Shelby Harmonie Verein Hall: Visited August 15, 2020

Shelby Harmonie Verein Hall can be found at 509 FM 389, Fayetteville.

Continuing our distanced dance hall tour, we visited Shelby Harmonie Hall. This massive building hides the inside dance hall in lots of metal siding and metal roof material. A huge covered concrete pad outside the main door let us imagine all the extra space for dancing and socializing. A notice on the door referring to wearing a mask let us know the hall is still active during the COVID-19 pandemic.

German halls had a focus, whether it was bowling, gymnastics, shooting, agriculture, or singing. Harmonie halls were created for socializing and singing. Some halls still have annual recitals.

Our tour guide, Erik McCowan, told us the organization came together about 1875, with the building being erected around 1884. He pointed out the structural changes we could see in the roof line.

As we walked around the building, we found the barbeque pit. Erik told us the burn spot in the ground was where the coals were started, then shoveled into the pits. Generally, the younger members had this job. Older members would do the cooking.

It was disappointing to not see inside. There was one window where the curtain as slightly ajar. I pressed my phone against the window and was rewarded with a photo of the kitchen. Not the view of a dance floor I was hoping to take!

The members usually have a big New Years Eve dance that is open to the public. We may see how the pandemic progresses. It may be on our short list for the New Year.

Pulling information from the website, in normal times, they require tickets for all public dances for anyone over the age of 12. Payment is in cash only. Be prepared to show your ID. You are allowed to bring your own snacks, but keep the crock pots or warmers at home. They do have a kitchen that is open during public dances. Beer, wine coolers and soft drinks are available for purchase. Liquor is allowed to be brought in, but you must purchase ice and set-ups.

Children are welcome, as we’ve found at most of the old dance halls. Shelby Hall asks parents to monitor their kids and allow them to run and slide only during intermission. They must remain off the dance floor at all other times unless they are dancing with a parent or family member.

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