On Sunday, a community potluck event intended to foster greater unity and vision is planned in the old Gays Mills Community Building. The hope is to find new use, and a new name, for that cherished landmark.
For the project to succeed, the town needs to be involved in a significant way, helping create viable uses for the building, providing the energy to make those ideas come to fruition and giving or raising money.
It would certainly be a worthy project to see that lovely historic building find a new life. The building represents some important aspects in our collective history, both as a town and a nation. It was a response to flooding that saw the village offices moved into the upstairs of the building. And it was a national response to the Great Depression that saw the building created through funding from the Federal Public Works Administration with the labor of men employed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, living in a CCC camp just north of town near the Pettit greenhouses.
I hope people feel the urge to attend and talk about how to make a new future for that old Community Building. Many buildings have disappeared from our landscape, but some are still there before us, sturdily present and sound if we only find a way to knit a past and present together through action.
I also think a new name might be useful too. A small town with more than one community building is a bit confusing…