In the short history since the Old Labor Hall reopened in the autumn of 2000, the Hall has coped with one crisis after another. In addition to many “normal” crises that plague historic buildings—two failed roofs, requiring major structural improvements, changes in fire code regulations, and on and on—the Hall has “survived” three major floods.
In each of these physical crises (which, of course, created financial crises), Barre Historical Society’s late president Chet Briggs stepped up and dealt with the threat—again and again.
In January of 2014, Chet passed away. Chet was a man of amazing and varied talents who made myriad contributions to the central Vermont community. But over the past twenty years, he poured his heart and his soul into first saving and then restoring the Old Labor Hall.
One of Chet’s dreams was to create a fund that would give the Hall a little financial breathing space when sudden crises descend, as they have on a disconcertingly regular basis. For much of the past two decades, the Hall has had to scramble to find the money to pay for unexpected and urgent emergency repairs. As a recent example, to continue to be available to the capacity audiences that attend functions at the Hall, the Society has paid out over $4,000 to upgrade our fire alarm system to comply with changes to state and local fire codes.
In Chet’s memory, the Barre Historical Society has established a “crisis” fund in his name to set up a reserve to help the Hall weather the next blow. In Chet’s absence, we will need all the help we can get.
Donations may be made by credit card right here or by check to the “Barre Historical Society” (PO Box 496, Barre, VT 05641). Gifts of stock are welcome, too. Please contact us for details.