The year was 1921. The members of the Mousam Lake Grange had been holding their meetings at the town house every Saturday for the past fifteen years and finally decided it was time for their own facility. With 40 members strong and $65.00 in the treasury, they started fund-raising. They raised enough to purchase the building in Alfred Gore that was formerly used as the North Alfred Grange Hall. Harley Hooper, a Shapleigh resident, gave them the deed to the lot across the street from the Lindsay High School. The hall was dismantled and hauled from Alfred to Shapleigh, piece by piece, board by board and re-assembled at its current location. The hall was completed and dedicated on January 4, 1922 - with a $800 mortgage, but they had their new home! They soon began to raise money and in less than 1 year, they were able to pay off their debt and burned the mortgage! In 1928 the addition of the kitchen and the 2nd floor stage was completed at a cost of $2,000, which took 5 years to pay-off. This is the last of the known renovations.
We acquired this building in January 2016 and look forward to restoring and updating this beautiful old building. Fund-Raising has begun already as this we realize this will be a long and costly endeavor. The first and most immediate need is a foundation. Currently the building is sitting on stones, that are slowly but surely sinking into the ground, and will eventually cause the sills and floors to decay. Next would be to upgrade the electrical, heating and windows - then add plumbing and a septic system. Currently there is a hand pump to a well in the kitchen, but water has not been drawn from it in years and there are 2 separate attached out-houses, but a more modern bathroom would be nice! So as you can tell, we certainly have our work cut out for us - but we are a determined group and we believe in our abilities and the generosity of the community - that we know we can do this!!
Our goal is to not only bring this beauty back to life, but to bring the community together here once again. The facility will be able to be used for meetings, dances, dinners, weddings, plays, concerts or whatever the need may be. We want this to be the towns peoples place of gathering - like it used to be back when the grange was in its hey-day and it was common for 150 people attend a bean supper or a harvest dance here.