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Forester Hall

344 Main Street, Hartland, New Brunswick, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2010/02/01

Kalijas Restaurant was one of many commercial businesses that operated out of this 100 plus year old building.; Doris E. Kennedy
Forester Hall, 2009
The picture of Forester Hall was taken circa 1898 after the Trinity United Church was buit next door. The hall was there long before this date.; Doris E. Kennedy
Forester Hall, before 1900
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Other Name(s)

Forester Hall
Kalijas Restaurant
Restaurant Kalijas
Mid Valley Building Centre
Centre de rénovation Mid Valley
Pizza Twice
Pizza Twice
Central Garage
Garage Central

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/03/29

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Forester Hall is a vernacular three-storey rectangular commercial building with some Italianate detailing that fronts on Main Street, with the south side facing Prince Street. The front of the building faces the Saint John River with a church bordering the north side. It is located in the Town of Hartland.

Heritage Value

The Forester Hall is designated a Local Historic Place for its structural qualities typical to its era, for its contribution to the social and leisure activities of the community, and for its contribution to commercial services in the town.

The exterior structural qualities of this building are simple but typical of the era of its construction, a time of economic downturn at the end of the 19th century. The Forester Hall reflects this in its rectangular three-storey massing, plain clapboard siding, symmetrical construction and minimal ornamentation. The size, placement and details of the windows also reflect the original design. The building stands on a corner, snug to the streets and is distinguished by its size and its ornamental brackets under the eaves and entablatures.

The interior of the third floor is both structurally and socially important. Much of the interior details and spatial arrangement remains intact. This includes a wide stairwell, woodwork, a barrel vaulted ceiling and the wood floor. In the stairwell names with dates from 1923-1940 are written in pencil. The faintly painted white walls expose a faded wide green stripe around the wall with pale red showing through on different areas and dim blue stripes are on the vaulted barrel ceiling. The outer area of the natural wood floor is distinguished from a section in the middle of the room by boards laid in a different direction. Skates were rented for 15 cents a pair and patrons circulated the playing organ in the middle section of the room. To make the floor "gritty" for the skaters, crush pumice was applied to the floor but removed at times to accommodate the viewing of silent movies for the community.

The building was initially occupied around 1897 by the Independent Order of Foresters, who together fostered a common humanitarian cause. They held their meetings on the second floor, making the first floor available to the community to hold social activities such as winter carnivals, basketball games, silent movies or gatherings of various community groups. A private garage business purchased the building in 1919 and, by 1925, they expanded the building by adding a partial concrete basement for a wood furnace and jacking up the entire building to add another floor at street level where the garage remained. Historically, families often lived where they worked. The renovations included an apartment on the second floor along with an open space to accommodate a paint shop and storage for vehicles, as cars were not generally driven in the winter. Another small addition was attached to the rear of the building and used as an entrance to the open space on the second floor. Vehicles were driven up a ramp through the inside entrance and then parked on the second floor. In the spring, serviced cars were ready for summer driving by their owners. Gas pumps were added in front of the building close to the street. Theses gas pumps with the glass bottles on top gravity fed gas to the cars. The third floor served as a community roller rink and hall until the 1940’s when it became a place of storage. This building continues to serve the community socially and commercially, making it a valuable asset to the town’s history.

Sources: "Hidden History of Hartland" by Doris Kennedy, located at Hartland Town Hall; Hartland Town Hall archives, "Forester Hall" file.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Forester Hall include:
- three-storey wooden rectangular massing;
- hipped roof with a brick chimney projecting from the centre of the roof;
- weathered clapboards on north and back side of the building;
- wide corner boards framed with raised narrow board trim forming an arch below the cornice and joined at the corner with another board of the same design, giving the appearance of a solid column;
- a series of carved wooden brackets spaced along the soffit beneath the roof overhang;
- wooden brackets under the window entablatures on the upper-storey windows;
- 13 original third floor windows, single pane and double hung with coloured glass squares in the four corners of the upper pane separated by non-coloured panes;
- framed recessed entrance opening that once held a garage door.

The character-defining elements of the interior of third floor roller rink include:
- undisturbed names with dates from 1923 to 1940 written in pencil on the walls of the wide stairwell;
- interior spatial layout, including a large open room completed in narrow boards covering a barrel vaulted high ceiling, a small enclosed change room with bench and two rooms that open to the larger assembly area;
- hardwood floor boards, shaped and angled directionally in a pattern to facilitate roller skating;
- remnants of faded white and red paint above green paint on walls, with faded green and blue painted trim on ceiling.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NB)

Recognition Statute

Local Historic Places Program

Recognition Type

Municipal Register of Local Historic Places

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1923/01/01 to 1940/01/01
1925/01/01 to 1925/01/01
1919/01/01 to 1919/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Building Social and Community Life
Community Organizations
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Sports and Leisure

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn


Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club
Commerce / Commercial Services
Service Station
Recreation Centre
Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Hartland Town Hall, 31 Orser Street, Hartland, NB

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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