The local Grange Hall in Maine was an integral part of American’s agricultural lifestyle for much of the 1900’s.
Every town had a Grange Hall.
I passed the Grange Hall in Weston and Cary Maine here in Aroostook County over the weekend. The driveways not plowed out, their memberships dwindling as the older workers die off one by one. But in 2700 communities, 40 states, the National Grange was a major force in shaping the country. And still is with the following being the mission statement for the Grange.
“Major objectives of the National Grange support stewardship of America’s natural resources; promotion of world-wide free trade; a combination of local and federal support for rural education, medical, communications, and road systems; non-partisan political participation; assurance of safe and properly labeled food products; organization of cooperatives and other economic services to support rural Americans; and elimination of direct government farm programs so as to assure a competitive and efficient farm system.
The National Grange supports the passage of progressive legislation that will benefit U.S. agriculture, rural America, and the nation in general. After 143 years, it remains the nation’s oldest and strongest sustained organizational force working for a better life for rural Americans everywhere.”
Now with more and more options for a person’s free time group and organization wise, Grange membership in Maine has dropped off. Especially since less than 3 percent of us are farmers, the original bulk of the membership in the early 1900’s in the Grange hay day.