NORWAY — Next week’s centennial celebration of the Norway Grange #45 hall on Whitman Street is expected to draw scores of people to Norway from as far away as Ohio.

“We’ve invited several special people,” said Grange secretary Ethel Lacourse of the celebration on Oct. 18 that begins at 1 p.m. with an open house at the building and a program following at 2 p.m.

Lacourse said that James Owens, master of he Maine State Grange, has accepted an invitation to attend. Additionally, she said the two great-great grandchildren of the Grange’s first master — George W. Rice of Norway and his sister, Carol Rice of Ohio — will be attending along with others.

The Grange Hall was dedicated on Dec. 9, 1909, and was was built for about $10,000 on a piece of land purchased for $550, according to history compiled by Lacourse. Gilbert A. Russell of Portland was awarded the contract in June of 1909 to build the hall. The construction was paid for by fundraisers, such as a moonlight dance, she said.

The Grange Hall, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has undergone a transformation in the last year culminating with the recent painting of the exterior with green-stained shingles on top and white on the first floor clapboards. The trim was repainted green, windows re-puttied, and the metal roof and the sign above the pillared porch were repainted among other work.

Visitors will also be able to see the elaborate stained glass “Children’s Window” that was restored last year and other memorabilia, plus the two floors of the hall with its original woodwork and other details that are still intact.

Other guests who have been invited include the board of the Oxford Hills Performing Arts Association — which rents the second-floor space — recipients of the Grange community citizens awards, contributors to the building fund, local politicians and others.

Those who wish to attend the program are asked to contact Grange secretary Lacourse at 743-8384 before Oct. 11 so arrangements can be made for seating and refreshments. Seating in the upper hall is limited to 100.

All are welcome to view the hall between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

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