Old Woodbury Town Hall (1846)

January 26th, 2018 Posted in Greek Revival, Public Buildings, Woodbury

The old Town Hall of Woodbury, located at 5 Mountain Road, was erected in 1845-1846. Before its construction, another building had been used as Town Hall for over twenty years, as described by William Cothren in Vol. I of the History of Ancient Woodbury (1854):

Previous to 1823, there had been an effort to locate and build a new town hall for the use of the town, but as is usual in such cases, a great deal of bickering and bad feeling had arisen on the occasion, and no conclusion was arrived at. Finally, to end the difficulty, Mr. Daniel Bacon built a new two story building, near his dwelling-house, now owned by his son, Rev. William T. Bacon, and offered the use of the second story, rent free, to the town for its meetings.
[. . . .]

This continued to be used as the place for all meetings of the town till 1845, when the present commodious town-hall was built.

At that date, it was thought that the old town-hall did not answer the necessities of the town, and that a new and more commodious building should be erected. In the conclusion that a new building should be erected, all agreed; but the location was quite another matter. In this the “ends” of the town were widely at variance.
[. . . .]

A meeting was called in the “dead of winter,” to determine the question of location, and after a spirited debate, a respectable majority voted to locate the building in the spot it now occupies. But there being a suspicion of unfairness in the vote, application was made to the selectmen to appoint another meeting to try the question anew. The meeting was called, and though Providence, the evening before the appointed day, shed down some two feet of snow, enough one would think, to cool the feelings of the belligerent parties, yet the high piled drifts were penetrated in every direction, and almost every legal voter appeared at the meeting for the decision of the momentous question of a difference in distance of one or two hundred rods! The vote was taken by ballot, and the former location ratified by an increased majority.

In 1895, the Library Association moved into a room on the second floor, which it occupied until relocating to the former Parker Academy in 1902. A stage was added to the Town Hall in 1923 and the center section of the second floor was removed to create balconies on either side. Many events in town have been held in the building over the years, including performances by the Community Theatre at Woodbury. The structure was renovated in 2009.

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