Historic Designation of Village Hall & Other Structures
The Ozona Village Hall has provided the community focal point for meetings for well over a century. The Hall was built in 1900 and is currently owned and operated by the Ozona Village Improvement Society (OVIS).
The Board of County Commissioners established a historic preservation program in 2012 that functions both countywide and also for the unincorporated area. To administer this program the County Commission appointed a Historic Preservation Board. Among its responsibilities, that Board can recommend historic structures to be designated under County Ordinance by the County Commission. Such a designation for the hall has been discussed for several years by OVIS.
Therefore, at its June meeting, OVIS took action to make a proposal that the hall, based upon its heritage and its role in the community, be designated and recognized by the County as a historic structure.
That proposal was finalized at the August 24 OVIS meeting and has been submitted to the County Historic Preservation Board. That Board will then take this proposal up at their September 16th or October 21 meeting. A copy of the proposal can be found on the OVIS website.
As mentioned earlier, the Hall has been in the center of the community events in Ozona for over a century.
By the 1880s and 1890s, Ozona was a viable functioning community with an active fishing industry. In the late 1890s it became clear that there was a need for a meeting hall to house the various functions that were going on.
Therefore, the Ozona Village Ladies Improvement Society led by Susan Whitford organized the project to build the hall. Some property was provided on Bay Street which was in the middle of the community. The Society then conducted bake sales and other fundraisers, obtained donated building materials, commitments of volunteer labor and then proceeded to build the Hall.
The Hall was completed in 1900. It should be noted that the Society went through a formal incorporation with Articles of Incorporation that were filed in January 4 of 1900. This was necessary so that the Society could own and manage property such as the Hall.
The Hall has served many purposes over the years for Ozona. Not only was the Hall a place for people to meet, but it has housed many interesting functions. These included: official meetings, weekly dances, church services, plays and other performances, social gatherings, a meeting place for organizations, a library and a post office.
So, therefore, the hall is to be recognized not just because it was built over a century ago but also because of the events, the people, and the organizations have passed through it and contributed to Ozona during this period.