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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 β€œto 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.