Memorial Hall Festival first of many fundraisers planned

Published 10:04 am Monday, August 10, 2009

For the group aiming to restore Memorial Hall, this summer is shaping up to be a busy one.

On Saturday, the American Legion 433 had a festival focused on raising money for and awareness of their plans to renovate the old city building for use as a local veterans center.

Memorial Hall Restoration Committee Trustee Bill Jordan said the group also plans to have a presence in the upcoming Rally on the River and other local fairs and festivals to get its name and purpose before the public.

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“We want people to know we support this building. This is an effort to save one of the big parts of Ironton’s history,” fellow trustee Jim Volgares agreed. “It used to be a gathering place, a center for the community, anything that happened in Ironton happened here.

We want to go back to that. And we think this can be good for tourism.”

Restoring the building for use by veterans would bring the old Memorial Hall full circle.

Before it became the city government building it was used by and for veterans. In 1892 Civil War veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic built the structure as a meeting place for veterans.

After the city vacated the building several years ago it sat empty and deteriorating.

But the grassroots effort spearheaded by the American Legion formed last year and is working to raise enough money to restore the old building.