By CAROL BUCHHOLZ | Ontario
I knew, of course, that the Ontario Community Hall was coming down. And I knew in my heart that it had to, but nevertheless when I discovered it was being knocked down Friday morning as I drove around the block, it made me a bit emotional. So many memories connected to the hall.
… walking down the schoolhouse hill to have gym class in the hall and then trudging back up the hill to the school … our junior and senior class plays performed on that little stage, graduations as well … basketball games both high school and City team … band concerts … my grandfather’s funeral and my own wedding reception.
… church bazaars with their huge meals, homemade gifts and rummage sale tables, our church’s Christmas Fair, which some years later resumed as something similar …
… dances every Saturday night, roller skating, Halloween parties and Old-Fashioned Christmases with Santa Claus, bingo,country music shows, family reunions, Memorial Day programs …
… served as the home of the village clerk office and the public library was housed there until it outgrew the space and moved into its own new building……
… So many more memories I’m sure I’ve forgotten.
As all good things have to come to an end, the hall is no exception. It escaped destruction once when she was rescued — taken apart piece by piece and rebuilt here in Ontario by some forward-looking men of the village, for our use, but it couldn’t escape the ravages of floods and the blows of the backhoe. The Hall more that served her purpose.
A huge THANK YOU should be given to Karen Parker for her attempt to save and for spearheading the celebration of the hall’s 80th year in Ontario (its reincarnation, if you will} and for writing a book telling the hall’s story, “Under One Roof: 1938–2018” so the facts will not be forgotten. Ironically the celebration took place only a short time before the devastating flood.
It seems meant to have been that way.