BRIEF HISTORY OF THE HALL
The West Sound Community Hall represents the history and character of Orcas Island. Members of the nonprofit West Sound Community Club, as stewards of the Hall, strive to maintain the integrity of the Hall as a unique gathering place for future generations.
In 1902 volunteers began building the Hall with materials supplied by George Adkins. The building site was donated two years earlier by Alexander Chalmers. The Hall was erected to serve as a central meeting place for residents of the West Sound area.
Over the years the original one-room schoolhouse design has changed to fit the times. A kitchen, stage, and entrance porch were added to enhance the building's function.
Numerous organizations have used the Hall for meetings. In addition, weddings, concerts, elections, parties, and other events have been regularly held in the Hall since 1902.
HALL DETAILED TIME LINE
2/21/1900 - Alexander Chalmers donated "property to be used for a site for a public hall" to the West Sound Hall Company. The donated land was originally part of a large parcel homesteaded by Peter LaPlante in 1884. Earlier, a Lummi village named "Elelung" occupied the land. The property is part of a documented archaeological site as evidenced by a shell midden under the Hall.
1902 & 1903 - The West Sound Community Hall was constructed. Funds for building materials were donated by George Adkins. The Hall was constructed by Adkins, Omer Freel, Joe Verrier, Peter LaPlante, Gus Smedberg and others. Mr. Adkins, who moved to West Sound in 1896, founded the West Sound Trading Company which was located on a wharf opposite the Hall.
1904 - The Chase brothers, who owned the Chase Bros. Mill in West Sound, donated lumber and built an addition for a stage on the north end of the Hall.
1905 to 1910
1903 to 1935 - During this period the following organizations were regular users of the Hall:
West Sound Literary Society
1912 - West Sound Grange (130 members in 1913)
West Sound Athletic Club
West Sound Baseball Team
1925 - Fidelis Circle
- The stage, then located at the north end of the hall, was remodeled " to make it as wide as the Hall and 22 feet back providing room for stage, kitchen and rest room - cost $122.85." Logs were salvaged from local beaches and the Thatcher Mill sawed them into lumber for use in remodel.
- When it was determined the foundation under the stage was failing, the stage was converted to a kitchen and the floor was lowered to match the level of the main Hall floor. The current stage on the east side of the Hall was probably added at the same time.
1957 - The south entry was moved to the present location on the east side of the Hall. The old entry and scaffolding for the new entry are shown in a photo taken in April 1957. This is the only known photo showing in detail how the exterior of the Hall looked prior to 1957.
1979 - The property on which the Hall sits was increased in size by donation a strip of land surrounding the Hall structure.
1996 - The entry stairs and deck were rebuilt.
10/18/1999 - The West Sound Community Hall was listed in the Washington Heritage Register.
8/31/2000 - West Sound Community Hall web site online.
Copyright 2000-2004 West Sound Community Club
West Sound Community Hall