The Taghum Hall Story
The bright & beautiful, newly-renovated Taghum Hall, located along the shores of the Kootenay River, 10 kilometres west of Nelson, is the cultural cornerstone of the Taghum area. It is operated by an independent, community-based society of members and volunteers. The hall hosts vibrant community programming of special events and ongoing activities. Anyone in the region can become a member to help keep the hall going and to shape its future. (see “How to become a member”)
It all started back in the early 1950s when the local Russian Doukhobor community needed a place to meet and worship. They formed a society and obtained the present plot of land near the old Taghum bridge, on the site of a former sawmill. With lots of volunteer labour and little money, they built the hall from salvaged buildings from the Lemon Creek Japanese Internment Camp. The original building was wood-heated and had no indoor plumbing.
Over the years, the hall has served as a weekly place for Doukhobor worship, plus as a venue for weddings, funerals, meetings, voting, dinners, and dances for both the Russian community and the community at large. The strong volunteer base has kept the hall as a vital part of the community.
Improvements were made gradually on shoestring budgets over time. The hardwood floor was salvaged from the fire-damaged Trafalgar Junior High in 1967. Indoor washrooms and an expanded kitchen were added as a BC Centennial Project in 1971. The wood furnace was replaced by a propane heater.
By 2010, the hall was in need of an upgrade, but community members expressed a strong desire to keep the hall community-owned. The society worked on obtaining funding from many sources such as the Federal Gas Tax/Community Works Funding, Columbia Basin Trust and the Regional District of Central Kootenay. In the summer of 2014 renovations finally began. The building was brought up to modern structural standards, with a new accessible entry and washrooms, new windows, and a deck built to overlook the river. New energy efficient heating, insulation, and lighting were added.
The hall now starts another chapter of its life with modern standards, but with the same community spirit that has kept the hall going. Many people in the region have fond memories of events that have taken place in Taghum Hall over the years. We hope to continue that tradition.