Built in 1902, McCathran Hall was originally constructed as the Assembly Hall to hold the growing camp meeting attendees, hold year-round visitors or residents indoors, accommodate the Chautauqua activities (educational programs and secular entertainment), and function as a chapel. However, in 1905, the Chautauqua meetings grew so much that the Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association built the Auditorium (with a capacity of 1,400) in Woodward Park.
Backstory and Context
Renamed McCathran Hall in 1957, after the first mayor of the town Roy McCathran, this building was officially dedicated as the town hall in 1973. After the Auditorium’s demolition in 1963, McCathran Hall became the center of the town’s social activity. The original section of the building is actually an octagonal hall, designed by architect A. L. Harris in 1901, with a square meeting room along the west side. Editions to the building formed a wing from the north side of the meeting room. In 1996, the town elected to build a one-story addition to the building with renovations for office space and for the housing of the municipal archives. Today, McCathran Hall is used for a variety of events. Feel free to watch the video link attached and read the articles as well while walking around the hall! Images will be added after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and I can resume research.
“History of Washington Grove,” Our History, Town of Washington Grove,
Robinson & Associates, Inc., Architectural Survey: Town of Washington Grove (Washington, D.C.: 2019).
Philip K. Edwards, Washington Grove 1873-1937: A History of the Washington Grove Camp Meeting Association (Washington Grove: Philip K. Edwards, 1988).