Record SeriesTown Hall Series(1871-1996)
The Town Hall Series is arranged chronologically and consists of information (construction, repairs, alterations, additions) about the three town halls, from the original deed for the first Town Hall (1871), the "New" Town Hall (also called the "Town House" in 1918), through the contracts for the construction of the present town hall (c.1964).
Although the Town of Hempstead was established in 1644, a town hall was not built until 1871. Prior to the erection of Washington Hall, meetings concerning town business (annual meetings, special town meetings, Commissioners of Highways, Justices of the Peace, Board of Auditors, et cetera) were held at the homes of various town citizens or at various hotels within the Town. The following resolution was passed at the April 2, 1867 Annual Town Meeting: "That the Green and public grounds in front of the Episcopal Church in the village be given to the Ladies Washington Sewing Society for the purpose of building a village hall, in the same the land to revert back to the Town, unless always used for the above purposes, and the Engine and Hook & Ladder houses to be removed." (Town Records, Vol. 7, 1859-1883, p. 146)
At the Annual Town Meeting of April 4, 1871, the following resolution was passed: "That the land in front of the Episcopal Church, a part of which is now occupied by Washington Hall, be sold to the Ladies Washington Association, of the village of Hempstead, for a nominal sum, to wit: one dollar, and the Supervisor is hereby directed in behalf of the Town to make and execute a deed to said association for the said land...." (Ibid, p. 298) Further, at the April 7, 1874 Annual Town Meeting the following resolution was passed: "That the sum of five thousand two hundred and fifty dollars ($5250) be appropriated by the board of Auditors from the surplus funds of the Town arising from the sale of Hempstead Plains for the purpose of purchasing Washington Hall for use of the Town." (Ibid, p. 407) Finally, an entry dated June 9, 1874, reads as follows: "This is to Certify that the undersigned composing the board of Town Auditors of the Town of Hempstead, County of Queens State of New York have this day apportioned the sum of twelve hundred dollars for the purpose of paying off some part of the debt on Washington Hall in the Village of Hempstead, it being a portion of the interest money that was accrued on the money received for the Plain lands." (Ibid, p. 413)