Steeped in tradition...
The Round Top Schützen Verein (shooting society) was formed in 1873 by the town's German heritage
inhabitants. It's purpose was stated as "the support and encouragement of innocent out-door sports,
such as bicycle riding, target and trap shooting, open air athletics, games, dancing, and others of a like character".
The 10.5 acre property on which the Rifle Association Hall is
located was purchased in 1881-1882. By 1912, construction was complete
on the dance hall, bandstand, outdoor kitchen and bar and the site was named
Schützen Park, or Sharpshooter's Park. It became the locale of many community events -
dances, holiday celebrations, shooting contests,
cook-offs etc. A sketch of the early Hall grounds shows the
original Hall as well as the area
where horses were tied, a bowling alley, a carousel, a saloon, ice cream
stand, and of course, outhouses.
The verein changed it's name to the Round Top Rifle Association in 1921, when it became incorporated with the state of Texas.
Over the years, the Rifle Hall was updated and modernized and the activities
hosted there evolved as well. Today the Hall is the scene of the
famous Round Top Fourth of July celebration, regular shooting contests, and
many dances and community parties.
We've recently been provided with
some pictures from a concert
at the Hall, put on by the Round Top Brass Band in the late 1970's. Our thanks to Gene Hackemack for
providing these memories!
100 years later...
The Round Top Rifle Hall turns 100 years old this year! It's been expanded and modernized
throughout the years. Click here if you'd like to see pictures of the Hall.
Historical documents and publications...
Although founded in 1873, the Round Top Rifle Association was officially chartered
with the state of Texas in 1921. Click on the image to the left to read the Charter.
Please note, the document is fairly large and may take several seconds to load.
June 30, 1963, the Houston Post published an article entitled "Round Top
Knows How To Celebrate Fourth". The article summarized the colorful
history of the Round Top area and recognized how the tiny incorporated city
(population 124 at the time) maintained its self-sufficiency and put on a
wonderful Fourth of July celebration each year for 112 years. On July
2, 1963, Senator Ralph Yarborough brought a motion to the Senate floor,
asking that the article be placed in the Congressional Record to recognize
Round Top and its long-running celebration. Click on the image to the left to
read the Congressional Record. You can also click here to see
the original article and its accompanying photos.
the 1970's, Mrs. Marjorie Williams, a teacher at La Grange High School, had
her students research and write articles about the history of Fayette
County. Miss Lois Krause wrote a wonderful article about the Round Top
Rifle Association. It's full of delightful details about activities at
the Rifle Hall in the early 1900's. Click on the image to the left to
read the article.