by Barbara J. Wood
BARKER HUEBINGER HOUSE
Rock house, dance halls make list of endangered historic places in Texas
BARKER - HUEBINGER HOUSE ... A Wilson County Texas homestead built in 1871 and Texas dance halls that once were important community centers throughout the state are among the 13 sites that Preservation Texas Inc. has named to its fifth annual list of Texas Most Endangered Historic Places.
The Barker-Huebinger Rock House was constructed in 1871 by Emory and Leah Barker on their 260-acre property north of Sutherland Springs in Wilson County. A red sandstone dwelling, an adjacent secondary building, and a hand-dug well are part of the original property located on F.M. 539, an early road that is currently being developed as a history trail. The rough-cut, sandstone walls of the main dwelling and adjacent building were laid in regular and irregular courses and the corners were detailed with quoins. The four-room main building with an enclosed dogtrot hall and three fireplaces served as the Barkers home until 1879. In 1916, the property was purchased by Rudolph Huebinger and has remained in the family owner
The buildings have been vacant for many years and have been subject to inappropriate repairs. The current owner is interested in restoring the buildings, but the cost of the project is overwhelming.
Several of the dance halls listed are in the San Antonio area, including the Bandera Cabaret Dance Hall in Bandera, Quihi Gun Club in Castroville, Anhalt Verin Hall in Anhalt, and Schroeder Dance Hall in Yorktown.
As Texas was settled, a dance hall was one of the first public buildings constructed in nearly every town and hamlet. Texas dance halls have served and continue to function as meeting spaces and the sites of social events. They contribute to the development of country and western and conjunto music. They preserve the cultural traditions of many ethnic groups who immigrated to Texas and settled here.
Preservation Texas Inc. is a statewide nonprofit organization that advocates for preserving the historic resources in Texas.
COURTESY/ Wilson County News February 2008