A Hill Country Venue & Its History
This Hill Country Venue is part of a pristine 2200-acre tract of land in the heart of the Texas Hill Country with 1½ miles of the crystal-clear waters of the Blanco River slicing through the north side of the property. Bought in 1984 by Suzanne and Charles McCord of Houston, Wimberley was a second home in those days, but Suzanne envisioned much more for the future of this spectacular acreage. Old Glory Ranch was blessed with this patriotic name in traditional McCord family spirit, referring to the ominous 25-by-38-foot American flag that graces the majestic skies over the ranch and can be seen for miles around while approaching the quaint little village of Wimberley.
Creating the concept for Chapel Hall
The ranch has undergone an amazing transformation with an exciting construction project of a premier event facility, Chapel Hall. Construction of this incredibly versatile new space began in July 1999 and was completed in September 2000. After operating for three years with a fun outdoor pavilion, the need became evident for indoor space with air conditioning and heat to protect the guests from inclement weather and make the business more functional during all seasons. The fantasies of Suzanne McCord, Old Glory Ranch owner, with the support of her life-long friend, Laura Weems, Laura Weems Interiors, began to emerge as a possible reality. The concept being explored was to buy and move an old country chapel to the ranch and convert it into a meeting hall, dance hall, restaurant, wedding chapel, or whatever the client envisioned for their particular event, whether it is a formal, casual, or a business affair.
Stately design built into a new structure
As the difficulties of moving an old building surfaced, the two women began to consider the possibilities of building a new structure to look as if it were an old building moved to the Old Glory location. After collecting architectural artifacts, stained-glass windows, light fixtures and more from old churches, and salvaging old wood from some turn-of-the-century buildings, the design work began. With the architectural application of their design being provided by Sam Bebeau, a Dallas architect, and continual architectural contributions and construction expertise being spearheaded by Ron Balderach, Balderach & Company of Austin, the women’s vision came to fruition.
Amazing features of the facility
This versatile facility contains a well-equipped commercial-grade kitchen, walk-in cooler, break-out spaces for bride/groom dressing rooms, an office, two fireplaces, well-equipped bar facilities, a state-of-the-art audio/video system complete with stage lighting for small productions. It offers a hall that will seat 340 people for productions, meetings, or weddings, or accommodate in excess of 250 inside for a seated dinner and even more people for a dance event. All of these features adorning an already fabulous ranch setting with stately oaks, the Blanco River, and breathtaking views of the hills.
When asked about her goals for the business, Suzanne comments, “I am interested in maintaining the historic and scenic integrity of the countryside, and giving something back to the community that has given me so much peace and pleasure in my life. I want a first-class place that enhances the environment with the charm of simple relaxed country elegance … quality and respect for detailed authenticity are very important to me, without letting the dollar drive my aspirations for Old Glory. I feel quality often is equated with formality in this community and many times attention to excellence is skirted in the name of maintaining a casual country atmosphere. I seriously want to disprove this theory.”
Fulfilling its Purpose
When questioned about the meaningful purpose of such a facility, Suzanne remarked, “Chapel Hall definitely has the edifice of an old country church, but it is not a specifically religious place. Laura and I designed the ‘church’ not only to create alluring antiquity and captivating historic ambiance, but also to fulfill the needs of many different ethnic and professional groups of people. The two of us created the space in the light of spirituality, celebration, practical business needs, art, music, festivity, joy, and reflection of the past in this country … in simple words, for each individual experience, Chapel Hall will assume unique meaning for that person.”
The Grand Opening of this world-class facility was Sept. 9, 2000, with events kicking off the following week.. Suzanne proudly reflects, “We never dreamed the most beautiful setting in the Texas Hill Country could become even more magnificent as this magical Chapel Hall emerged in the middle of the prairie, which we have affectionately referred to as our ‘Field of Dreams.’”
Our wonderful staff at our Hill Country Venue
An extraordinarily capable and friendly staff at Old Glory Ranch is on board to welcome visitors and book meetings, events, weddings, or parties in the new millennium or just to be a part of this incredible dream as it continues to unfold.