H.O.G. benefit festival Saturday in Halcottsville

By Verna D’Alto
The community members of the Hamlet of Halcottsville invite the public to join them in what they hope will be an historical event. On Saturday, Sept. 6 from 1 to 8 p.m. they are holding a H.O.G. celebration. H.O.G. stands for Halcottsville Old Grange. It will be an arts’ festival with dancing, food and a fund-raiser.
Magician Art Martello will appear. The purpose of the event is to raise funds to restore the Wawaka Grange Hall to the building it once was and for all to use as a meeting place to solidify the importance of having a place to connect to the community.
The silent auction of art will start at 1 and finish at 3 p.m. The winners will be announced then. A special auction of a John Hopkins’ painting, which depicts Lake Wawaka, will be donated anonymously. This painting is professionally framed. A painting done by the late Alida Walsh will also be auctioned. It is a mixed media painting donated by the estate of Alida Walsh, painted between 1963-64. For those of you who are familiar with Alida Walsh’s work, she was active in the Feminist movement and produced X12, a feminist art exhibit.
From 4 to 8 p.m. music will be provided by the Country Express Band. The cover charge of $5 will benefit the Grange Hall. There will be T-shirt and face painting by the Roxbury Girl Scout Troop. Refreshments and a raffle by the Halcottsville Fire Department Auxiliary will have as its prizes two handmade Adirondack chairs and an ivory crocheted afghan.
Many people ask what is the Grange Hall? The hall is located on Main Street and built around the turn of the 20th century when Halcottsville was a busy, largely self-sufficient community with stores, a school, two churches and a gristmill. This Grange Hall offered support and a social outlet for farm families and their neighbors. It hosted parties and dinners and other community events. The eventual demise of the Grange Hall was due to the declining farm economy.
The community would like to bring back the spirit and use of the Grange Hall, to become the center of community life. It will be a meeting place to talk about past and present issues that need to be rectified.
The history of Halcottsville, or Halcottville without the “s” as it was called, was a place that has made a great movie. If you read the book written by Diane Galusha called As the River Runs, it will “knock your socks” off.
With the new Grange Hall there will be events such as, dinners, bingo, workshops, community discussions and other events that will be of interest to everyone.