Rejuvenating the Grange

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L to R: Incoming President Ron Cowdrey, Grange Treasurer Carol Innes, Riverton Grange President Dave Roberts. Submitted photos

The Granby Grange #5 last reorganized in 1926 and has served the community and region with impactful service during those 96 years, while providing a fraternal organization for residents and businesses interested in promoting agriculture, conservation, and small-town living.

In recent years, due to deaths, members moving away and the pandemic, Granby Grange membership has dwindled, and remaining members were looking for ideas to help rejuvenate the Grange.

Recently, the Riverton Grange #169 (Barkhamsted), led by President Dave Roberts, a Granby resident, helped host a rejuvenation meeting for Granby Grange at the request of Treasurer Carol Innes. Almost 40 community members attended the 90-minute event and about one dozen attendees completed applications to become members of Granby Grange.

Roberts explained how the Grange helps strengthen individuals, families and communities through grassroots action, service, education, advocacy, and agriculture awareness. Roberts himself is a fourth generation Grange member having joined the Grange 47 years ago, and his daughter Natalee, age 14, joined the Grange recently following in her father’s footsteps. Roberts went on to explain that a person who becomes a Grange member can expect to find in the organization a clear and impressive pathway to membership, outstanding fellowship with leaders and respected citizens of the community, the encouragement to meet and make new friends  and the opportunity to lead and be well led.

Granby has an extensive agricultural history. Because of this history, the Granby Grange was first established in 1875, but was disbanded in 1890 due to a group purchase of bad seeds. Granby Grange was reestablished in 1926 and has served the needs of the community ever since.

Granby Grange meets once a month, usually the second Friday at 7 p.m., in the Granby Grange Hall at 212 North Granby Road. The building, which today serves as the Granby Grange Hall, was built just after the Civil War, and originally served as a one-room schoolhouse. In 1902, the town hall offices moved into the building after an earlier town hall burned down. In 1946, Granby Grange bought the building from the town and moved it 150 feet south to its current location, across from the First Congregational Church.

Ron Cowdrey, the current Vice President, will serve as the new President of Granby Grange. Four members of Riverton Grange have agreed to serve as affiliate members and officers of Granby Grange. They include Granby residents Jackie Martin, Natalee and Dave Roberts. Barkhamsted resident Judy Doyle will serve as Program Director. Following the meeting, Doyle presented an informative program on making gnome ornaments. In addition, she gathered ideas for future speakers to visit Grange meetings to discuss items of interest with the members and the community

A new membership committee has been established, including Carol Innes, Kara Marshall and Dave Roberts. For more information or to join this newly rejuvenated Grange contact Innes at or 860-205-0162.

A full house filled the hall for the Granby Grange rejuvenation event, including State Rep. Mark Anderson, members of the Salmon Brook Historical Society, Granby Conservation Commission, Granby Men’s Breakfast Group, and local Lions Clubs, Simsbury Grange, Riverton Grange, and other community group members.