Our venue has a rich and prominent history in the City of Somersworth. It is named The Hall at Great Falls in tribute to the original name of the neighborhood and out of respect for its history and longevity as a architectural presence on Market Street. We hope you enjoy the brief history below of the most significant documented events that have shaped the building as it stands today.
The Hall at Great Falls was originally constructed as the meeting hall of the First Congregational Church of Great Falls. On January 16, 1827, the church was established by eight members of the Piscataqua Association of Ministers. The meeting hall was constructed the following year in 1828.
Thanks to the donation of the property by the Great Falls Manufacturing Company, along with a $500 monetary donation, the building was completed for an additional cost of $4,000. Dr. Lyman Beecher gave the sermon at the dedication service in August 1828. At the time of completion, the hall looked very different, as pictured to the side, with its Greek architectural style, Doric columns and double flight of stairs ascending from the sidewalk.
The building underwent a significant renovation in 1876 to make room for a basement and vestry. The removal of the columns and beautiful flight of stairs were to the dismay of many who lamented the more utilitarian, modern façade shown below. The name of the church originally reflected the local neighborhood known as Great Falls but was later changed to the First Congregational Church of Somersworth to better reflect membership from throughout Somersworth.
The hall remained a church until purchased in the mid-1900s by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) for use as their function hall. Similar to its current use, during this time it was widely used to hold special occasion events such as weddings. It remained the VFW until it was purchased circa 1996 to once again serve as a place of worship for the Somersworth Pentecostal Church.
With the closing of the Somersworth Pentecostal Church in 2013, the property was sold in 2016 to the current owners. It was purchased with the specific intent to utilize the building as a function hall and event center. Our goal was to preserve the historic features of the building while utilizing it for a purpose well-suited to its design and past usage. May you enjoy the history, architecture and happiness of the occasion you have chosen to host in The Hall at Great Falls!