Apple Tree Arts and the Grafton Historical Society have a common dream: restoring the great hall at the Grafton Town House to its former glory.
That's a lofty dream though, and those most involved in the planning want to get the community involved in helping raise the money to make the space a place for everyone.
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Grafton Town House, the Grafton Historical Society is throwing a costume ball on May 18 and inviting residents to join them in celebrating the history of the building and the town.
According to Linda Casey, a member of the historical society, the building was destroyed after a fire started in one of the shops in 1862, while more than 300 Grafton residents were away fighting in the Civil War.
"Since the building was rebuilt in 1863, it has served almost every function you can imagine," Casey said.
At various points in its history, the building was a church, a home to the town's government, a home to businesses and a home to many social functions.
What better way, Casey said, than to hold a ball to raise money toward the great room's restoration.
At a press conference for the ball on Monday morning, Casey played the part of Horace Warren, the daughter-in-law of Jonathan Warren, who originally designed the building. In addition, Richard Gardner played the part of Elbridge Boyden, the building's architect.
The duo gave a detailed history of the building along with Grafton residents' role in the Civil War.
The Costume Ball is sponsored by the 150th Grafton Town House Anniversary Committee.
A community wide effort to make the ball a reality started this past October when the 150th Grafton Town House Committee was formed. The group includes members from the Grafton Historical Society, The Grafton Historical Commission, Apple Tree Arts and The Grafton Land Trust. Grafton Historical Society has a three members on the committee.
Tickets cost $50 and will be sold at the Grafton Country Store, Two Grafton Common, as well as the Grafton Historical Society and Apple Tree Arts, located at One Grafton Common. To purchase a table of 10, call the Grafton Historical Society, 508-839-0000.
Also on May 18, a Civil War reenactment group will be camping on the Town Common at the same time as the Grafton Garden Club's annual flower sale. The library and the Unitarian-Universalist Church, which will be celebrating its 150th anniversary, will be hosting other events.