What’s a Grange and Why are There so Many in The Hudson Valley?
Did you ever drive past something and wonder what it was? Instead of turning around you may try to remember what you saw, google the location or simply forget about it.
Sometimes, I turn around to see what I almost missed, especially if it's related to history in New York state. From historic markers to sites and homes, there's an extensive amount of history right in our area.
Historic moments have happened here in the Hudson Valley.
History moments such as Henry Hudson's voyage along the Hudson River, General Washington's visit to Newburgh, NY and FDR's birth and home in Hyde Park will forever shape history.
Have you ever heard of a grange?
Some may reference a grange as just a barn or building but it holds far more meaning than that. Farmer's held their meetings or gatherings in these buildings.
The idea of granges were established in the 1800's.
According to NationalGrange.org, The National Grange is a "nonpartisan, nonprofit fraternal organization, is the oldest agricultural and rural community service organization. There are about 140,000 members across the United States."
These historic buildings now stand all across New York state and some in the Hudson Valley. Some buildings may still have the original name, the word grange on it or have fallen apart and are vacant.
The New York State Grange was also found in the 1800's.
According to NYSgrange.org, "There are more than 150 local Granges in New York State with a total membership of over 4,000. The State Grange has members serving on many state committees. The State Soil and Water Conservation Committee, the Council of Agricultural Organizations, the Rural Schools Association are a few."
What is the purpose of a grange?
Those involved may be advocates for the town, community or even state. Their main goal is to make the community better. Starting as an agricultural organization, granges tried to maintain the rural community's togetherness.
Have you ever spotted these granges in New York state?
- Hamilton Grange National Memorial, Manhattan, New York City
- The Mountainview Grange Hall, Cornwall, NY
- Neversink Valley Grange Hall No. 1530, Deerpark, NY
- Grange Hall 950 in Hamptonburgh, NY
- Grange Hall 982 in Balmville, NY
- Grange Hall 1020 in Otisville, NY
- Grange Hall 831 in Pawling, NY
- Grange Hall 838 in Pleasant Valley, NY
- Grange Hall 896 in Rhinebeck, NY
- Grange Hall 902 in Mount Hope, NY
- Grange Hall 923 in Plattekill, NY
Next time that you see a grange hall or building, take a picture and send it to us here. Have you ever spotted one before? Let us know.