The beautifully renovated Benmiller Community Hall has a long, rich history of serving our community’s needs – having fulfilled three important roles over the years.
It began its school career in the late 1840’s as a log building. In 1880, construction began on a new 2 room, frame schoolhouse, built by the local carpenter (father of 12 children), Andrew Heddle. His workshop, across the road from the school is still standing today (2017).
Around 1925 plans to build a new 3-room school to combine three local schools fell through, so the Benmiller School carried on, virtually as is until its closure in 1967, when the new Colborne School (between Benmiller and Carlow) opened.
At this point, the building was taken over by the Benmiller Lodge of the Canadian Order of Foresters. Started out as a male club based on insurance to protect the average working man, this organization progressed to include community betterment. A female group was started in 1959 and then in 1992 the COF amalgamated with the Independent order of Foresters. The male and female groups joined to become one group, known as the Benmiller Foresters.
In 2012, the Foresters transferred ownership to the Township of ACW and it became the Benmiller Community Hall (BCH).
Having lost both Colborne Public School and the Benmiller United Church in the intervening years, the community came together in a determined effort to renovate and restore the BCH, so as to create a sustainable, vibrant, inclusive centre within its own territory; one that could meet the community’s personal, social and fitness needs.
A visit to the site in Benmiller will provide the proud proof of this venture.