This handsome double black door and the interesting brown sliding garage door belong to the Jeremiah Smith Grange in Lee, New Hampshire. The building dates back to 1841.
The Grange was started in 1867, focusing on agriculture issues that were important to individuals and families in the rural farming communities. In 1867, it was the first group to give women an equal vote with their male counterparts.
The Jeremiah Smith Grange started in 1891 and currently has 15 recorded members. The online listing shows 57 Granges in New Hampshire with individual memberships ranging from 11 to 64.
The early New Hampshire Grange participated in helping the US Post Office establish Rural Free Delivery routes, establish local libraries to share books, was involved in lobbying for a State Police Force, and contributed to developing the University System of New Hampshire.
My grandparents belonged to the Mount Hope Grange in Landaff. There were annual Old Home Days with a parade, contests, dinner, an evening play, and just plain old-fashioned family fun. I couldn’t even count the number of Grange meetings and activities I went to as a child, but I can tell you I’m sitting here smiling just thinking about it. My grandparents 50th wedding anniversary was held at the Grange where they celebrated with family, friends and neighbors.
The NH Grange lists itself as ‘America’s Family Fraternity’ with a focus on “enjoying good in their labor, help the needy, protect children and animals, and care for the sick and elderly.”
Maybe we should all join a Grange. 🙂
Linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, December 8, 2016.