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How it all started...

In the late 1800’s Bellville had two organizations that sponsored community-wide social activities. In 1883 the Social Club purchased this 14.7 acres of land from Herman Miller for the sum of $760 and had planned construction of a pavilion that didn’t materialize. In 1885 the Bellville Turnverein Gut Heil was formed by German immigrants – encouraging gymnastics (turnen) and athletics, a club (verein) for good health (gut heil). With the need for a place for community-wide social activities including physical exercise, dances, celebrations and meetings, they purchased the property in 1895 from the Social Club. In August of 1897, a contract was let to German immigrant carpenter Joachim Hintz of Milheim to build a social hall. The hall, which seated up to 400 for dances, was completed in October of 1897 at a cost of $2,500.

Joachim Hintz

A skilled carpenter who came to Austin County from Germany in 1855 at the age of 14, Joachim Hintz left an indelible mark on Austin County.

As architect & builder of three of the “dance halls” that are part of our historic culture, he conceived the unique 12 & 8-sided halls built around a central pole, his trademark. A tribute to the design & fine carpentry is the fact that they all are still in use today... each being over 100 years old.