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The History of Mapleton Hall

by Lyle Pearsons

  • Lyceum and Farmerís meetings are held in the brick schoolhouse located at the foot of the hill on Crooked Lane.
  • Committee organized to create a larger meeting and gathering place.
  • Money raised from local community to construct new building in 1882.
  • Building completed in January 1883 and named Central Hall.
  • Crooked Lane renamed Mapleton Avenue.
  • Central Hall renamed Mapleton Hall.
  • Farmer meetings continue to 1885 when Grange is organized to take their place.
  • Construction begins to expand Mapleton Hall and additions to North and South halls meet the Hallís needs for increased meetings, card parties and "entertainments."
  • May Breakfasts begin and become an annual fund-raising affair, which draws hundreds of people who come by trolley from Springfield and Hartford.
  • Hall falls into disrepair and dwindling Grange membership forces them to turn the building over to the Mapleton Hall Association.
  • Under President Merwyn Spaulding, the Hall is furbished with floors refinished, plumbing and electrical work completed, interior and exterior repainted.
  • Annual "Give Your Heart to Mapleton Hall" cocktail parties become one of the elite events for the Whoís Who of Suffield.
  • The Suffield Players move from Suffield High School to Mapleton Hall to become the main renter.
  • 300-pound locomotive bell installed in the bell tower (which can still be rung if you can find someone who knows where the rope is).
  • 40-foot shipís mast added for use as flagpole.
  • Players continue to convert the building to be more "theatrically friendly." A new boiler, electrical system with emergency lights, and bathroom facilities are installed. Volunteers added fireproof sheetrock and waterproofing to basement, repaired porches, and painted inside and out.
  • Costume barn built.
  • New furnace and new roof installed.
  • Flagpole broken [by a storm] and removed.
  • Mapleton Hall Association transferred ownership of Mapleton Hall to The Suffield Players.
  • New windows installed throughout the main floor.
  • New porch stairways and railings installed.
  • Kitchen remodeled.
  • New windows installed on lower floor and the attic.
  • Main floor tin ceilings refurbished and painted.
  • New audience platforms built.
  • Interior walls restored with period-appropriate paint.
  • New Mapleton Hall/Suffield Players sign installed over entrance.
  • Heating converted from oil to natural gas.