History of the Horning’s Mills Community Hall

The Hall was built in 1935 by the Women’s Institute in the Village of Horning’s Mills as a replacement for the old wooden structure across the road. All the work was done by the members, spouses and children This structure held us in good stead until the late 1900’s, when it was required by the Provincial Legislation to be retrofitted and brought up to safety standards and fire code. The Women’s Institute membership was waning and the decision was made by the Institute to give the Hall to the Township of Melancthon as this was an incorporated body and was eligible to apply for the Wintario Grant and we were not. A public meeting was held and the Community vowed to do the necessary renovations and fundraising. Their only other option was to close the Institute Hall permanently.  A committee was formed and a plan was put forward which resulted in the Province giving us a grant which had to be matched of course. In 1985 $60,000.00 was a lot of money but we did manage to come up with the funds that our committee needed to raise, which was 1/3 of the funding required for renovations,  $20,000.00 of the total. We received donations, held auctions, bake sales, euchres, held raffles and did whatever we could to come up with the money. Then the Community came together again and did the plumbing, electrical, furnace/ductwork, drywalling etcetera. We all met and worked every Wednesday night to do what was required. It was great! The result was that within the year we had a grand reopening of our restored building, now called the Horning’s Mills Community Hall.

Now here we are 25 years later and we are looking at basically the same problem. This time we are mandated to make it fully accessible and the funding required is substantially more. A small committee was formed from within the board of management and this is our proposed plan.

Our building is a 2 storey building. The lower level is solid concrete walls and the upper level is frame construction with concrete stucco exterior with a steel roof.

The upstairs has a small fully equipped kitchen, and two good size bathrooms. The dance floor is beautiful Maple hardwood. This past year the floor has been restored, a new fire exit door has been installed and the kitchen has been given a face lift. The entire facility had all new windows installed two years ago.

The first level has 2 smaller bathrooms, a small foyer then two steps down to a good size kitchen fully equipped including commercial dishwasher, with new appliances, seating capacity in the dining area for 147 persons, furnace room, storage room (unheated) Carpet flooring on concrete. A wooden ramp was built several years ago to allow access for residents unable to negotiate the stairs.

The Township has recently purchased the adjoining 1 ½ lots which is being made into parking for the facility.

Horning’s Mills Women’s Institute members, taken August 28, 1986 at Aub & Eileen Websters. Back left, Sadie Robinson, Hilda Raeburn, Eileen Squirrel, Christina Fawcett, Debbie Fawcett, Eileen Webster. Middle, Birdie Madill, Lynn Raeburn, Lynn’s granddaughter, Catherine Grainger. Front Mrs. Bonner Gallaugher, Laureen Maclaren