Places, Southside Stories

The Community House in South Williamsport

In August of 1926, Luther and Mable Larson sold a plot of land on the north side of Southern Avenue at the foot of Sidney Street to the South Williamsport School District for a sum of $3000.

In January of 1927, T. R. Adams headed a committee conducting a house to house canvas in the Borough with the intent of raising $8000 to be applied to the construction costs of the new building. The estimated total cost was $10,000; the other $2000 was to be raised by students attending the three schools within the Borough. The three-day canvas proved very successful-with all South Williamsport residents knowing each time a new $1000 plateau was reached as the Borough fire alarms sounded.

The new Community House was dedicated in April of 1928 with a week-long celebration. The opening service was conducted by Dr E. S. Noll (introduced by T.R. Adams-general fund-raising chair person) who proclaimed “If this building betters the life of one boy for his mother, it will be well worth the money spent to build it”.

Eighteen different companies had booths at the Industrial Exhibit held in the Community House (sometimes called Hall) during this celebration week. Some of the companies included Letterman Baking, Bank of South Williamsport, Hurr’s Milk Products and A. J. Bonk-a dealer in radios.

Each night of this grand opening celebration included entertainment features:

Monday-athletic program under direction of Curtis Schumacher; students took part
Tuesday-Concert given by the Chaminade Club-directed by A.B. Elder-supervising principal
Wednesday-Minstrel Show conducted by J. Fred Foresman-chairman for the week. Fred was the father of longtime South Williamsport librarian June Foresman. He had a coal and building supply business on Reynolds Street where Nippon Panel was located; he bought this business from Charlie Luppert’s Grandmother after Charlie’s Grandfather died.
Thursday-dance and card party conducted by Ralph Steinbacher
Friday-“Surprise Night”-conducted by the entire committee

Saturday-the week ended with a big community dinner-with over 500 being served-and most of the food donated by Borough residents. John H. Hurr headed this function with Leonard Spotts and Mrs. Rose Trowel as assistants.

The program of the week was planned to provide all residents with an idea of the future uses on this glorious building; to be used for shows and school plays, basketball games and health classes and community services. It was deemed a gigantic success by T.R. Adams.

Written by: Bob Coolidge

Researched by: Chuck Luppert

2 thoughts on “The Community House in South Williamsport”

  1. Hi folks!

    I’m so glad that I accidentally discovered you are doing this!

    I was just down in Sarasota visiting Ringling sites, and I got to thinking about the “lion” guy that kept his lions up by Mountain Beach. I could hear them sometimes at night when I was a kid and sleeping with the window open. And I found the post from you.

    How do I go about reading all your previous posts?

    Thanks so much for all your efforts.

    Barbara Wendell

    >

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  2. Hi Barbara, Thanks for your interest in our history project! Our stories are categorized by topics, so look at the website menu to find them all under STORIES – or click on STORIES and it gives you all of them in chronological order. We also encourage you to send us stories and photos of South Williamsport, if you wish.

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