Discovering Freyburg Hall: The Newest Old Dance Hall in Texas


(Freyburg Hall is located at 5701 Freyburg Hall Rd, Schulenburg, TX 78956. It is currently only open during events on the calendar.)

There’s arguably nothing more Texan than spending a Saturday evening at a historic Texas dance hall. These pillars of rural communities have been used over the years for weddings, local gatherings, music performances and dances—and in a pinch, schools, churches, and even court rooms. They are an integral part of Texas life.

Even folks well outside of Texas have probably heard of the legendary Gruene Hall outside of New Bruanfels, or perhaps The Broke Spoke in Austin that endures despite encroaching condo developments. Photos of both of these historic haunts have made their way onto the album covers of George Strait records, and have helped foster country music in Texas for decades. And of course, Luckenbach, TX and its dance hall is so famous, it made it into a Waylon Jennings song.

But if you go poking around rural Texas, you can find scores of lesser-known local halls dotting the map, some that are still in operation, some that are slowly melting into the countryside, and others that are somewhere in between.

Freyburg, TX is about 75 minutes from Austin, and about 90 minutes from both Houston and San Antonio. This makes it about the perfect spot for an afternoon destination that is just far enough to get away from it all, but not too far where it’s a tribulation to get there. In fact, the drive itself is a dream, winding through Texas backroads filled with groves of old growth live oak trees and picturesque homesteads.

Freyburg Hall was built by the Sons of Hermann in 1912—a mutual aid society for German immigrants established in the 1800s. Just like many rural communities in Texas, the town of Freyburg (pop. 69) was settled by Germans, and needed a communal gathering space. There is no “Freyburg” if you go looking for downtown. Freyburg Hall and the historic Methodist Church is pretty much it.

Back in the day and during different seasons of Freyburg Hall, it was said to have hosted some legendary names in music. The Pettit Family of nearby Schulenburg owned the Hall for many years, and it had gone from a public gathering space, to only being opened for private events, to partially abandoned. Those who love to discover old Texas dance halls might drive by Freyburg Hall, but there wasn’t much to experience.

But in late 2022, Cale Kobza, who grew up near the hall, along with brothers Chip and Colton Bubela from Schulenburg, purchased Freyburg Hall, partly as a business venture, and partly just to make their families proud. The General manager Elizabeth Fox says her grandparents were the ones who laid the wood floor down for the Hall. They have all set forth to preserve and renovate Freyburg Hall, and deciding from the beginning that if they were going to do it, they were going to do it big. That’s exactly what a visit to Freyburg Hall reveals.


There’s arguably nothing more Texan than spending a Saturday evening at a historic Texas dance hall. These pillars of rural communities have been used over the years for weddings, local gatherings, music performances and dances—and in a pinch, schools, churches, and even court rooms. They are an integral part of Texas life.

Even folks well outside of Texas have probably heard of the legendary Gruene Hall outside of New Bruanfels, or perhaps The Broke Spoke in Austin that endures despite encroaching condo developments. Photos of both of these historic haunts have made their way onto the album covers of George Strait records, and have helped foster country music in Texas for decades. And of course, Luckenbach, TX and its dance hall is so famous, it made it into a Waylon Jennings song.

But if you go poking around rural Texas, you can find scores of lesser-known local halls dotting the map, some that are still in operation, some that are slowly melting into the countryside, and others that are somewhere in between.

Freyburg, TX is about 75 minutes from Austin, and about 90 minutes from both Houston and San Antonio. This makes it about the perfect spot for an afternoon destination that is just far enough to get away from it all, but not too far where it’s a tribulation to get there. In fact, the drive itself is a dream, winding through Texas backroads filled with groves of old growth live oak trees and picturesque homesteads.

Freyburg Hall was built by the Sons of Hermann in 1912—a mutual aid society for German immigrants established in the 1800s. Just like many rural communities in Texas, the town of Freyburg (pop. 69) was settled by Germans, and needed a communal gathering space. There is no “Freyburg” if you go looking for downtown. Freyburg Hall and the historic Methodist Church is pretty much it.

Back in the day and during different seasons of Freyburg Hall, it was said to have hosted some legendary names in music. The Pettit Family of nearby Schulenburg owned the Hall for many years, and it had gone from a public gathering space, to only being opened for private events, to partially abandoned. Those who love to discover old Texas dance halls might drive by Freyburg Hall, but there wasn’t much to experience.

But in late 2022, Cale Kobza, who grew up near the hall, along with brothers Chip and Colton Bubela from Schulenburg, purchased Freyburg Hall, partly as a business venture, and partly just to make their families proud. The General manager Elizabeth Fox says her grandparents were the ones who laid the wood floor down for the Hall. They have all set forth to preserve and renovate Freyburg Hall, and deciding from the beginning that if they were going to do it, they were going to do it big. That’s exactly what a visit to Freyburg Hall reveals.


The bones of the building are all still original, including the dance floor and the removable shutter widows lining the sides, similar to many Texas dance halls. But Freyburg Hall has also added updated and spacious bathrooms with air conditioning, and an industrial kitchen that currently doubles as one of the multiple bars on the property. It’s the mix of historic preservation and creature comforts that make Freyburg Hall unique. It’s the newest old dance hall in Texas.


As beautiful and spacious as it is inside Freyburg Hall, the outside is just as enjoyable of a place to hang out. Co-owner Colton Bubela also happens to be an arborist, and has both cultivated and preserved the live oak trees on the property to make it the perfect setting for experiencing a little slice of Texas heaven.


One of the three bars on the property is set in the Freyburg Hall courtyard, fashioned out of a massive old tank. They’re in the process of constructing a big outdoor stage as well, and intend to use remnants of the original Freyburg Hall roof for skirting and such. Perhaps most importantly, the owners have preserved the iconic “Freyburg Hall, 1912” emblem that adorns the front of the hall.

Freyburg Hall had its official grand re-opening for an event called Maifest in 2023. Maifest gatherings had been held at the Hall for many years. 2024’s Maifest was held on May 4th, and featured the polka band The Czechaholics, Southbound 955 closing the event out, as well as performances from alumnus of the Songwriter Serenade competition that happens every May in nearby Schulenburg.

Previous Songwriter Serenade finalists Ali Holder and Katrina Cain from Austin, and Daniel Neihoff from Western Kentucky all performed in-the-round in the courtyard of Freyburg Hall. Then last year’s Songwriter Serenade winner, Caitlin Cannon, performed for an hour, supporting her recent EP, Beggar. The event was capped off by Texas songwriting legend Walt Wilkins, who is one of the regular judges of the Songwriting Serenade with Susan Gibson, Josh Grider, and in 2024, Phoebe Hunt.

Katrina Cain, Ali Holder, Daniel Neihoff
2023 Songwriter Serenade winner Caitlin Cannon

The 2024 songwriter Serenade happens Saturday, May 11th at the St. John Church Pavilion in Schulenburg (7026 FM 957) starting at 11:00 am. It is open to the public, and fans of good songwriting are encouraged to attend. It was established in 2007 to “provide performing songwriters a platform to showcase their skills before their peers, a panel of esteemed judges, and an enthusiastic crowd of music lovers.”

The town of Freyburg was founded in the 1860s by German immigrants from the Saxony-Anhalt region. They built the Methodist Church, a store, a blacksmith shop, and post office by 1886, but the post office was closed by 1907. If you drive in from Austin, you’ll pass through the tiny community of Swiss Alp that also has its own Hall that says it’s available for weddings and other events.

Freyburg Hall is currently only open for live events that appear on their calendar. There is also food provided by Toms BBQ. But the hope is that over time, they can build Freyburg Hall into a daily destination for those from the surrounding area, and those traveling through who want to experience a historic and authentic slice of Texas.

One of two outdoors bars of Freyburg Hall
Freyburg Hall stage
The “heart” of one of Freyberg Hall’s live oak trees
Co-chair of the Songwriter Serenade Tom McDaniel
Daniel Neihoff with Walt Wilkins
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