Hartland Music Hall
   

 

When passing through Hartland, one's interest is drawn to a beautiful white church-like building. A broad walk leads to a colonial entrance over which it reads "Hartland Music Hall. " Here is the physical center where many musical and dramatic activities have been held over the years.

The historic Hartland Music Hall was constructed in 1858 to house the First Congregational Church of Hartland. Its original construction cost was $1,800. It was built by members of that congregation using locally developed materials. The church disbanded in 1923 and the building fell into a state of disrepair.

In 1929, Mr. J. Robert Crouse, Sr. purchased the building for $500. He retained the services of Dr. Emil Lorch, Dean of the College of Architecture of the University of Michigan, to plan and supervise the renovation of the hall. This was done in conjunction with the Hartland Area Project which was conceived by Mr. Crouse as a method of bringing fine art to a rural community. A porch was added and a foundation dug for rehearsal rooms, storage, and a pipe organ. (The organ, a beautiful Kilgen pipe organ, was of great interest to Henry Ford, who wanted to purchase it for his home at Fairlane. Mr. Crouse refused to sell it and the organ still graces the Music Hall today).

Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, the Music Hall was used by the Hartland Schools and the community as a whole, and gained a national reputation as a center for music and music education. The building, an early Greek Revival, was one of several in Livingston County honored with the stamping of a limited edition pewter plate during the nation's bicentennial celebration. In 1979, the building was declared an official historic site by the Michigan Historical Commission.

Today the Music Hall is used extensively for the Hartland Players' rehearsals and performances, a music series sponsored by Hartland Community Education and the annual singing of Hande's "Messiah" by the Hartland Area Community Chorus every December.