Welcome

This is the website of the Barre Historical Society, owner of the Socialist Labor Party Hall National Historic Landmark, known as the “The Old Labor Hall”. Here you can find information about the history of the Hall, about renting the Hall for your event, and about how you can help the Barre Historical Society preserve the Hall and the Union Cooperative Store bakery building.
 

A BIT OF THEATER & OLD LABOR HALL HISTORY: In 2006 I reached out to the Old Labor Hall to see about renting it for the rehearsals and initial production of a new DIY community “folk opera” called “Hadestown”. The Hall seemed spiritually right for a piece that contained a lot of Depression-era imagery as well as themes of industry and labor. If I remember right, I put a deposit down and started selling tickets to the show before it even existed– it was basically a handful of songs scribbled in a notebook! I started working with director/designer Ben t. Matchstick, who pulled together a gorgeous local cast and readied the show with just two weeks of rehearsal, and arranger/orchestrator Michael Chorney, who worked at a similarly furious pace to ready the music and the musicians. It was a complete leap of faith on the part of everyone involved, including the Old Labor Hall, and I don’t think the thing could have been born any other way. The rest is some kind of history, as “Hadestown” finally landed on Broadway in the spring of 2019 after a long and winding path of development. I’m forever grateful to the folks at the Old Labor Hall for giving us our first home, and also grateful that in addition to their passion for history, they also have a keen interest in “the now”– in helping to foster what is vital today in the community they serve. Sending love and gratitude to this wonderful organization. – Anais Mitchell, May 18, 2002

Happenings at the Hall:

  • Thomas C. Davis: A Life in Vermont

    Oral history recollections by a 17th generation Vermonter, the son of a former governor, and himself a life-long public servant.

    Tom Davis was a political activist, public speaker, storyteller, author, and statesman. Also known as “Tom Terrific,” he was widely admired for his quick wit, humor, humility, kindness, wisdom, and generosity. Read more 

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