Linden Hall - First Aid Hall - Library - Community Hall - Hanna Basin Museum
1983: The Hall was Placed on the National Register of Historic Places
Notes from Bob Leathers
Hanna to Have a New Community Building
Hanna is rejoicing over the fact that the work has been started in completely remodeling both the exterior and interior of the present community hall. The present two rooms will be converted into a pleasing, modernized building suitable for community gatherings.
The building will set back from the street in order to allow space for flowers, shrubs and grass which with light colored walls, a canopied entrance of colonial design and jade green roof will provide a most attractive effect. The plan consists of a large entrance hall arranged to care for wraps, a club room 23x38 feet with a fire place and maple floor, a large kitchen fully equipped with built in cabinets, sink and serving tables, a library, ladies rest room, a store room and property closet. All will be completed by September and many plans are now under way which will make the new hall the center of the winter's social activities. (UPCCEM, July 1931)
Hanna Club House Nears
With the construction of the new Hanna Club House practically completed, plans are already under way for the opening ceremonies. Meanwhile, the Hanna Ladies are still trying to convince themselves that it really is true and not a dream after all. They have worked, wished and hoped for so long---and then “hocus-pocus”---they have a new club house, a building complete even beyond their dreams, modern in every way with its large club room made cozy by a fireplace, artistic walls, bookcases and soft lights; surely an ideal setting for many happy gatherings, be they large or small; where Scouts, women’s clubs, Community Council and many other groups will find a convenient and inspiring home. The kitchen, so roomy and airy, is a model of spotlessness all done in white. But its greatest joy is its ample cupboards completely furnished with dishes. What could be more inviting to community hospitality than a modern, cheery kitchen? In addition, the club house boasts a store room and vestibule.
The ladies are busily planning attractive rugs and gay curtains to give just the proper finishing touches. It isn’t only Hanna folk who are getting a bit eager for the “house-warming” ---we are all anxiously awaiting and trusting we may be able to be present too, to join in making it a gala event, prophetic of the many similar occasions to come. (UPCCEM September 1931)
Hanna Club House "Community Hall" Opened
Hanna Club House Opened
It was with rare anticipation that we all entered the new Community Club House in Hanna Saturday evening, September 19. But whatever heights our anticipation may have reached it could never have equaled our pleasure on entering the new building so complete in every way. The Club House was built by The Union Pacific Coal Company during the past few months for the use of the organizations of the community which did not have a suitable place to meet. The club room, so cheerful with its colorful chintz drapes, soft toned walls and iron light fixtures, first caught our eye. Perhaps that was because of the lovely banquet tables already set and graced with beautiful baskets of sweet peas ---the bounty of the Hanna gardens ---was such an inviting sight. Particularly proud were the Hanna people of the two pictures ---scenes of the coast of northern Scotland --- and the attractive clock, which Mr. Eugene McAuliffe had sent as his gift to the new building. Moving on through the spacious hall, we caught glimpses of the efficient looking kitchen all finished in buff and green, modern to the last degree, where the ladies of the community were busily preparing the dinner we were to enjoy later. The greatest surprise of all came when we entered the library --- yes, really a library --- the walls covered with shelves filled with books, the reward of good safety records and the accumulation of the First Aid Clubs. It was certainly a most tempting place to spend an hour or two of quiet reading.
Shortly after eight o’clock more than one hundred were seated at the tables. Following the delicious dinner Mr. Charles Ainsworth, President of the Hanna Community Club, toastmaster of the evening, introduced Mr. Eugene McAuliffe, President of The Union Pacific Coal Company, who expressed his joy in seeing the club house, so long needed in Hanna, a completed fact. He commended the Community Council on its past welfare work in the town and excellent management of its funds; also, upon the recent work done in adding the finishing touches to this building. Mr. McAuliffe concluded by saying he hoped the new club house would afford the Hanna folk as much pleasure as it gave him and the Coal Company to be able to provide it.
The Reverend Albert B. Wilson on the behalf of the community very feelingly voiced the appreciation of the Hanna citizens for the new building dedicated to their use. He says he is positive now that there is a Santa Claus.
Vocal selections by Mr. Jack Lee, accompanied by Mrs. Jack Lee, as well as those of Mr. E. Lundsford were very welcomely received.
Mr. George B. Pryde, Vice President of The Union Pacific Coal Company, who only recently returned from England and Scotland, delighted those present with motion pictures taken on his trip abroad. The scenes included those of our own beautiful Washington, New York City, bits of Ireland, his home in Scotland, views of the highlands, London, the parliament buildings and countless others. Many were the homesick pangs they brought those present who had left similar homes years ago and have never been able to return again.
The loyalty and spirit of cooperation among Community Councils of the various towns was well illustrated by the representatives of those councils who traveled over one hundred and fifty miles to be present at the festal event. The Community Councils have been described as institutions for “organized neighborliness” and truly this spirit was the order of the day among the guests of the evening.
Out of town guests of the evening included:
Superior: Mr. And Mrs. L.E. Harris, President of the Community Council. Mr. and Mrs. J.M. McLennan.
Winton: Mr. Abe Benson, President of the Community Council. Mrs. Robert Jolly, Secretary of the Community Council. Mrs. Kate Warriner, Mrs. Dan Gardiner, Mr. And Mrs. Hans Madsen, Mr. And Mrs. Thomas Hanks, Community Council Members.
Rock Springs: Mr. And Mrs. Pat Campbell, President and Secretary of The Community Club. Mr. And Mrs. T.H. Butler, Superintendent of Mines, Rock Springs. Mr. And Mrs. George B. Pryde and daughters, Alberta and Eleanor. Mr. And Mrs. A.T. Henkell and son, Arthur, Jr. Mr. J.L. Libby, Mr. E.R. Jefferis, Mr. V.H. Williams.
Omaha: Mr. And Mrs. Eugene McAuliffe.
The Community Council and ladies who prepared and served the dinner are due much praise for their work in making the occasion a success. We all wish them many more such happy times in their new building. (UPCCEM October 1931)
The building [Community Hall] was a saloon, dance hall, Linden's saloon, and the first home economic rooms of the high school. Later it was cut down and changed into the Community hall. (The Miner, 1962)
Murial Kitching's Nomination of the Community Hall
to the National Registry of Historic Places, 1980.
Courtesy of the Hanna Basin Museum.
In 1890 the Union Pacific Coal Company hired Swedish carpenters to build the first houses in Hanna. Among the carpenters were John Klaseen, Nels Eckman, and John Linden. John Linden also built himself a saloon in the hills just north of Hanna. In the fall of 1891 the Company allowed John Linden to move his saloon onto Front Street. During prohibition, a pool hall was in the building. Later, the Company allowed a group of men, who had formed a First Aid Club, to practice there. The club also held monthly socials for families. Also, a library was organized in the building and stocked with donated books from the Union Pacific Coal Company as a reward for good safety records.
All sorts of activities took place. Among them, church bazaars, meetings of Scouts, fund raising, chicken dinners by the African Methodist women. After a high school was established in Hanna (1918), a home economics department was located in the western half of the building and a shop in the eastern half. A girls team practiced basketball in the back part of the hall until a gym was built.
In 1931, the Union Pacific Coal Company, under the presidency of Eugene McAuliffe, remodeled the building. Much of the interior of the structure remained the same, but a new hardwood floor was laid in the large hall. Two huge oriental rugs covered the floor for receptions, showers, programs, teas, etc. The hall was plastered and Chintz drapes were placed at the windows. The kitchen was made efficient by the addition of a buff and green coal range, a water heater, double sink and New York table.
When the Union Pacific Coal Company closed the only working mine in Hanna, the No. 4A, in 1954, all the buildings were put up for sale. A committee from the Community Council was chosen to ask the Union Pacific Coal Company to keep the building in Hanna. Subsequently, the building was deeded to the town of Hanna for the sum of one dollar.
All those whose lives have been touched by the happenings in the First Aid Hall (Community Hall) feel this building has earned a place in history and deserves to be placed on the National Registry.
Hanna, Wyoming Community Hall
Narrative from the Hanna Basin Museum