Residents gathered to learn the history of the Chestermere Hall on Sept. 15 presented by the Chestermere Historical Foundation.
“It went quite well. The Mayor was there, and he said it was good to hear some of the history because the rec centre is built on the property where the hall was,” said Presenter Kay Clarke.
“It’s important for us all to learn about our history because you need to know where you’ve been, to know where you’re going,” she said.
Adding, “This is a story that I’m really comfortable with. I grew up in the community and talking about the part of the community that I grew up with is fun.”
The property where the Chestermere Hall once stood has always been a community gathering place as the rec centre was built on the land after the hall was torn down.
“Chestermere was a rural community, to begin with, there weren’t many cottages. Chestermere was not Chestermere, it was a rural farming community, and this was the gathering place,” Clarke said.
The land was first purchased by the community in 1921, and a local farmer had taken the floor from a factory and used it in the hall for dances.
“They had dances there for a couple of years, then the community got together and built walls and a roof, but there was no heat,” Clarke said.
Although community dances were held throughout the summer, very little happened in the winter until there was heat in the building.
By 1975, people began to purchase and build houses in Chestermere, and by 1980, the community changed from rural to urban.
“By 1980 the hall at that point was getting quite old, it was hard to maintain, going to be costly, and the needs of the community were changing, so they decided to build a new building,” Clarke said.
Adding, “They had a party at that point, with 250 people, with all kinds of speakers, and that was the end of the hall.”
At the end of the Chestermere Hall presentation, Clarke asked listeners to share any memories they had of the hall.
“I grew up in the community, so I remember the turkey suppers, and bridal showers,” Clarke said.
“Other people were more involved in the dances and they held dances right until the very end, but the floor was getting loose and the floor would bounce up and down when people danced,” she said.
For additional information on the Chestermere Historical Foundation programming, power points, and notes please visit Www.chestermerehistoricalfoundation.org.