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i remember as a kid (too many years ago) visiting an uncle's farm in PA and hearing about being in the "grange" - going to the "grange hall", etc - the hall was apparently used for organizational purposes as well as an all-purpose community resource -
question - in a nutshell, does anyone know what "grange" was or is?
 

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joan from zone six said:
i remember as a kid (too many years ago) visiting an uncle's farm in PA and hearing about being in the "grange" - going to the "grange hall", etc - the hall was apparently used for organizational purposes as well as an all-purpose community resource -
question - in a nutshell, does anyone know what "grange" was or is?
A local branch of the Patrons of Husbandry, as association for promoting the interests of agriculture, Dont know if they are even active any more was a thing of the past in the eastern states not aware of there being grange halls here, but this is more cattle countrty with farming to support the cattle so you have cattle and horse associations here
 

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It was sort of like a 'farmer's social club'. Remember, at one time farmers didn't have much of a social life. Farms were isolated and, in the days of horse and buggy, a trip into town was a special event. Perhaps a farm family might not get off the farm much except for shopping in town on Friday evening and Sunday church service. The grange served as a type of social club. There would be presentations on aspects of farming and the pot luck supper afterwards (maybe they were all Southern Baptist). Various activities would be held to raise monies to support the grange. It also had a cultural aspect in that the Grange Hall was often the site of visiting band concerts, etc.

Ken S. in WC TN
 

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The Grange movement was closely allied to the Populist movement in american politics after the Civil War. Heres a nice little blurb about its foundation and history. http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h854.html

The Grange is still active in some small towns. As a boy, I lived about 1/4 mile from the Grange Hall, which along with the Congregational Church and Parsonage, 4 houses, two cemeteries and the Lantern Hill Inn constituted the village of South Killingly, CT. The Grange was still active there 6 years ago as my BIL, who owns a local radio station, had to endure a chicken ala king luncheon when they gave him their local civic award. There were about 12 people at the luncheon and the mean age was about 82. It would have been higher but 40yo BIL messed up the curve. ;) He said they were quite a wild bunch though compared to the Ladies of the W.C.T.U., who also met at the Grange Hall. All 4 of them.
 

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The farmers in the grange area had a similarity to the farmers in the south whom held square dances for social purposes, they were also know as moonshine distribution points!!
 

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:) I can tell you first hand that the American Grange is alive and well! LOL Our local grange halls are places where symposiums are put on that feature the latest in farming and ranching techniques, teach square dancing, canning and storing of fruits and vegetables, other gardening problem solving, as well as socializing. And a person can always get a great Thanksgiving dinner there if they don't want to cook! LOL

They are just a valuable now as they were back in the 1800's and much appreciated! :) LQ
 

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Discussion Starter #9
don - you're right about google - i'm really not too lazy to use google, but, with google all you get is dry fact - here, in addition to fact, you get feeling plus the query might help stir fond memories
 

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I know that most people have the thought that California is all just city folk, but I can attest to the fact that I grew up in a small rural area with a Grange Hall (that’s where I went for 4-H meetings) and an active Grange. Now I live in and even smaller community that has two Grange Halls with in 15 miles of each other and both seem to be very active (although I have never gone). They hold dances, political and public meetings, give out civic awards to members of the community, and have a monthly potluck, and based on the pictures in the local (ten to thirteen page) news paper they do have their share of older members but most look to be in their fifties. So the Grange may be gone back east but as far as I can tell it lives on in rural California.

My apologies to those of you in the Grange on the east cost, after I wrote this I went to the link provided by Don (thanks btw) and it looks like the Grange is still active in most of the country, including the east.
 

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The grange hall still exists in several of the surrounding farming communities. They are used for town socials, potlucks and Christmas parties. The communities out here are a very close net group and it's a great place to all gather for a good time.
 
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There are several grange halls around here that I know of. My cousin just got married a grange hall this past summer. They're smaller and less well-known than other groups like 4-H, but we always had a handful of the junior grange members compete against us at the fairs.

I signed up for membership info. I'd love the opportunity to take canning and other classes without having to drive an hour to our county extension.
 

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Local grange halls are still alive and kicking here in Ohio. We just went to the stark County Beekeeepers annual luncheon at the Piketon Grange.

Mike
 

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Well, here in North-West Pennsylvania, the grange is still alive. Go to any of the fairs, and they always have farm displays in the exhibition building. Usually I remember seeing 3 or 4 "competing" against each other for the best display. They are always set up at the local fairs selling pieces of pie. We can rent our local grange building for about $100.00 which is a nice place to hold a family reunion. And if you ever get to go to any dinners they put on, you MUST go, as the food is always homemade and delicious!
Sadly, most of the grange members around here are 60's, 70's, & up. I'm not even sure how many of the grange members are/were actually farmers. I think it is more a social event albeit possibly a dying one.
 
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