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At the center of Sheffield’s town green, along Route 7, an old fieldstone and marble hall has acted as a community center for more than a hundred years.

Fiddle bridge. Fiddle bridge. Courtesy photo by Sam Whited

The hall was named for Orville Dewey, an 18th-century Unitarian minister (and Williams College alum) who was born in Sheffield and retired to a farm here.

He founded the Sheffield Friendly Union Library Association “to increase good and kindly feelings and to promote intelligence and cheerfulness,” says the hall.

Dewey’s family built this gathering place as a memorial, and the broad hall with its beamed ceiling now kitchen and a stage. A community group hosts art shows and talks here, concerts, monthly swing dances and contradances with live music, and the Dewey Hall Folk Series.