The Alpine Grange, 1874 - 1988
The Grange as a national organization was found in 1867 by farmers to promote farm legislation, work for benefits for the farming communities and lobby for tax reform. It is credited with such improvements as rural electrification, parcel post and rural free delivery.
The Alpine Grange was organized 17 March 1874 at the historic Alpine Town Hall.
Within two years of its founding, by 1876, the Grange had 128 members.
In 1877 the organization built a two-story structure about a mile and a half west of the Town Hall. This building was later bought by the Chase Orchards and used by them until 1969. The Grange Hall was demolished in 1974. In the later years, the members met in private homes.
In 1988, 114 years after the organization of the Alpine Grange, it was dissolved.
Francis Alberts joined the Grange in 1930 and has been the master since about 1965. His wife, Lucille, was the secretary-treasurer at the time of the official surrendering of its charter on August 27th of 1988. With only 11 members, they were unable to meet the minimum requirement of 13 members to continue.
Katherine Momber, was initiated in 1924. She remembers that the Grange met twice a month at that time. There were a lot of suppers, especially oyster suppers, square dances, and card parties. They put on three-act plays and raised money through these plays for good causes.
Dorothy Darling and her husband, Willis, took their children to Grange activities when their children were young. Their daughter, Janice, remained a member of the Grange until the dissolvement. Dorothy’s sister-in-law, Margaret, joined the Grange when she was 14. That was the age when you were allowed to join. She was brought up in the Grange. It was like family and I was sad when it disbanded.
At one time the Grange had farm stores. They would purchase items in quantity and pass the savings on to the farmers. Items such as coal, binder twine, salt, fertilizer and plow points were sold this way.
Melvin Schindler joined in 1932 at the age of 20. All the young people joined as it was their source of entertainment. There were dances and dinners. But even before he left for the service in 1942, membership in the Grange had began to decline. No new members joined after the war.
At the dissolvement of the Grange, a check for $1,000 was donated to the Alpine Historical Commission to provide an outdoor plaque commemorating Alpine’s historic Town Hall as the place where the Grange was first organized.
Transcriber: Evelyn Sawyer
Created: 23 June 2002