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The Hensall Heritage Hall is a unique venue, ideal for theatre, dances, weddings, parties, meetings and more. The halls boasts stunning historical features and modern amenities. The spacious interior seats 200!

UPCOMING EVENTS

THE PETTY BROTHERS


Hensall’s founders, George and James Petty, together with their elder brother John immigrated to Upper Canada from Yorkshire England in the early 1850’s. As Yorkshiremen, they were noted as a hardy breed and were celebrated for their “canny” way with a dollar.

In the early 1870’s the Petty brothers purchased the south half of Lot 21 in Hay Township amid rumour of a proposed Grand Trunk Railway to run from Wingham to London. While most settlements recognized the value of a railway yard and station, the Petty’s had the foresight to offer land valued at $8.00 an acre free to the railway with the stipulation that the railway run through their section of Land, known as Hensall.

With the terms of the agreement settled, work on the railway was undertaken and the first train ran from London to Wingham on January 10th, 1876. The “London Huron & Bruce Express” was officially born.

The London Huron & Bruce Line then brought four passenger and two freight trains past the Hensall station each day. Farm wives transported produce to Covent Garden Market each morning on the 8:22am train, leading to the railways nickname, “The Butter and Egg Express”.

The access to shipping by rail led to the opening of Hensall’s first industry. The Petty’s built the Yorkshire Packing House shortly after 1876. It was Ontario’s largest packing house at the time, handling over 12,000 pigs per year.

For the next few years it was a race to see who could erect homes and businesses in the developing settlement. According to a letter from a Hensall Resident in the June 16, 1876 edition of the Expositor – “There is scarcely a train from the north or south that does not bring potential land buyers, either for private residence or business purposes”. By the end of June 1876 the air was filled with the sound of hammers – 40 residences and businesses were under construction.

By the following summer, only a little more than a year after Hensall’s first home was built, there were between 300-400 people in the village.

The character of the Hensall settlement, still known today for its stockyard, mills and elevators, is attributed to the Petty brothers.


Hensall Heritage Hall 1914

The Hensall Heritage Hall was established in 1914 when the property was given to the village for the purpose of establishing a council chambers and town hall. 


Over the years the upper floor became the hub of the community and the site of musicals, theatre, dances, wedding receptions, recitals, and much more! An ecumenical service was held at the Hall at the end of World War II to honor those who had served. 


Boasting such architectural features as a decorative tin ceiling, central circular floor grate and gallery, the Hensall Heritage Hall was, in its heyday the grand dame of Main Street Hensall. 


After many years of use, the hall was closed in the 1970's due to structural concerns. It is the hard work of the Hensall Heritage Committee and its many supporters that following restoration the Hall, it has once again become a vital part of life in the community. After restoration, the hall features an elevator, comfortable portable seating and a central heating and cooling system. This allows for greater accessibility and multi-purpose usage. 


In front of the building a semi-circular bench featuring a life-size sculpture, by local artist/blacksmith Jim Wallace is honoring the village's founding brother James and George Petty. It offers patrons of the Hall a chance to take a seat beside Hensall history! 

Hensall Proud Heritage

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