The Peck Memorial Hall, situated at 2820 Main Street in Hillsborough, holds local historic significance for its connection to Lieutenant George Bishop Peck, its role in serving the community, and its architectural features.
Lieutenant George Bishop Peck tragically lost his life during the First World War in the Battle of Passchendaele on October 30, 1917. Prior to the battle, he wrote to his father, John L. Peck, a local bank owner and member of the Provincial Legislature, asking that his portion of the family’s wealth be used to benefit the entire community, particularly the young people of Albert County. On November 30, 1921, his final wish was fulfilled when the Peck Memorial Hall was dedicated in memory of the fallen heroes of Albert County. His father financed the construction and transferred ownership of the hall to the county’s residents.
The hall was the first building in Canada to be built in honor of those who lost their lives during the Great War (1914-1918). Fifty-three young men from Albert County never returned home. The hall commemorates these individuals with six stained glass windows, each representing an Albert County community: Hopewell, Harvey, Elgin, Alma, Coverdale, and Hillsborough.
On dedication day, the windows were unveiled by the mother or wife of a fallen soldier, blessed at the church altar, and then installed in the building’s west wall.
For eighty-five years, the Peck Memorial Hall served the community by hosting a variety of events such as Remembrance Day dinners, dances, receptions, weddings, and youth sports activities. In 2008, the hall was sold and converted into apartments, and the six stained glass windows were relocated to the Legion Hall on Legion Street.
The Hillsborough Masonic Lodge, Howard Lodge #15, occupies the basement of the Peck Memorial Hall. Chartered in 1855, the lodge has convened on the first Tuesday of every month for over one hundred and fifty-five years. The hall is the third lodge room in the community to be occupied by Howard Lodge during its existence.
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