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High Mountain Hall
5 Mountain Street
PO Box 1366
Camden, Maine 04843

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I did not truly realize the function or importance of “community” until I lived in the small town of Camden, Maine.  My husband and I moved here in the late 70′s, ready to settle and start a family.  We had the good fortune to meet a wonderful group of friends, as we were all having babies, and we started a cooperative preschool.  The network that developed for us from this little school became the basis of support – not only for raising our children, but also for various challenges that arose for each of us.  For me, the biggest of those came when my husband died quite young.  My experience in the ensuing years was full of kindness, support and inclusion, stemming mainly from the friendships developed at the preschool.  As I moved forward, I realized that I wanted a new way to interact with my town and friends.

The idea of staying fit through movement – movement with friends, with joy, in a beautiful space became a dream.  This could be the basis of my new connection with my community.  Finding a building, in the heart of town, that had graceful lines and a long history of gathering people together for common purpose, was amazing and fortuitous.  The previous owner of the building, which was known as the Camden Farmers’ Union, showed me the beautiful beams which came to be one of the significant features in the hall that was created.  He worked with me, removing gas tanks and pumps and decades worth of farming equipment, in preparation for the building’s new role.  My inspiration in this endeavor was my husband Phil, who had been a building contractor with an eye for simple, classic lines and symmetry.  My collaborator and the person who enabled the renovation was my father, Norman Weeks.  Though neither of these men saw the completed restoration, their hearts are manifest in its beauty and function.

The inspiration for the idea of joy and health through movement has been greatly expanded by the encouragement and participation of my daughters, Nicole, Anna and Marina.

Taking on some of the roles of both the church and the grange that existed next door, High Mountain Hall is today a beautiful spot where groups can gather to celebrate health, life and friendship.

Meg Sideris