A Place Unlike Any Other
James River was named after James Dixon, a celebrated Chief of the Stoney Indian Tribe. The James River Community was formed of residents from the school districts of James River, Lobley, and Rockwood. On February 5, 1921 a meeting was held in the Rockwood School to discuss the building of a hall. It was decided to build the hall 30 ft x 50 ft with a 12 ft x 30 ft lean-to for a cloakroom and kitchen. It was built on SE 16-34-05-05. 11,500 board feet of lumber came from the Brightman Mill, using two kegs of nails and 174 days of manpower to erect the James River Hall and corral.
The D.E.L.W.I formed in 1917 of local ladies along with the Hall Committee organzied a picnic and dance as a fundraiser in the Hall on August 3, 1921. The group of ladies was actively engaged with the hall for many years and was replaced in later years by the James River Willing Workers. The James River Hall brought together young and old from all over.
Over the past busy years many events have occured at the James River Hall, including dances, weddings, funerals, church services, Christmas concerts, political meetings, polling stations, ladies club teas, bazaars, card parties, bridal showers, continuing education courses, health clinics that performed tonsillectomies, dental care and removal or adenoids. Picnics along with ball games involving four generations of family were held in the hall yard.
Over the years, many improvements were added to the original hall: new floors, wall coverings, ceiling and lighting updated with new lean-to on the north side including a larger kitchen and indoor plumbing for the new bathrooms. Gas furnaces replaced the old barrel heater and the outside was stuccoed. This was all accomplished with a group of dedicated volunteers.
Then on June 18, 2005 the James River overflowed and the historic James River Hall was flooded and destroyed beyond repair.
Our community made the decision to rebuild and after two years of fund raising, site preparation began in October, 2007. Donated trucking services hauled in 1400 cubic metres of donated fill, which made the building site two metres higher than the former elevation.
The New Hall
The new debt free Hall was completed by January 1, 2009. The hall is 40’ X 80’, with a 20’ by 40’ covered patio. The kitchen is equipped with all the modern appliances. The main floor area can accommodate 150 people for a sit down meal.
The community would like to thank the many, many donors for the thousands of dollars, services and labour to complete our Hall.