Popular Fundraiser Helps Maintain National Historic Building
Written by: Robin Reid, Storyteller/Content Manager
Hall’s Haunted Halls, a widely popular fundraiser prior to Halloween, has seen hundreds of adults and kids from all over Indiana walk through its doors ready for some ghoulish thrills.
Preparation for this event requires many volunteers, hours, along with a lot of blood, sweat and tears (not literally). All proceeds go towards building maintenance and restoration.
Randy Marsh, president of the Hall Civic Association; a long-time member of the Morgan County Historic Preservation Society; and organizer of Hall’s Haunted Halls, firmly believes our community must keep up with societal changes if we’re going to thrive.
Morgan County can only grow and succeed if more people get involved. Whether it’s volunteering with the Morgan County Coalition for Literacy or giving a donation to the Martinsville Youth and Development Center, everyone can use their time, talent and/or treasure to make a positive impact today and for future generations.
According to Marsh, it was Joanne Stuttgen, former president of the MC Historic and Preservation Society, who inspired and impacted the work he does to keep local history alive and well.
“She was instrumental in helping me achieve my goals and was always my ‘go to’ person when I needed assistance,” Marsh said. “She also helped me get the Wilbur School House on the National Register of Historical Places. We couldn’t save everything, but you pick the ones with greater potential for preservation.”
The Hall Civic Association is responsible for the ownership, restoration and maintenance of Hall School, a national historic landmark decommissioned in 2004. The building is located at 5955 W. Hurt Road, Monrovia.
In 1902, a wooden schoolhouse at this location was replaced by a brick structure. Unfortunately, before the school opened, there was a fire and residents had to raise money to rebuild. The schoolhouse was rebuilt in 1911 for Grades 1-8, with additions completed in 1957, 1970s and 1980s. The original building had classrooms in the main area while the basement was used for coal storage, furnace and maintenance. Years later, additional classrooms were built on the lower floor.
Although it’s no longer used as a school, Hall is the home of Puzzle Pieces Daycare (for profit) and has rental space (i.e. gymnasium) available for reunions, game nights, and other events. Boy Scouts of American Troop #224 also has their meetings in the schoolhouse. In the past, Randy and other volunteers have performed dinner theatres and at one time, there was a thrift store located in the addition (built in 1957). When the store closed, all items were donated to Churches in Mission.
When asked why it’s important to give back, Randy said, “It keeps the community fluid, moving and active. People are coming together for a common cause, whatever it might be. When people are involved it creates a healthy community and it also creates growth.”
Although Hall’s Haunted Halls has ended for this season, there’s always next year to get involved. It’s an opportunity to have some fun while helping ensure a historic landmark stands strong in our county.
“I think the Community Foundation of Morgan County (CFMC) is instrumental in working within the county in various ways, making funds available, and showing us how we can achieve our goals,” added Marsh. “CFMC is reaching out into our community, working with our schools, and creating new ideas.”
Donate to the MC Historic and Preservation Society fund at CFMC by going to our website at www.cfmconline.org. Now, it’s your turn to impact this community in a positive way. If you have any questions or want more information, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (765) 813-0003.