Memorial Town Hall
8 Meetinghouse Lane
On July 4, 1894, nearly 400 people gathered at the First Congregational Church to consider the creation of a memorial to honor Madison soldiers who had served in the Civil War. Since the majority voted in favor of construction of a hall, as opposed to a monument, an architect was hired, and planning was soon well underway.
Philander Coe’s store, then located on the site purchased for the Memorial, was moved by oxen down the street to a new location. The estimated cost of construction for the Hall was $12, 863.98. The Town of Madison reportedly contributed about $7,500 of that sum, and the remainder was raised by public subscription.
Memorial Hall was dedicated on Memorial Day in 1897. Because it was intended as a memorial to those fallen in the Civil War, marble tablets with the names of soldiers who served in the Civil War were hung at the top of the steps leading to the main entrance vestibule. In 1919, the names of those who served in WWI were added to the tablets as well. In 1899 the town received two 40-inch Civil War mortars from the federal government, both of which are displayed on either side of the main entrance.
From its beginning, the building included a large main auditorium intended for concerts, theater performances, and other public gatherings. Even as part of the dedication ceremony, plays were presented in the main hall, and basketball games were scheduled. Often rented for roller skating parties and dances, the Hall was in great use for the next forty years as a community center.
The town remodeled the building in 1938, at a cost of $18,000, to create town offices. Its name was changed to Memorial Town Hall, and town business was conducted there until 1995 when the town offices were moved to the Madison Town Campus at the former Hammonasset School.
In modern times day, Memorial Town Hall is still widely used by the community for meetings and public education programs. The Charlotte L. Evarts Memorial Archives is located on its lower level, and the Madison Probate Offices are housed here as well.