Union Hall

At a time before modern insurance, Social Security, employer health insurance, worker safety regulations or any of the social welfare improvements of the 20th century, people had few sources of protection or financial safety nets. With often nowhere to turn for support, citizens formed societies, often called “friendly” societies, “mutual” societies or “benevolent” societies which were mutual associations for the purposes of insurance, pensions, savings or cooperative banking. These societies provided financial and social services to individuals, often according to their religious, political or trade affiliations. Several of these societies were formed throughout Cumberland County in the 19th century, and in 1897 Union Hall was built to provide a meeting location for several of them.