A Grand Plan
Town Council started planning the new town hall and fire hall complex in 1911. The land was purchased for $3,300 and construction labour and building supplies came in at just under $30,000.
The City Hall building would house the town offices and council chambers, but also the fire hall, living quarters for bachelor firefighters, a jail cell in the basement, an apartment on the main floor and, most notably, a grand ballroom.
The ballroom played host to very exclusive, invitation only, black-tie events such as the Fireman’s Ball, the Easter Ball, the Legion’s Ball and the New Year’s Ball. Women would wear ball gowns and gloves and men would be fitted out in tuxedoes. Some of the older boys in Humboldt were always very eager to attend these functions, primarily because they served rum!
The ballroom was the main venue for musical events like concerts and the annual music festival.
The ballroom’s stage saw many community theatre performances like “Over the Rainbow” presented on September 7, 1950. Pictured are Garry Fletcher and Doreen Ogilvie dancing, and Russell Dagenais seated on the step. Note the stage curtain covered in advertisements for local businesses – it was to give patrons something to read before the show began.
Carved In Stone
They could also see Humboldt’s potential as a growing community, and were so confident that the town would flourish that they had the words “City Hall” carved in stone above the main entrance 88 years before Humboldt became a city in November of 2000.