open at 11:00 Friday through Sunday and 5:00 Wednesday and Thursday. Restaurant closes at 9:00 p.m. The burgers and sweet potato fries were delicious! If you aren’t eating, you can enter the dance floor from the bier garten or the elevator inside.
Dances are held every Wednesday, with public dances occasionally. We managed to find a dance on a Saturday evening. Jake Penrod and his band were playing. We heard them previously at Anhalt Hall on our March dance hall road trip.
The people were friendly, the floor was wonderful and we loved the restoration work on the building. Though it’s an old building, the Harpers put in air conditioning (nice!) and modern plumbing. The locals we spoke to all remembered being taken to dances when they were little. Jeanette, a mother we met, came with her young daughter, who loved dancing, and her mother, who enjoyed the music. Several older couples sat near us and were on the floor on almost every waltz and some of the swing and two step songs!
When you go, take time to look at the decor: from the rock bull (for sale at $6,000), the spiral wood staircase, the cigarette and candy machines, and the paintings on the wall and let me know what was your favorite item. Don’t forget to dance!