Happenstance. As an avid day tripper, it's something I know well and each time it happens, I'm grateful the universe seems to be on my team. A few weeks back on an adventure out to see the poppy fields out at Wildseed Farms near Fredericksburg, my friend Nicole and I were on our way back to Austin when we spotted a state highway sign pointing right to Albert Dance Hall. I'm not sure if I've ever written about it here on the blog, but I have a major affinity toward Texas dance halls. They've always struck me as something special. Their simple design with many built to mediate that insane Texas heat. Seriously, on the hottest of days, if you walk into an old Texas dance hall with the doors and windows all open, you'll know what I mean! It really is the most refreshing thing with the air blowing through just right and offering a cool relief (well, a little at least!)
We just so happened to roll up on Friday night right around 5 PM with a handful of folks already sitting out at the picnic tables sipping on beer from the joining ice house. The dance hall itself was open and empty so of course we had to explore it and snap a few photos.
I didn't realize it at the time but after getting home and doing a bit of research, I found that Albert, Texas had actually been sold on eBay in 2007. What!? So crazy. I had no idea one could purchase entire towns online but apparently it's possible. Albert is one in just a handful of small towns that have gone up for auction online that I know of. Although the ice house and burger joint are new buildings, the dance hall itself was built in 1922 by Max Beckman.
How to Get There from Austin
- Take US 290 West through Oak Hill
- Continue on US 290 West through Dripping Springs, Texas until it merges with US 281 North toward Johnson City
- Merge onto US 290 West in Johnson City. You'll see the Hill Country Cupboard restaurant at light on the right.
- Go about 15 miles to Stonewall and take a left onto RR 1623
- Go about 5.5 miles and you'll spot Albert on the left!
What to See Nearby
- The wildflower fields if they're in season at Wildseed Farms
- The grounds and Texas White House at the LBJ Ranch
Where to Eat Along the Way
All Photos by Nicole Mlakar
DV Field Trips is a mini series featuring the places I explore around Texas, both as part of the DV vintage hunt and for my own personal pleasure. While I'm hoping it'll be a place where folks can get inspired to get out and explore this great state, it's mostly just an outlet for me to share my passion for history, travel and small town Texas. Follow along here or if you're on Instagram travel with us by searching #DVFieldTrip. Is there a place in Texas you love or would like to know more about? Send us an email - we're always looking for places to explore! In the meantime, enjoy!