Weddings, birthday parties, reunions, dances, movie nights, and baby showers have all been held at the little community house located on the corner of Narcissus and Center Way. But it almost didn’t get built. In a Lake Jackson bond election on October 19, 1957, JASMINE HALL was approved by a narrow margin, 187 for, 153 against. Local officials did their best to persuade the nearly 9,000 residents to come out and vote FOR the bond election – as quoted in the October 17, 1957, Brazosport Facts, "...it is the moral obligation of every voting citizen of Lake Jackson to participate in this favorable decision.”
Construction of the 2,000 square foot facility began in 1957, at a cost of $25,000 and was built in the southeast corner of wooded Jasmine Park. Early descriptions of Jasmine Hall describe the exterior as having cream-colored hollow brick, turquoise wooden trim near the roofline, and an exposed steel structure on the outside which was painted maroon.
The inside of the building had a 30 by 60 foot room with an additional storage closet for tables and chairs and a 16 square foot kitchen. The kitchen cabinets were constructed of magnolia wood and were connected to the main room by a door and a pass-through with a large, wooden folding door. White Formica flecked with gold specks covered all the countertops. Blue heavy plastic plates and flatware to serve 80, along with serving utensils, were all provided.
There were also two storage rooms: one for table and chairs which were provided and one for organizations who met there on a regular basis to store their items. The 100 chairs which were supplied had blue metallic frames and wooden seats, and the 8 matching 8-foot long tables had wood-grain plastic- coated tops.
Jasmine Hall was dedicated during an Open House family affair on Sunday, September 26, 1958, from 3-7 p.m. Citizens were told to wear sports shirt attire, and that cookies would be provided by Mrs. J.E. Walston. I pause to contemplate how many cookies this lady needed to make for such an event. Let’s hope she recruited some help.
For the remainder of 1958, Jasmine Hall had some type of booking on nearly every day. According to the Brazosport Facts, “Reservations are taken at Lake Jackson City Hall. The present policy is no charge for use of the facility, and each group who uses the building is expected to have it ready for the next group who uses it.”
Over the next few years, Jasmine Hall was utilized for every type of event, and in the summers, there were teen dances and movie nights held on Friday nights. In 1961, the tennis courts were completed.
Adjacent to Jasmine Hall was Jasmine Park, which had lots of playground equipment, none of which you will see today due to safety concerns! These included seesaws, jungle gyms, and a merry-go-round. But, in my view, the most interesting and memorable “toy” at Jasmine Park was the U.S. Air Force jet which we could climb on and make up all kinds of stories! The jet was located in the park during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.
Jasmine Hall has gone through some updates and renovations through the years, but it remains a beautiful, quaint, neighborhood-located community house, which is still hosting weddings, baby showers, and birthday parties!
by Frances Hammond