The ECCC or Eddington-Clifton Civic Center is a non-profit corporation founded in 1983 by a group of dedicated volunteers looking to preserve the history and integrity of Comins Hall, our community’s oldest operating meeting space.
President: Ruth Perry
Vice President: Sara Butterfield
Treasurer: Julie Clewley
Secretary: Jeff Egolf
In 1983 - and despite many challenges - a group of volunteers pledged to make the East Eddington Public Hall a safe and useful community meeting place once again. They set up a new corporation - The Eddington-Clifton Civic Center Corp. - obtained tax-exempt status, and formed committees to oversee various renovation projects and to seek donations for the upkeep of the historic building.
That same year, the East Eddington Public Hall was renamed Comins Hall to thank the members of the Comins family for their dedication to its preservation, and in honor of their work as civic leaders in Eddington, Penobscot County and the state of Maine for more than four generations. Then, in 1986, the historical society named the auditorium in honor of Mason Shaw and his family, with thanks for their commitment to the building's heritage and years of service to the community.
Throughout the 1980's and 90s, many community members worked hard to keep both the building and its history alive by donating materials, labor and expertise to shingle the roof, upgrade the electrical system, insulate the kitchen and dining room, install new front steps and to complete many other projects. Others faithfully ran Wednesday night Bingo games, a valuable source of income for the hall. But Why?
According to Eddington resident Gloria Faulkner, who - along with her husband John - has supported efforts to preserve the building for many years, the answer is clear.
"I think many of us recognize the importance of keeping and preserving what is old and what makes up the root structure of a community, and this is a wonderful community."
"The public hall is really the only old thing we have left. The old one-room schoolhouses are gone, there's only one old church, no other public buildings remain. It's been the gathering place for this community for nearly 125 years. So, if it's at all possible to restore it, preserve it, and use it, I think we owe it to the people who settled here to do so. It's so important to keep history alive for future generations."
Many people agree with her, and so today faithful volunteers still give of their time and talents to help preserve the building, offering their services as members of the Comins Hall Board of Directors, overseeing rentals for wedding receptions, anniversary parties and family reunions, and looking after the building's general upkeep.
But they can't do it alone.
The hall is still available at no charge for public events, programs and projects by any group or organization in Eddington and Clifton, and for private functions held by residents for a small fee.
But Comins Hall needs your help if it is to survive for future generations.
Throughout the years - and thanks to the interest and creativity of community members - the building that originally served as a farmers' meeting place became so much more. Now it's time to preserve the history and heritage of Comins Hall - and to explore new horizons.
As an aging building the hall needs regular maintenance to keep serving the needs of the community. With the help and generosity of you, our neighbors, we can keep Comins Hall functioning for generations to come.