One of Merrickville’s residents (Mary Pearson) remembers the silent movies shown in the hall. She was the piano player for the movies and she reportedly played for Alexander Graham Bell. Mary was the daughter of foundryman William Pearson and granddaughter of lockmaster John Johnston. Mary was very active in the affairs of the village for the first half of the 20th century. (citation – J. Cowan)
Right up to the 40’s the hall was popular and a good place for dances. Soon after the hall became unsafe to use due to its deterioration. The hall was sold to successive owners thru to the 60’s. The village offices were moved to a new Victorian building donated by Mary for municipal purposes. Maintenance was minimal just to ensure its preservation.
In November of 1982, a group of concerned citizens met and resolved to form a foundation that would save and use properties of architectural and historical significance. This resulted in the Heritage Merrickville Foundation which with the help of trustees and generous friends acquired the building in 1984 and began a major overhaul of the building to stabilize and restore it. Since the renovations the hall has been the home of the original French School, an Art Gallery, the locations of numerous presentations and Community activities, a restaurant, an antiques store, the home for the Archives of the Merrickville and District Historical Society and now the home of The Royal Canadian Legion Br245 and the Merrickville Lions Club.