HISTORY OF ELMORE TOWN HALL
Historical Sketch (Article 25) - Town and Freemen’s meetings were
held in various homes until 1833 when it was voted to hold them at the school
house in the third district (Pond School). In 1857 it was voted to build a town
hall in connection with the school house in the third district. Damage to some
of the town records by fire in 1911 leaves the details regarding this building
in some doubt but this plan is said to have been abandoned and the dance hall
at the village hotel was used for town meetings until about 1890 when a town
hall was built.
The Town Meeting of March 1870, which was held in the hotel owned by Mr. Daniels caused quite a controversy as recorded in the letters to the Editor of the Lamoille Newsdealer on 3—15-1870 and 4—12—1870.
6/30/1897 (News and Citizien) - The Selectmen have purchased a site for the Town Hall of A. A. Bliss. 0. D. Bacon has taken the job of building the same. He will purchase the doors and windows while visiting Bare.
8/11/1897 (News and Citizen) - Work commenced Monday on the new Town Hall.
10/20/1897 (News and Citizen) - 0. D. Bacon has the outside of the Town Hall completed and painted in a very neat and tasty style, and a great addition to our little village.
12/8/1897 (News and Citizen) - Contractor 0. D. Bacon has the Town Hall finished, all but the hardwood floors.
12/22/1897 (News and Citizen)- Town Hall is completed.
2/16/1898 (News and Citizen) - Auditors met last Saturday using the new town hall for the first time.
2/23/1898 (News and Citizen) - The town voted at our last town meeting to instruct the Selectmen to build a town hall the cost not to exceed $600.00 above the cost of land and foundation. In pursuance of said vote, the Selectmen have built the same, the dimensions being 30 x 43 feet. The contract was let to Oliver Bacon for $575.00, the town to furnish the foundation. The specifications called for softwood finish but Mr. Bacon, at his own expense, finished the building in hardwood throughout. The booths for voting are masterpieces of mechancal ingenuity. They are arranged so that when not in use, they fold back against the side of the house. Good judges from both in and out of town, say that Elmore has the best Town Hall in the county taking the cost into consideration. The whole cost including land, 100 chairs, tables, stove and pipe is $820. 79 per taxpayer. (The population at that time was approximately 570 people).
2/22/1899 (News and Citizen) - As the time for the annual March meeting draweth nigh, each individual’s private character is freely discussed by his friends and all the flaws in the same are freely aired for the good of the p ubl i c.
11/19/1902 (News and Citizen) - 20 couples attended the dance in the Town Hall.
2/17/1904 (News and Citizen)- Leap year dance at the Town Hall - Admission 50 cents.
8/14/1912 (News and Citizen) - A Poverty Social will be held at the Town Hall, August 22nd by the Ladies Social Club. Everyone is invited to come and wear old clothes, the more ragged and patched the better. Any lady wearing a silk or wool dress will be fined 20 cents. Any gentleman wearing a stiff collar and good suit will be fined 10 cents. There will be other fines from 3 to 5 cents on old rings, pins and 15 cents on gold watches. Coffee and doughnuts will be served - 5 cents.
9/4/1912 (News and Citizen) - A free social will be held at the Town Hall, July 18th by the Ladies Social Club. Games will be played and music furnished for singing and marching. Lemonade will be served.
8/4/1915 (Morrisville Messenger) - There will be a baked bean and salad supper August 4th at the Town Hall.
Town Meeting - 3-1870
The following are excerpts from the Lamoille Newsdealer dated 3-15-1870 and 4-12-1870
The wind holds high carnival in Elmore this season and snow is not lacking as luckless travelers find to their sorrow, doubtless the same may be said of other towns; but we firmly hold the belief that in the matter of “snows and blows” this town cannot be beaten.
Temperance and religion are at a very low ebb at the present time; we have only to recollect the scenes of Town meeting to be aware of the fact
The attendance was quite large as the day was pleasant and the roads good for Elmore. As men arrived in the vicinity of the place where the meeting was to be held, they were met by those having the matter in charge, and induced by rum, and every other possible means to join their party. Men, from out of town and others who were only stopping in place for a few months; - some without residence - not having had for nearly a year were there and voted.
Judge Parker was first nominated for Moderator but J. W. Bryant was nominated by the rum party and elected. I do not say that the same man voted twice at one ballot; but one thing is sure that the number of votes cast was
unprecedentedly large. Some who wish to be considered highly respectable citizens were enticed to join the party; and even one church member in good standing and who, only last Fall was loud in his denunciations of the proceedings as outrageous and shameful, joined for the sake of a little office.
Instead of electing men who are known to be honorable and trustworthy, like Judge Parker, Capt. Slayton, Mr. Kelley and Mr. Gray, and others of this class, office is held by some who are utterly incompetent to hold any place of trust.
Whether the rum used at the time was sold by Mr. Daniels, or procured by the leaders of the party, we do not know; - am inclined to think the latter was the case; but we do know that it was drunk at his hotel and was dispensed freely. - Such was the quantity inbibed that many voters were in a state of intoxication; Sober, orderly, loving men are powerless in Elmore. Anonymous reporter
Responding to above by A. R. Bailey on March 22, 1870 (excerpts)
We would remind “Pleides” (perhaps we ought to prefix a title, Honorable Judge, Major) that there are scores of men in town that stood by him, when he was no more competent for office than those he now so wantonly denounces as utterly incompetent.
He says “temperance and religion are at a low ebb”. We have thought so for some time, but more especially in his immediate locality When men in his vicinity - church members - having large families of children, do not darken a church door six Sundays a year and never prayer meetings though so common with us this winter - well might he say “low ebb”. But he says it generally so, which he ought to know are not the facts in this case. We have had no less than three prayer meetings a week all winter, there have been a number of hopeful conversions and more religious interest generally than for the last 8 or more years
Our Town meeting was, on the whole, a straight-forward affair and as quiet as any man could expect considering the inconvenience of the place they are held in.