History program to recall Fort Bend dance halls

Workers erect the Fairchilds Dance Hall in 1912. Dance halls are the topic of an upcoming presentation by the Fort Bend County Historical Commission

Those historic Fort Bend County dance halls were for more than just dancing.

Czech and German immigrants settled on the fertile plains of the county in the late 19th century, and they built some of the area’s largest, best-known and longest-lasting dance halls. These landmark structures were used for civic, cultural and communal purposes. But they stood for much more.

“Behind the halls that housed generations of welcome memories,” noted Jay Roussel, “is the story of the associations and technologies that allowed these immigrants to thrive in areas that required significant resiliency and ingenuity.”

Roussel and co-presenter Bradley Stavinoha will share their ongoing research into these vibrant areas of the county at the Tuesday, Feb. 18 full membership meeting of the Fort Bend County Historical Commission.

The meeting, which is free and open to the public, takes place in the Gus George Law Enforcement Academy, 1521 Eugene Heimann Circle in Richmond, beginning at 3 p.m. The presenters are county historical commissioners as well as historians for the Needville Preservation Project.

In addition to this program, Fulshear area resident Linda Wooten will be honored as the 2019 FBCHC Commissioner of the Year at the meeting.

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