The Community Center

In the mid-1950s, Seeley Lake resident Bert Sullivan first put forth the idea of a community center, a place where events for adults, families and organizations who had no access to school facilities could host events.

Money, or the lack of it, took precedence at any and all discussions and some of us began to conjure up ideas for fund raising. On a blustery March day in 1968, Jim Sullivan announced that he and Bert had decided to give this land to the community for a building site. That was a giant leap for Seeley Lake.

Bert and her late husband, Jim, set up the non-profit corporation that owns the hall, and also donated the land for the facility and were major financial contributors during construction of the building.

Now, we who had been agitating felt that nothing could stop us.

Meetings were held at Chaffin's home, with Allen as chairman, to make decisions and further plans.

"In May of 1968, actual work began with volunteer labor" and the first walls were set up in October of that year. Progress was sporadic, based on donated or discount priced materials and the availability of volunteer engineers, craftsmen and labor. Finally, the building was ready for prime-time and officially opened in the early 1970s.

At the behest of Jim Sullivan, Allen assumed the role of Community Hall caretaker in 1985, and announced his retirement as in an interview with the Seeley Swan Pathfinder in 1997.

From the Seely Swan Pathfinder...

According to Community Hall Secretary, Joanne Guyer, Allen Chaffin has served as the Chairman of the Board, reservation clerk, holder of the key, collector of the rent, payer of the bills, custodian, repairman, snow plower and snow remover. The list is daunting, and the board is well aware that changes will have to be made in the future in order to continue maintenance and management of the hall.

The caretaker, in addition to routine maintenance and repairs, has to be able to go into the hall behind each group that rents it and check all of the heaters, breakers, lights and faucets, and make sure the doors are locked.