Wells Centennial Hall, wpH0014Wells Centennial Hall, wpH234

Opening of the Hall, wpH745

Top images of exterior of Centennial Hall, bottom image is of the Grand Opening of the Hall. wp14~1, wpH234, wpH745

Wells Community Hall

Built in 1937 and completed in 1938, the Wells Community Hall was paid for entirely by the Cariboo Gold Quartz Company at an approximate cost of $45,000. It was the largest building ever constructed in Wells and was, once again, designed by Ed Richardson and run by the Cariboo Gold Quartz Company.

In June of 1938 the first of many large social gatherings was held in the building, featuring the local Wells Orchestra as well as imported entertainment. Fred Wells reported that he danced for the "first time in 50 years" and enjoyed it so much, he might do it again.

Fred Wells, internationally-known prospector, danced for the first time in fifty years Saturday night. The occasion was the opening of the Wells Community Hall, and his partner was Mrs Paddy MacDonnell. He said that he had actually danced frequently in the past half century but nobody recognized what he was doing34.

The main floor seats around 400 people. There are 7,000 square feet on each floor. Upstairs is a billiard and reading room, while downstairs houses a pistol range, men's and women's lounges, shower/locker rooms, a kitchen, and a Janitors quarters.

Built of hardwood maple the dance floor, boasted to be the largest in the British Columbia Interior, would be covered with a huge canvas for basketball games. There were dressing rooms on either side of the large stage with living quarters for the caretaker. The hall was in constant use by basketball teams, badminton players and of course, regular dances.

The Wells Centennial Project was undertaken in 1967 to restore the hall. Restorations included refurbishing interior finishes, primarily in the library, banquet and lounge area of the basement. Other restorations since 1967 include the replacement of basement floor joists in the janitors room and women's washroom, door installation in west walls of men's and women's lounges, insulation applied to exterior of basement walls and converting the club room to the Wells Library. The roof has also been extensively worked on33.

From the 1930's through to the 1990's the Hall has housed many large social events. In 1983 the building received an "A" rating of the heritage inventory. This means that it is a "one off" building for British Columbia. It is the only building of its type and size from the era of the "company town", which remains in British Columbia.

More information and drawings of the Wells Centennial Hall:

Wells Community Hall Friends of the Wells Community Hall Website

"Measured Drawing" An Architectural Heritage of British Columbia - The Centennial Hall, Wells Architechtural Drawings of British Columbia Website - Centennial Hall Pages

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