Molson Grange Hall fails inspection, community appeals for help

The structure of the Molson Grange Hall has failed inspection and is in need of repairs.

The roof on the Molson Grange Hall and the crumbling parapet. Submitted photos

The roof on the Molson Grange Hall and the crumbling parapet. Submitted photos

MOLSON – The structure of the Molson Grange Hall has failed inspection, and the community is seeking donations to make repairs.

The Grange Hall, built circa 1913, was inspected in the fall of 2023 by Mike Rounds and Kevin Myrick. They have reported to the membership that the building is at risk for numerous structural problems that must be corrected as soon as possible. Repairs and improvements are estimated to be in the neighborhood of $50,000. With taxes and contingencies, it could be closer to $60,000. These serious problems concern the integrity of the building and the safety of workers and visitors.

Structural problems on the large building, deficiencies, decay and water intrusion are major issues. Specific areas to build or refurbish include:

  • Individual parapet walls and caps;
  • Separation issues within two wall corners and adjoining parapets;
  • Attachment of the PVC membrane roofing to the interior of the parapet walls;
  • Separation of the full-height chimney from a side wall;
  • Installation of a metal pipe exhaust sleeve within an existing interior chimney;
  • The roof, staircase and ladders have access and safety issues;
  • A user-friendly roof hatch access (lid); and
  • Improved roofing options if required.

The report stated that the mortar is decayed beyond its service life and is severely broken down from freeze/thaw conditions which can cycle several times per day/night; other exposures stated would be ultraviolet radiation, wind, rain, vibrations and seismic activity.

Evidence of erosion on the roof of the Molson Grange Hall.

Evidence of erosion on the roof of the Molson Grange Hall.

Molson Grange has a long and interesting history serving the residents of the North Okanogan. Molson Grange has hosted pinochle parties one night a week in winter for over seven decades and roller skating one night a week in summer for over 60 years. Molson has many ongoing projects such as collecting dictionaries and/or thesauruses for school kids and pancake feeds that not only are a fund raiser but also provide a time for neighbors to get together plus help new people to the area become introduced to our culture and hospitality.

In addition, Molson hosts the Northwest Ice Fishing Festival annually for the Oroville Chamber of Commerce and a summer festival on the third Saturday in June each year. The Grange Hall is used for educational meetings, service to the community, weddings, funerals, reunions and more.

Grange in the USA surprises some people when they read that the Grange was responsible for school buses being yellow or that the Grange helped bring in electrical power in the 1930s and 1940s to rural regions.

Checks of any amount are appreciated. Please make out and mail checks under $500 to Molson Grange at 77 Brugh Road, Oroville, WA 98844. For donors wishing a tax deduction, checks over $500 should be made out to and sent to the Washington State Grange Foundation at P.O. Box 1186, Olympia, WA 98507-1186. The memo line should read Molson Hall Repairs.

We will continue to develop the scope of work and budget in 2024. Anyone needing more information or the EIN for the Grange Foundation may contact Robin Stice at 509-485-4002.