Citizens of Lorne, Minnesota Falls Township and the Upper Sioux Community; members of the Valley Riders Saddle Club, 4-H, Farmer’s Union, and National Farmers Organization; and graduates and families of the Lorne School (1902-1937), former local voters as well as the fun loving and the curious are all invited to attend to the first annual Lorne School House Holiday Potluck to be held from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the former Minnesota Township Hall on Sunday, December 6.

Citizens of Lorne, Minnesota Falls Township and the Upper Sioux Community; members of the Valley Riders Saddle Club, 4-H, Farmer’s Union, and National Farmers Organization; and graduates and families of the Lorne School (1902-1937), former local voters as well as the fun loving and the curious are all invited to attend to the first annual Lorne School House Holiday Potluck to be held from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the former Minnesota Township Hall on Sunday, December 6.

The Holiday Potluck will mark the first community event held at the 103-year-old former Minnesota Falls Township Hall since it was purchased in the summer of 2014  by local resident Maureen Aakre-Ross and revitalized into a community gathering site.

“I want to provide the ​village​ of Lorne a place to unite community again. It’s important.” said Aakre-Ross shortly after the original purchase in 2014. “Many cities have a distinction of seeing themselves as the center – when ​I prefer to think of ​community​ as gatherings of like mind people in a convenient setting.”

Over the years the former Minnesota Falls Town Hall has served area residents in a number of capacities including that of a school and, more recently, as the Minnesota Falls Town Hall––where the site hosted the litany of organizations aforementioned in the opening paragraph at different times during its lifespan. The onset of electronic voting and centralized polling locations would lead the township board to view the facility as obsolete, paving the way for the Aakre-Ross purchase.

The 32 x 24 ft. Township Hall was well taken care of, with rich hardwoods, old kitchen and even original blackboards of the old school were all kept in relatively pristine condition.

For her part, Aakre-Ross has sought to  continue the care of the Lorne community legacy while making the necessary updates, removals and repairs in order to bring the past into the present with a purpose suited for this day and age.

This means the old ceilings, plywood panelling and all but one blackboard ​are being re-purposed​ and, in their stead, tasteful replacements – sure to mesh better with new kitchen appliances and environmentally conscious utility systems, that include a battery powered propane stove and waste incinerating toilet.

Aside from the Holiday Potluck House, Aakre-Ross says that she plans to open the former schoolhouse to community activity from​ ​ ​early ​April​ through t​he first Sunday in December.

The former Minnesota Township Hall is located at the conjunction of Highway 23 and 240th Ave., four miles south of Granite Falls. The event is a potluck and individuals are asked to BYOB.