NORWAY — Alden Emerson said he is proud to be the new master of the Norway Grange, a position once held by his father and grandfather.

“It meant a lot to my family,” said Emerson, 42, a Norway resident and owner of ABC Rubbish. He said he was convinced by his grandmother to join the Grange around 1990. “I wanted to do something community-orientated.”

The Norway Grange, like many others throughout the state, is feeling the pressure of dwindling membership.

Ethel Lacourse, a 64-year-member, who served as master of the Grange in the 50s, as did her brother Lyman Herrick Jr., is one of one a handful of active Grange members left in Norway. Although on paper there are some 30 members, in reality less than 10 are active, she said.

Lacourse, 79, who joined the Grange in 1945 with her parents and brother, said she is excited to have Emerson serve as the first three-generation master.

“It’s really something to have three generations be elected as master,” Lacourse said. Alden’s father, Edwin Emerson Jr., served as master three times, from 1949-50, 1951-52 and 1954-55. His grandfather, Edwin Sr., served in 1955-56 and 1956-57.

Norway Grange No. 45 is located on Whitman Street. It is preparing to celebrate its 135th birthday in October by showcasing its restored stain glass window and hopefully a newly-painted exterior of the 1909 hall, which Lacourse said she is hoping will occur soon.

More details will be coming in the next few months as plans to celebrate the anniversary are finalized.

The Norway Grange is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The upstairs of the building is leased to the Oxford Hills Performing Arts Association.

Considered the first major organization in the United States to grant women equal rights, the Norway Grange elected its first female master, Ruby Perry, in 1944. She was one of seven female masters to serve in the Norway Grange.

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