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Boy Scouts are 'logged on'

A group shot of Silverdale Boy Scout Troop 552 taken Saturday afternoon in front of the new log wall that was built at the Boy Scouts Building at Carlton Street and Linder Way in Old Town Silverdale — a venerable Silverdale landmark first built in 1937.  - Photo by Jesse Beals
A group shot of Silverdale Boy Scout Troop 552 taken Saturday afternoon in front of the new log wall that was built at the Boy Scouts Building at Carlton Street and Linder Way in Old Town Silverdale — a venerable Silverdale landmark first built in 1937.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

Jackson Hall is all spruced up.

Saturday, Boy Scout Troop 552 and other community members celebrated the rebuilding of the south wall of the log-cabin Boy Scout Hall in Old Town Silverdale.

New spruce logs were installed where wind and rain had caused the others to rot and turn their insides to dust.

Although the rotten logs didn’t affect the building’s structural integrity they needed replacing, said Scoutmaster David Brook. But finding a way to replace them was easier said than done.

“You can’t open the phone book and find ‘speedy log repair man.’ It just doesn’t exist,” he said.

They found a company that specializes in building log homes and for about $21,000, the wall was replaced.

The hall, which was built in 1937, has been undergoing improvements for the past several years. It has new electrical wiring, windows, and now the wall.

Although the hall has been modernized, its history and its place in the community has not changed.

Silverdale resident Harry Knapp remembers eating lunch in the hall as a grade school student.

“I remember when it was built,” Knapp said as he stood outside the two-story structure.

He joked how the community dances would get the floor moving when they did the “Bunny Hop.” The wood floor on the upper level once belonged to shipyard barracks. It was installed in the 1950s.

He also remembers spending his Boy Scout years at the hall.

“It’s nice to see things continue on because there’s not many of those buildings left,” Knapp said.

In the spring of 1929, Jackson Hall died at 80 years old. He left no heirs and he willed his estate for the community. The land on Washington Street in Old Town was purchased in 1932 and the Jackson Hall Memorial Association started in 1933. In 1937 the Scout Hall was built with hand-hewn logs paid for by money the community raised. The building is listed as an historic building in Washington State and United States National Historic Register.

The Jackson Hall Memorial Association is a 501(C)(3) tax-exempt, non-profit organization with a simple goal.

“To provide a reliable facility for the community,” said Hank Jackel, association president.

The hall is used six nights a week. From dance clubs to church services the association charges a nominal fee for its meeting space.

Youth groups get a break on the fee.

The only time it wasn’t serving the Central Kitsap area was when the Boy Scout Hall had to serve its country. During World War II, it was used by the Army.

The building is also available for private parties like birthdays and wedding receptions.

“It’s got a lot of character,” Brook said.

Now that the top floor and log wall replacement is finished, Brook, who also serves as secretary/treasurer for the Jackson Hall Memorial Association, said the downstairs is next on the list. They hope to make the building and its restrooms ADA compliant for disabled users.

But that will take financial help from the community.

“We’re getting there,” Jackel said.

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