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Sunday, January 25, 2015

GRANGE HALLS AND RURAL COMMUNITY


FERNWOOD GRANGE ENTRANCE

Grange halls have existed in rural areas of our nation since the mid-1800s. Their growth was attributed to community activities associated with farmland living -- serving as a meeting house of sorts for country folks. It was a time of real family farms not corporate farms, 

They played a large role in our historic agricultural community. However the grange buildings have been slowly disappearing as land is being bought up for housing developments, malls, and commercial structures. 

I always look for the old grange buildings that usually sit forlornly on our former rural lands. As family farms have been exiting these areas, now one might find a grange sitting next to many commercial buildings or new subdivisions -- deteriorating ever so slowly.  So many have disappeared from our landscapes. At one time the above Fernwood Grange was among six granges in the Newberg area of Oregon. Today Fernwood Grange is the last remaining of the original six -- the result of city encroachment. 

Grange buildings are dying off as our culture changes.



For more info on granges across the nation click here 




22 comments:

  1. Progress for progress sake will be our downfall. I do believe we need to take lessons from the past and preserve a bit of history even as we move forward. Such a shame to leave things derelict while building new and shiny. Why not refurbish and use as a gift shop or little museum about the community? We've become such a throwaway, wasteful society in so many ways. Best wishes, Tammy

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    1. Tammy -- thanks for your very great insightful comment. Your words succinctly underscore my post. If only folks could understand your message -- we would be in great shape as a world. -- barbara

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  2. Interesting article. I don't think we have an equivalent over here. There is a National Farmers' Union and industrial workers have a whole raft of similar organisations from unions to welfare institutes and co-operatives.

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    1. John -- I am gong to look up your national Farmers Union. It might be somewhat like a grange? Granges peppered our nation and if one looks, they can still still a few. They were quite democratic. A few books have been wrote about them. -- thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  3. Yes, the society is changing, because the economy is changing, I think what's good and bad about those changes is long, long discussion.

    Your header photo with the teasle is lovely.

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    1. June -- Glad you liked the teasel photo. I took it shortly after I arrived in the Pacific Northwest as it represented a typical fall/winter day here. Agree that my subject is up for a long discussion -- even perhaps a three day conference if one is into politics. I write about such small but once important buildings as I don't want folks to forget our heritage. -- thanks barbara

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  4. The grange hall in the village is preserved by the village foundation that owns much of the village. The hall is known as the GAR hall, another of its functions. And, it was the library, and the boys scouts met there.

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    1. Joanne -- GAR reminds me of the civil war -- Grand Army of the Republic. Did they rename the grange to GAR? Nice to know that the grange has a place in the history of your village. thanks -- barbara

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    2. I don't know if it was dual grange hall/GAR lodge or first one then the other. But, it served both functions. The village and the township sent more than their share of Ohio boys off to the Civil War.

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  5. I grew up where there was a grange and I never thought about it or actually what it did!!

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    1. Tabor -- Did you ever visit the grange for any types of community activities? Were you a farm girl? I know that I grew up in a small town and half of the small buildings in my town were used for something but I wasn't sure what for. Recently I bought an "Images of America Series' featuring my hometown. Images of America features individual books of different cities across the U.S. Found info about my hometown buildings I never knew about -- but now -- know about many, many years later. -- barbara

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  6. Love your selfie. Very appropriate for a photographer.

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    1. Diane -- thanks for the nice words -- Your photo is lovely -- loved your last post on journaling. -- barbara

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  7. Interesting how our society is always changing. So many things are forgotten about and left behind. Progress is not always good.

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    1. Michelle -- It does seem that we have to set out to destroy our past in some cases -- so we can build new -- but why can't we have both? thanks -- barbara

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  8. It seems to me like I see more granges out here than in the Midwest. Although maybe it's just that I'm more tuned into agricultural community now. By the way, I really like your teasel header photo!

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    1. I think you are right. Since I am originally from the Midwest I too have noticed many more granges out here in the Northwest. Perhaps because the farm population is still going fairly strong here compared to the Midwest? Just a wild guess on my part. thanks -- thanks -- barbara

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  9. Grange, 4H: It seems very quaint in these days of agribusiness. I did go to a county fair in Missouri once that was very much along old fashioned lines, but a lot of it seemed risible to me, alas. Lots of lame craft projects, prize string beans on a paper plate, a wall of ham (Yes, prize winning hams covered an entire wall!)You would have had a field day taking photos there, Barbara. I did like the animals, though, and people were very sincere, of course. I'm just a callous urban sophisticate, I guess.
    But there is a lot of small farming here on the Big Island of Hawaii and more of it all the time. And the U of Hawaii branch here is very big into ag.

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    1. Hattie -- Oh oh your urban colors are showing. Tell us more about farming on the Big Island -- would be interesting. -- thanks -- barbara

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    2. Hattie -- Oh oh your urban colors are showing. Tell us more about farming on the Big Island -- would be interesting. -- thanks -- barbara

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  10. A very interesting bit of history Barbara. I haven't seen many Grange Halls in Maine, though I know they do exist...

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    1. Rita -- I would imagine that your area would have a few. Sometimes they have been renamed to "community center" or other like names. Grange halls have a democratic history -- They existed in large number across our states. -- thanks barbara

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