History

The following history is transcribed from Tributaries of the Blindman published 198? by ?, p. 7-11.

Building of Liberty Hall

The first hall board meeting was held May 6, 1922. Olof Mandseth moved that all who were interested in this venture sign their names for a committee. Names were as follows: Olof Mandseth, Abel Johnson, Adolf Abrahamsson, Alfred Lundquist, Carol Harness, Lawrence Hoff, Alf Jensen, P.H. Sjostrom, John Midtdal, W.W. Ferries, Olof Hellgren, Aurther Ellington, John Johnson, Oscar Hagen.

This structure was to be a temporary hall, 20 x 40 feet, built of shiplap, floor, single walls and roof.

It was decided the hall would be built on the A. Granberg farm, also that it would not be built for profit. It was to be called “Liberty Hall” as of May 20, 1922. Money was donated and collected in many ways to get this underway.

These enterprising people started June 5th, 1922, to build this structure.

The first dance, more or less under the stars, as there were no shingles on the roof, was held Friday, June 16th. It was a success until all were soaked with rain. The music was supplied by the Lundstroms and Sjostroms. Admission was seventy-five cents with lunch included.

November 15, 1922 saw a great turn-out to a box social and dance with Lundstrom, Sjostrom and Cadek supplying the music.

April 14, 1923, the first annual meeting was held; the new members were Adolf Abrahamsson as chairman, Elsie Granberg as treasurer and Helen Beverage as secretary.

This was the year of the first community picnic held June 27, 1923, with pot-luck dinner, races and lots of excitement for young and old alike.

Mr. Granberg was hired July 8, 1923 at one dollar plus entry fee to sweep floor and start fire at each dance held.

The Liberty Hall was turned over to the United Farmers Association, April 9, 1927. This was called “Sunrise Loca”. F. Burline as president, R. Mandseth was secretary-treasurer. The directors were: A. Nelson, V. Lindgren, Elsie Granberg, Hanna Lundstrom, and L. Hoff.

The following notation, taken from Sunrise Local minutes dated April 9, 1927:

This is to witness that we, the undersigned, duly elected Directors of the Liberty Hall Society of Springdale, and the directors of the Sunrise Local No. 83, or the U.F.A. have this day entered into the following agreement.

That from the ninth day of April, 1927, the Liberty Hall Society deliver into the hands of the Sunrise Local U.F.A. No. 83, all rights as to future management of the Liberty Hall, for such length of time as until the Sunrise Local may dissolve, and cease to exist as a Local of the U.F.A., and according to the constitution of the U.F.A. then in existence.

The Sunrise Local shall have full right, and only the right, to reconstruct and improve the hall at anytime, and anyway it finds fit. So long as such reconstruction and improvement is consistent with the best interests of the Hall as a Community Centre.

The Liberty Hall Society will give into the hands of the Sunrise Local on the same above mentioned date, all its books and accounts, also them for such length of time as they shall continue to have the management of the hall. That the Sunrise Local U.F.A. pledge itself to manage the Liberty Hall Society, and that they will not undertake at any time to move the hall off its present location.

The Sunrise Local held its first dance and picnic at the hall June 24, 1927.

They donated enough money to fence the hall grounds, and pay some outstanding bills. They also set up a fund for the hall with several people in charge.

March 31, 1928, many bills were paid off and some new items purchased: 2 gasoline lamps, 3 oil lamps, 3 dozen china cups and saucers, and paint. This was the month and year for fire insurance, also. The amount put on was one thousand dollars.

March 20, 1929 saw another annual meeting roll around. F. Burliness was chairman and K.E. Clyde was secretary-treasurer.

At the meeting of October 23, 1929, Mr. Granberg was to be paid thirty dollars in full for five acres of land, if he was willing to give a ninety-nine years lease for the land, on which the hall stood.

The great excitement for this year was the movies. Mr. Myers came a few times to show his pictures. Then Jake Heintz came, and as he had to crank the projector by hand, it was rather jerky. He came one night with a small motor on the back of his Model T Ford, backed it up to the door of the hall, left the hall door open and ran the projector with a belt. It sure got chilly at times.

The movie tapes being old, broke rather easily. Someone held a lamp so Mr. Heintz could repair them. At times before the splice was dry he would start them up, and lo and behold, another break. The admission was twenty-five cents for adults and children free.

The secretary-treasure was authorised on May 28, 1931 to withdraw thirty dollars from the account to put a down payment on an accordion for L. Brownlee. He was to play at the hall free of charge until this amount was paid back to the account. The hall was to be rented out at two dollars.

January 27, 1933, another annual meeting with new directors being O. Oberg, R. Mandseth, and I. Bernes.

Abel Johnson and O. Mandseth were contracted at fifty-five dollars to put a foundation under the hall. Plans were made to move the temporary stage and build a small elevated platform in the centre of the floor at the north end of the hall for the music to sit on.

Mr. S. Lundstrom got the contract November 23, 1935, to build a seven team barn for forty-give dollars. It was to be built of rough lumber bought from H. Carlson. March 21, 1935, the hall walls were sheeted up to the height of four feet inside.

In the year of 1939, a piano was purchased from E. Holland for the sum of one hundred dollars.

For a period of time, from 1940 till 1964, there seems to be very little in the way of records kept, but during this time, there was a little more construction on the old hall. Donations of money and lumber were obtained and the ceiling installed and the walls lined and insulated with shavings — making t quite a little more comfortable during the winter. Also there were many wedding dances, anniversaries, and showers, as well as picnics and the many social functions so necessary to the life of a community. There was also a porch built over the front door. There was also talk of putting in the power during the 50’s, but since this was before government grants were available, it was considered too expensive.

In the year 1964, the hall started to move again, with Betty Fenwick and Edith Brockhoff as board members. They got an eight hundred dollar grant to improve the Community Centre. Bake sales, bingos, and other money-making ventures were held to get on the way. Liberty Hall was once more in the swing and on the move.

July, 1965, a shingling bee was held, and new singles sprang up on the roof. The hall grounds were plowed, floated, and seeded to grass (some hay crop).

Tables and chairs were bought and the talk of power was going strong. Mr and Mrs. Pete Karlstrom donated a light plant to the hall in 1966, and this was to be sold and the money used for cups or a coffee maker.

The power was put in and being used to its extent.

In 1967, Rosemarie Naegeli made and painted exit signs for above the back doors. Mr. Wasser painted the sign which is on the front of the hall. New board officers were: Earl Ziegler and Elsie Loov, with four other people as members.

Paint and siding were bought and applied in 1968. Hugh McFadden and Gwen Boyce were the officers. A picnic and dance were held June 14, with Rodney Jensen supplying the music.

March, 1969, a gigantic Walk-A-Thon was held from Hoadley to the Co-op store in Rimbey. Nearly all the people of the district and many from outside took part. Those who could not walk sponsored others or drove pick-up cars. A substantial amount was collected from this venture. I think even though everyone was thanked at the time, it is only fitting to say it once again to the walkers, sponsors, drivers, instigators, and the music for the dance: Thank you one and all.

This money went for the addition of kitchen, storage room, stage and furnace in the hall.

New board officers for 1970 were Hugh McFadden and Lorna Smith with four others as members.

Building of the addition got into full swing with Hugh McFadden as slave driver.

Lumber, sand, gravel, cement and numerous other things were bought. The place looked like a bee hive at times. Ladies brought dinner and afternoon lunch so there was no excuse for anyone to leave. Every hand we could get was needed. It was nothing to see the ladies pounding nails, ripping off shingles, or hauling rocks.

This new addition was started June 9, forty-eight years and four days after the hall was put up as a temporary structure.

Painting of the siding on the low sections was done by the ladies. One day I’m sure it was ninety above in the shade. When we went home we looked like over-ripe tomatoes with blight (white paint spots). I’m sure no one had more fun that summer than we did. Everyone had paint where they should not have had it.

April, 1970, saw another annual meeting, officers being Bruce Boyce and Lorna Smith. The hall was worked on this year as well, improving all the time.

1970, there was another new venture tried: the February Fest. Many people came, supported and enjoyed this function. It consisted of supper, dancing and refreshments.

In May and June of 1971, the hall and grounds were a beehive of workmen and excitement. Preparation was being made for a picnic to celebrate the Fiftieth Anniversary of the hall. Imagine July third and fourth; two days of fun, games, and eating! The night of July third ended with a dance, music supplied by Rodney Jensen’s orchestra. A midnight raffle of a pony donated by the Ken Smithson family and broken to ride by Joe Rumsey, was won by Stanley Smith, of Valemount, B.C. Many people came from far and near to renew old acquaintances and make new ones. Anyone over age 65 was given a Scroll to honor the person and the day. Sunday opened with a flap-jack breakfast with sausages, coffee, and more talk. Open air church was also enjoyed, with Rev. Julian in attendance. Horse races, old car races, foot races, tug-of-wars, and more eats, were held that afternoon. This picnic was held in appreciation of the many hours of work done by our fore-fathers on and in this wonderful community which we call Springdale.

During all this activity, we began to feel that there was need for a new floor, so the Hall Board started to concentrate on raising money for this project. By the summer of 1972, the contract was let for a new floor, and by early November, the project was completed. We had a beautiful new hardwood floor. With this work finished, plans to line the inside of the hall with panel board and ceiling tile were considered.

During the early spring of 1973, this project was begun and completed. Now we have a Community Centre of which we can be justly proud.