NOTES FROM YOUR HISTORIAN
As we begin to celebrate the sesquicentennial of New York State Grange I would like to encourage each department to do an activity/ies related to our history. Here are some ideas for each of our Grange departments. These ties will have an hisotrical aspect.
COMMUNITY SERVICE – In ythe past many Granges had their own libraries. Many tmes the only one in the community. Donate some books to our local library, especially children’s books telling an agricultural story. Your local librarian can assist you.
JUNIORS – Learn about a local dignitary from the past. Perhaps a Granger, woman of importance, a politican, or other person who helped your town. Make a drawing, mosaic, photo, or create a puzzle of this person’s likeness.
LECTURERS – Choose an artist/s or photographer/s from past years whose primary focus was rural. Ask one or more members to research them and share the information with your Grange. Some ideas for rural related artists are Johm Francois Millet (Barbison School fo Art) His paintings correlate with tour first four degrees. Any of the Hudson River School such as Frederic Church and Alfred Bierstadt. Regionalist Grant Wood could also be used. Perhaps you have a local artist who would fit this category.
LEGISLATIVE – Check the hisotric markers in your town. Are there notable rural people or an event that should be commemorated? The Pomeroy Foundation will provide markers. Contact me for more information. Research and present a talk on the Grangers Laws, RFD, rural electrification, or other legislative issue that had a national benefit.
SPORTS – Encourage your members to play an old fashioned game such as croquet and also old board games. Combine it with a Grange picnic or have a game night at your Grange.
FAMILY ACTIVITIES – Ask some members to research popular quilt patterns. Have members bring examples of heirloom/new patterns to show and tell about them. Art quilts are currently popular and maybe you could find one. Other examples of needlework could be used also. Have a dinner using heritage family recipies.
MEMBERSHIP – Question long time members why they joined. Ask new members their motive in joining. Are there correlations or totally different reasons? Use the information to secure new members. Encourage and ask decendants of former Grangers to joing.
YOUTH – As many Granges held square dances in times past and some still do, learn to do a square dance, the Virgina reel, grand march, or other old time dance. Also research a prominent Grange or Grange event (local if possible) and give a report to your junior and community Grange. Publish it in your local paper.
This is a particularly good time to recognize long time Grangers. Plan a special program and recognize their accomplishments not only in Grange but also in the community. There are some Granges that will be celebrating 150 years within the next few years. It is not to early to start planning for the special celebration. Anything from a birthday cake to a day of activities ending with a dinner with a National Grange speaker are possible.
Years ago here in Wayne County we celebrated the 90th anniversary of several Granges with a parade with the National President in an horse drawn carriage. There are lots of options out there. Feel free to contact me for more ideas.
These are only a few thoughts. Put on your tinking caps and come up with some that might work better in your individual Grange. Have some fun, and celebrate this momentous occasion.
Carol s. Bailey, Hisorian
3033 Middle Sodus Road
Lyons, NY 14489
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