Hye Hall, at 10260 US 290, Hye, is a wonderfully restored dance hall. It was established in the early 1900’s by Hiram “Hye” Brown, thus the name. The hall was used for dances, bbq’s, school plays and political rallies. He ran it until the 1920’s then the Deike Family took over. According to a flyer at the hall, the dance hall faded in the 1950’s and eventually shut its doors. It sat empty for about 60 years before reopening in 1990.
We took a short trip out to visit during one of their market days. TX FAB Farm Ale Brewing Co. was holding their grand opening that day. We purchased cookies from Round Cookie Co and looked at the hand made wreaths and fabulous copper wall hangings from the vendors which were set up just inside the front of the hall.
Our main objective though, was to dance. We were not disappointed with the band TRACE OF GOLD. Greg and Lisa are wonderful singers/ players.
Oliver and Mary Deike worked hard to restore the hall. With funding from Texas Dance Hall Preservation Fund, it took them two years to replace and repair flooring, fix windows and the stage, add a front walk and wall to divert water from the highway away from their walls, add steps and adjust the grade on the side of the building. If you want to see photos of before and during work, click here.
The building has a lot of character. Sitting right on Hwy 290 with the old post office directly across the street, Hye Hall has a great dance floor.
The outside of the building is pressed tin and stone. Windows prop open to allow for great ventilation. There are a few steps down into the front door, with a short stone wall surrounding the front walk area.
Raised sitting areas on either side of the dance floor have tall bar stools and wide counters for drinks and food. The front part of the hall was set up with tables and chairs, but still left a reasonable area to dance. There’s a bar at the front of the hall where they were dispensing Farm Ale beer.
The band performed on a raised stage with open windows to their back for ventilation. There is another raised platform area at the front of the hall. Several rocking chairs were set up there and were being enjoyed by patrons.
The ceiling rafters are visible and have small circulating fans to help with air flow. Off either side of the hall are doors to a small platform porch and stairs leading down to the side of the building or parking area, depending on which side you exit.
The bathroom is next to the stage. There is also one porta-potty outside. An old outhouse (unused) sits outside at the edge of the shaded parking area.
Though it was a humid 90 degrees outside, with the windows open and fans going, we didn’t get as warm as we feared while dancing. People were very friendly. The beer was good and so were the cookies (we ate them later at home.) The market across the street had yummy smelling bbq and very friendly staff.
I introduced myself to the new owner, Jason Cook, who purchased the dance hall from the Deikes. He’s excited to have the hall open. He plans to have a monthly dance as soon as he can get a proper bathroom and parking to accommodate the crowds. I found out he also owns the Post Office building and market across the street. He didn’t have much time to talk and referred me to Callisto for details.
Callisto Griffith was charming. She filled me in on a few bits of history in between her duties calling out winners for the raffle drawings and handing out goody bags at the front door. We plan to sit down soon and get more details and history on the hall and the renovation. I’ll edit them in here when that occurs so check back later for more details!
We recommend dancing here. Check their Facebook page for upcoming market days and dance events. While you’re there say Hello to Jason and Callisto for us!