Details for Buckholts SPJST Lodge Hall (Atlas Number 5507015079)

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5507015079

Data

Marker Number 15079
Atlas Number 5507015079
Marker Title Buckholts SPJST Lodge Hall
Index Entry Buckholts SPJST Lodge Hall
Address 600 E. Hwy 36
City Buckholts
County Milam
UTM Zone
UTM Easting
UTM Northing
Subject Codes
Marker Year 2008
Designations Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
Marker Location 600 E. Hwy 36
Marker Size 27" x 42"
Marker Text In 1879, Central Texas Czechs organized Slovanska Podporujici Jednota Statu Texas (SPJST), a fraternal society that promoted social activities and insurance benefits for its members. SPJST members from Cameron, Marak and Buckholts established Lodge No. 15 in October 1907. The official name of the lodge was Svornost Jihu, which translates as "Southern Unity," although that name has been seldom used. Josep Slovacek and other members drew plans and built the first meeting hall, dedicated on this site on July 4, 1911 but destroyed by a 1915 storm. Temple architect Josef Tudlacka designed the next building, which theives set on fire in March 1936 to distract citizens while they attempted to rob the bank. Head Carpenters Aley Horstman and Jeff Reeder built the present building in the summer on 1936. The distinctive frame meeting and dance hall features an octagonal plan, hinged windows and central vent for air circulation, roof arches and hardwood floors. The site also includes barbecue pits dug into the ground. To nonmembers, the Buckholts SPJST Lodge Hall represents social functions. Dances, barbecues, receptions fundraisers, commercial entertainment and social clubs continue to this day. Live broadcasts by Taylor radio station KTAE in the 1950s made the hall and Buckholts known to a wider audience. Noted country, polka and western swing musicians including Jimmy Heap, Johnny Horton, Webb Pierce, Bob Wills and Vrazels' Polka Band have played this venue. The Vrazel family also managed the hall from 1957 to 1971. As a fraternal lodge, social center and dance hall, the site has been a Central Texas landmark for generations. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark-2008