Grange No. 9
Left Hand Grange No. 9
WHAT IS THE GRANGE?
The Grange movement has its roots in the agricultural tradition and lifestyle of this country, and is our oldest national agricultural organization. With the decline in family farming, however, in many areas the Grange has evolved into a community service organization, including non-farm rural families and communities. The Grange still retains and fosters many of the same values and principles associated with the agrarian spirit. The Grange seeks to strengthen communities and the country by developing leadership and promoting community cooperation, personal betterment and self-reliance.
The Left Hand Grange No. 9 is part of a larger network of 3,600 grange units in 37 states, involving over 300,000 members. In Colorado, there are 58 active Grange units. The National Grange organization, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., was founded in 1867 following the Civil War, at a time when farm families were more dispersed and prone to isolation. The Grange Hall provided opportunities for social interaction and education, as well as strong political advocacy for farm and ranch issues, such as high shipping rates charged by the railroad monopolies to send farm products back East. The word “grange” comes from the Latin word for grain (i.e. granary or farm, in general.) The name “Grange’ was chosen for the organization because English farm estates, each a complete community, were called Granges.
Knowledge about the Grange movement is becoming less known to an increasingly urban population, and people are often curious about what the Grange is. While the Grange was founded as a fraternal organization, many of the Grange Halls today, including Left Hand Grange No. 9, operate more informally, in a manner similar to other service organizations that might be more familiar. Without an air of secrecy and ritual, Left Hand Grange No. 9 seeks to cultivate a strong community spirit and enhance local culture. Some people have wondered if the Grange is a “cult”? The answer of course is no, but our roots are in “agri-cult-ure”.
Left Hand Grange No. 9 is an active part of the Niwot Community, and part of the enduring rural and small-town tradition. We help preserve the agricultural heritage of the area, and honor the spirit of those who came before us to settle this place. We have a close relationship with the Niwot Historical Society. New members are always welcome and are essential to keeping the Grange a strong and viable part of Niwot.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE LEFT HAND GRANGE
The Left Hand Grange No. 9 was organized at the Batchelder School House southwest of Niwot on December 20, 1873. The Left Hand Grange No. 9 received its charter on Jan 24, 1874.
In 1942, meetings began to be held in the Nelson Hall in Niwot. Now known as the Grange Hall, Nelson Hall was purchased by Left Hand Grange from the Nelson estate in 1945.In 2009, the hall underwent substantial renovation to solve drainage problems and foundation decay. The renovation included rebuilding exterior walls and modernization of the interior spaces. The lower floor is now fully handicap accessible. The renovation was strongly supported by the entire Niwot community and donations to the Left Hand Grange. Community and business leaders in Niwot consider the Grange a great community asset.
The Left Hand Grange is the oldest active Grange in Colorado. Its goal is community service. Typical fundraisers include book and plant sales, memberships, hall rental, and donations. Grange projects include such efforts as the donation and distribution of dictionaries to 3rd grade students at local schools. the project has focused on area schools where there is a high percentage of students receiving reduced price or free lunches. In the latest distribution, in November of 2009, 300 copies of "The Best Dictionary for Students" and 215 copies of "Webster's English-Spanish Dictionary" were distributed. This brings the total of dictionaries distributed to over 2125 since 2004. For more information, see www.thedictionaryproject.com.
The Left Hand Grangers intend to make their hall a community landmark, worthy of the real purpose of the Fraternal Order of the Grange, and to serve the entire community of Niwot.
© 2010 Left Hand Grange No. 9.
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Last update: Oct. 5, 2010..