History and Mission

 

The Lanesville Community Center was founded in 1954 as a gathering place for the residents of Lanesville, and remains a prized possession of the community.Consisting of a main building sitting on five acres of recreational green space and managed by a board of directors, its purpose is to assist, encourage, promote, and undertake such activities as will contribute towards the educational advancement of adults and children in the community in the areas of art, local history, agriculture, and emergency preparedness, and advance the social, recreational, physical, moral, spiritual, and cultural lives of its citizens. The Lanesville Emergency Action Program (LEAP) has designated the LCC as its emergency communication center for community residents.

It’s a far cry from the dairy barn it used to be. Originally one of forty dairy farms on Cape Ann, the barn was purchased by a group of forward-thinking neighbors to create a gathering place for all the residents of Lanesville. A major village effort, carpenters, tradespeople, and neighbors joined together to renovate the barn into an attractive, usable community center. Pig roasts and clam bakes (see below), political meetings and square dances have all taken place since its beginning.

Here is a picture of the house across the street from the LCC, taken about 1900. It shows John Ahola and wife Sofie with their three kids. The famous Lanesville character Sylvesta Ahola was born a couple of years later. John Ahola started the Lanesville Dairy Farm shortly after this picture was taken and built his barn (which is now the LCC) where you can see a few sheds at the upper right of the picture. The house was deeded to Sofie in 1926 and she in turn sold it to a Selma Silver of Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1964 who in turn sold it to Everett Jylkka who sold it to the current owner in 1972. The color photo below was taken last summer for comparison.