Moosecreek Cloggers. Submitted photo

FARMINGTON— On April 20, 6 p.m., the Farmington Grange celebrated their 150th anniversary with a pie and ice cream social and entertainment by the Moose Creek Cloggers. The Cloggers have been practicing at the grange hall for about 20 years. They clogged to a lively set of music, stopping occasionally to catch their breath and re-hydrate. The grange ladies provided eight kinds of pie and two kinds of ice cream and whipped cream. About 30 people attended.

Being #12, it was established the same year that the Maine State Grange was chartered in 1874. The Grange was founded in 1873 by Oliver Kelly, (who also started the Masons) to help farmers, their families and rural residents in general, Unlike the Masons, women were encouraged to join, and were treated as equals. Youth was also encouraged. The Grange (also known as the Patrons of Husbandry) helped farmers cooperate like a union to get better prices for their goods and services.

They also worked with government to eliminate monopolies and to make rural life better by advocating for electricity and rural free delivery of mail to everyone. They were interested in education and improving agricultural practices. With their rituals, they helped citizens learn the proper behaviors of cultured people. For decades, the grange halls were the social center of almost every town and city.

Recently, there has been more interest in people joining the grange. The state grange recently had a ceremony to welcome about 27 new people. The Farmington Grange Hall, which is known as one of the finest halls in the state, has seen a tremendous increase in rentals lately.

It is always interested supporting the arts and nonprofit fundraising. In addition, downstairs, they have a shared commercial kitchen that food producers can rent to start a business. These rentals help pay the bills and upkeep of the building. The Farmington Grange is always looking for more members.

The Maine State Grange has scholarships that seniors can apply for, our local grange provides free dictionaries to all of the third graders in town. Other things that happen at the grange is a warming center during the winter, theatre, music and dance lessons, yoga classes, private parties, concerts, dinners, etc.

For more information about the Farmington Grange please call Bonnie Clark at 207 778 1416 or see farmingtongrange#12 on Facebook.

Comments are not available on this story.