Parson community landmark may be lost

The Parson Hall, once the centre of community life in Parson, may be shutting down due to lack of use.

After 78 years of serving the community, the Parson Hall may be nearing the end of its existence if no one steps up to save it.

It was once the centre of community life out in Parson, but over the years it has lost its usefulness. There are no longer enough events being held there to keep it going.

“The dynamics of the community out there has changed a lot,” said Colleen Palumbo. “When the school closed the kids started getting bussed to Golden. And while they’re in Golden they’re doing sports in here, and events, rather than doing them in the community anymore.”

Just recently it picked up a few weekly activities. A church group meets there on Sundays, and there are aerobics on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But Palumbo fears it may be too little too late.

“We’ve tried to host several events out there in the past year, and have had really small or no turnout to them. Nobody wants to drive that far to go to a dance anymore, or to see a lecture or whatever,” she said.

The board currently running the hall has decided that they can no longer keep it going, so they are hoping some people in the community will step forward to fill those positions.

“If we don’t have those people come forward, then we are prepared to, sadly, lock it up and put a for sale sign on it. The commitment from the community is just not there,” said Palumbo.

It wasn’t all that long ago that the Parson Hall was filled with music, dancing and all sorts of activity on a regular basis.

“Parson used to have a dance once a month, and people from Golden and Nicholson went out there all the time,” said Palumbo.

“It definitely was an old party shack in its time. And there will be people in the community sad to see it go.

“I think that people will be upset that it’s going because it is an old heritage landmark. And a lot of people remember their parents working on it to build it. There are people from Golden who used to go out there for an annual dance that was held in conjunction with the fall fair.”

Even Palumbo herself, a Golden resident, has a lot of memories in the hall, and is upset at the thought of it closing its doors.

“Where it’s sitting, is in the parking lot of where the high school sat, and that’s where my mom went to school. So it has an emotional attachment to a lot of people because of that.”

The hall has gone through renovations and upgrades over the years, and is in relatively good shape. But it is just not seeing enough activity to pay the bills.

There will be a meeting at the hall on Feb. 27 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the future of the building.

“So I hope people will come out and rescue the old girl. If they don’t, they need to know that we are prepared to take the next step,” said Palumbo.