The Kings Mills Union Hall Association will receive $3,200 for its historic hall in Whitefield. The grant will be used to replace an existing furnace and ductwork with two propane heaters to improve heating efficiency, safety and public use of the building without detracting from its historic character or architectural integrity, according to a news release from the association. The hall, built about 1901, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

In recent years, community volunteers have raised funds and received donations for such improvements as a foundation, a new metal roof, exterior clapboard siding, and replicas of the original wooden door and sign over the entrance.

Future goals are to design a septic system, update the restroom facilities, and to restore access to the upstairs, where public dances and village school concerts and plays were an important part of community life in the 20th century.

From its inception nearly 120 years ago as the Whitefield Fish and Game Club and Whitefield Grange, the hall has been a community center and remains a feature of the town’s rural landscape. Its traditional role as a gathering place continues through regular public suppers, the 4th of July white elephant sale, an annual craft fair, Christmas party and tree lighting (set for Dec. 2 this year), as well as rentals by outside groups, according to the release.

The association applied last winter to the Belvedere Historic Preservation & Energy Efficient Grant Program administered by the Maine Community Foundation, located in Ellsworth.

The foundation connects with donors and other partners to build strong communities and improve Maine’s quality of life.

For more information, visit mainecf.org.

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