By Madeline Taylor
During a year where most have spent the majority of their time at home, one begins to consider what makes home really special. A favourite chair. A window with a view. A cozy wood stove.
What about when the definition of “home” goes beyond four walls? A place might come to mind. The place where you grew up or chose to build a life. A city. A small town. A collection of hamlets and villages. Maybe somewhere like Albert County.
What makes Albert County a special place to call home? For some, it could be the natural, rugged beauty. The rolling hills left over from days past when mountains towered over the eastern coast of our continent, or the tides that lend a constant rhythm to our days. Others might say it’s the people that make Albert County so special. Friendly waves exchanged between drivers passing by. A shared meal between neighbours. True and genuine interest in the well-being of those who share your small corner of the world. A sense of com- munity that is unrivaled and truly missed when finding yourself far from home.
Albert County has a rich history of industry and growth and many of its inhabitants today have been a huge part of the stories, events and structures which make up that history. One of those structures is Harvey Hall, a stunning Queen Anne-style building with more than 130 years of events and stories. Harvey Hall has been an institution in the Albert County community for more than a century. Unfortunately, we are at risk of losing this important part of our collective history and, with it, the opportunity to continue fostering the magic that makes Albert County so special as well.
As a new generation of people discover what makes Albert County an incredible place to live, grow and build, community spaces become more important than ever. Places like Harvey Hall are spaces where history can be retold, knowledge can be shared and neighbours can become friends. Harvey Hall’s history shows us that community connection has always been a priority in Albert Country. That value must be protected.
Since 1884, the Hall has hosted parties, weddings, anniversaries, concerts and even impromptu grammar-school lessons. Generations of people have advocated for the Hall’s care over the years: fundraising efforts for the design and build in the 19th century and countless volunteers who ensured Harvey Hall was filled with life since its doors opened. More than a century of memory- making and community gathering lives within the walls of Harvey Hall, but, after all that time, it needs some care.
In traditional Albert County style, a group of people have come together to help find the resources to save Harvey Hall, preserve its historical significance and give our community the gift of a welcoming space where we can gather, learn and create together for years to come. The committee's goal is to ensure Harvey Hall is safe to enjoy and updated to offer comforts that were not prioritized 130 years ago. Accessibility and updated bathrooms will be welcome additions to the charm of the historic building, along with structural repairs.
The roof of Harvey Hall has been damaged considerably over the years and leaks must be fixed immediately to ensure the interior of the Hall can be salvaged.
Community is strengthened when people have a place to nurture those relationships. Harvey Hall has been a central gathering place for the Albert County region and it’s vital that this space be preserved and improved upon to ensure Albert County continues to have a place where everyone is welcome and culture can be celebrated and shared.
The restoration of Harvey Hall is a community project. Many talented individuals have volunteered their time and expertise to this cause in hopes that their passion for the Hall’s past and potential will inspire more to lend a helping hand. The board of directors is looking for people who can support in the following ways:
Building Committee: Individuals with experience working on or restoring historical buildings who are keen to see Harvey Hall flourish again.
Fundraising Committee: Individuals with strong community ties who are interested in outreach for the Hall. Historical photos: Photographs or documents to allow us to learn more about the history of the Hall and the community of Harvey.
Donations: A GoFundMe page has been created to help raise the required funds to restore the Hall.
Online Community: Harvey Hall is online! Like, follow or share on our Facebook page or Instagram (@theharveyhall) to help us reach more people.
If you or someone you know might be interested in learning more about the Harvey Hall restoration project, please reach out to Melissa Richards at firstname.lastname@example.org.