Recently the Pine Grove Community Center was officially inducted into the National Registry for Historic Places, making this Manzanita civic center a rallying point for history, gatherings and the community for generations.
By Brian Cameron
“It’s interesting after the events I’ve been to at the Pine Grove,” said Dave Dillon of Manzantia. “Everybody always pitches in and puts away tables and chairs after the events, they all just know what to do and want to do it.”
The Pine Grove Community center is actually not a Center at all, but officially known as the Pine Grove Community House according to their bylaws. Representing the first tangible civic project undertaken by some of Manzanita’s first residents who at the time lacked any sort of municipal government so they decided to form a community group to address the needs and management of their small town.
Currently the Pine Grove Community House is formed as a 501(c)3 non profit organization and has an 11 member board from the local Manzanita community.
Originally the Pine Grove Community House was built in 1933 as place for local and area residents to have a place for community meetings and even weekly dancing events.
“When people living here needed a place to get together they would often just meet at each others houses,” said Dianne Getty, Pine Grove Community House Board Member. “Early on there was a separate dance hall across the street from the Pine Grove but after the events began to build in popularity they decided to build a specific location for locals to make an evening out of with dancing, hence the Community House was created.”
The entire point of creating the Community House, according to Getty, was to encourage citizen and private use as a means of supporting the ongoing costs of the House itself. Something Getty feels it’s a goal that has been becoming less and less important as time moves on.
“We frequently open the House up for reunions, weddings and other get togethers,” said Getty. “It seems however lately that there hasn’t been a strong focus on maintaining the valuable volunteer force which is crucial to how Pine Grove operatres.”
Currently the Community House is frequently used for overflow meetings from City Hall, presentations by local and regional politicians as well as still offering itself as an event venue, all of which go into the operational budget of the Community House.
“The Pine Grove has competition now as far as places to consider for public or private events,” said Getty. “There needs to be an understanding of what the Community House is compared to what it used to be.”