American Legion Hall – Griffith Academy (1874)

May 28th, 2017 Posted in Churches, Folk Victorian, Organizations, Wethersfield

The building at 275 Main Street, at the corner of Hartford Avenue, in Wethersfield, was built c. 1874-1876 as a Baptist Church. Declining membership led the church society to vote to disband in 1918 and deed their Main Street property to the Town of Wethersfield for use as a library. The town decided not to proceed with that project and in 1922 the building was sold to Russell K. Bourne D.S.C. Post of the American Legion, which changed it name to the Bourne-Keeney Post 23 in 1949. The name honors Russell K. Bourne, who was killed in action in 1918 during the First World War, and Robert A. Keeney, who lost his life when the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1945. The second floor hall of the building maintains the deck of the Minerva, used as training ground for the town’s Sea Scouts. In 2014, the Legion Post sold the building to the Griffith Academy, which teaches Irish dance. The Academy had been renting the Hall for many decades. The veterans continue to use the building as well, now renting the basement.

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