In Search of…

 

question-mark-1019993_1280We occasionally receive inquiries from individuals regarding the Grange in Maine. Sometimes these inquiries are historical in nature and take the form of questions such as “Whatever happened to…?” Occasionally we receive inquiries regarding past events or individuals who perhaps played a significant role in Grange History. While we do not have the resources to conduct research, as a courtesy, we’ll share the question and try to be helpful.

“In search of…” is an experiment–a free service of the Maine State Grange website, available to all who are seeking information concerning the Grange and Grangers, Grange Halls, etc. — past and present — in Maine. We make no guarantees, but offer this opportunity for you to post a brief description of any Grange-related information you are seeking. All inquiries are subject to review and editing and we reserve the right to reject any requests deemed inappropriate. Please note that you must include contact information in the form of an email address and/or telephone number. Submit your request here: Help me find…

Requests will be published in the order received–most recent at the top. If you can help, please contact the individual who is seeking the information directly.

 

Seeking information on Grange (#237 ?) located at Youngs Corner, Auburn. address is 144 Hotel Road. Original building erected prior to 1900. I would appreciate historical information, and any photos or interior and/ or exterior of the building. I will pay for copies of any photos and any mailing expenses. I would appreciate talking to anyone who could provide suggestions for further research. Thanks, George Wigton, 207 784-5870 or email  gwigtonatyahoodotcom.


I am seeking information on my great grandparents, Francis Putnam; my grandparents, Arthur and Rosa Putnam; and my parents, Francis and Doris Putnam. I believe they were all members of the Grange in South Rumford, ME. Any information you have on them would be greatly appreciated. Email: stevedotputnamatverizondotnet or call 410 437-0275.


Have been searching for information about Pittston Grange #214 — wanting especially to see membership lists from 1880s-1920s. Am writing a novel about folks who lived along the Eastern River and am betting my bottom dollar that they were grangers. Can you help? Email Deborah Gould  (dhgouldatgwidotnet)  .

Historian Stanley Howe responds: I have checked the UMaine archival holdings and they have none listed for Pittston.  The next big collection of Maine Grange records is at the Maine Historical Society in Portland. I will check my holdings here which will ultimately go to the Bethel Historical Society (we are currently moving collections into our new space and cataloging items that have been in storage for some time).  One other source of help may be Brother Clyde Berry who has a large Grange collection and has promised it to the Bethel Historical Society as soon as we are able to take it… I have been looking for information on membership of Pittston Grange #214, but have so far only some names from the Rosters 1900 to 1909 since her  time frame was 1880 to the 1920s:  1900, Master, F. M. Lapham, Lecturer, May L. Marson, Secretary, J. B. Ripley; 1903, Master,  R,H. Lapham, Lecturer, Amy B. Heath, Secretary, J. B. Ripley; 1909, Master, E.A. Lapham; Lecturer, Mrs Lydia Moore, Secretary, Mary F. Ripley.  I have mostly rosters from the 1930s on, so I don’t know if anything later would be of interest.  I will continue to search through my boxes and will let you know if I find anything that might help.


…Historic New England is working with the Vermont Folklife Center on a film about the Vermont Grange—its history and its continuing role in local communities—through the stories of two subordinate granges. The film will use oral histories with current Grange members and archival images. We have begun to think about a soundtrack for the film, and thought that some original recordings of music from the Grange Songbook would be a wonderful addition to the film. I don’t know if this exists… If not, we will probably just use old time music that might have been played for dances and other social events. But using some of those old recordings would add a rich dimension to the film in segments where Grange members or our Grange historian are discussing events of the past.

A reply from Walter Boomsma, MSG Webmaster provided several suggestions for further research (National Grange, etc.), but nothing specific. If anyone has access to any recordings or resources, please send an email to him  (webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg)  . We also learned from Stanley Howe, MSG Historian that there is a Boston television station WCVB-TV’s “Chronicle” program from May 1, 1992, focusing on the Maine State Grange. It includes commentary from Bethel Historical Society director and Maine State Grange historian Stanley Russel Howe and singing “Stay on the Farm.”


Phil LeGer is searching for information about Grange Cookbooks. Email Phl LeGer  (Castalianmollieatyahoodotcom)   or call 615 330 8480.

A reply from Walter Boomsma, MSG Webmaster:

Thanks for your “in search of inquiry…” I have a couple of options for you:

  • The National Grange store offers a Grange Cookbook on CD ROM. You can find it here: http://www.grangestore.org/grange-cookbook-cd-rom.
  • Since cookbooks have been successful fundraisers for National and State Granges, it’s possible to find an assortment of “old” Grange Cookbooks on E-Bay.
  • The Maine State Grange Fundraising Committee is, I believe, currently undertaking a cookbook project. You may want to contact Steve Haycock  (granger04071ataoldotcom)  , Fundraising Chairman.

Hope this helps… if you are seeking something more specific, please send more details and we’ll try to help!


I am in search of information relating to a former Grange in Gardiner, Maine.  My grandmother said her father’s side of the family was very involved with it (several held offices etc.) and she herself performed in a play when she was young. My Great-Great Grandfather was a milkman and lived down on the Brunswick Road; I believe this area is technically in West Gardiner, and I am not sure if that makes a difference. She thought it was on the Libby Hill Rd, which I know is off of Brunswick Road. Does anyone know if the building still stands? Could records for this Grange be located and viewed? Please email Kimberly Clark  (kimberlydotclarkatmainedotedu)   or call 207-712-4855. Thank you!

A reply from Stan Howe, MSG Historian:

Former State Master Clyde Berry and I have conferred and we think that the Grange Kim Clark was looking for is Gardiner #459 which was organized on 13 January 1906 and has been closed for several years. The Libby Hill Road reference appears to be accurate. I spoke to a former member of that Grange and he told me the building is still standing and is owned by the VFW. Hope this helps. I found no listing of records of this Grange at UMaine Orono, so I am uncertain where one could find them.  Local newspapers (found in libraries and historical societies) from 1906 on may be consulted and information found as Grange news was very often featured in this source.


I have a question regarding our stage curtain at Fairview Grange #342 in Smithfield. We are addressing air quality issues and our velvet stage curtain is moldy or mildewed. We want to take it down until a decision ($$$) on whether to try and have it cleaned somehow or to replace it with a material resistant to mold can be made. We think it has been caused by keeping the curtain closed through the years and heating the Hall, causing moisture on the backside. Note this is a older “velvet” curtain, not one of the painted ones. Suggestions for cleaning and storage would be welcomed! Thanks, Rick Watson  (northpondpresatgmaildotcom)  , Master, Fairview Grange


I recently found among one of dad’s items (he has been deceased for some time) a card that reads on top “Mountain Pomona Grange No.2” and the rest is missing. His name was Philip M. Bracy and the card refers to Mt. Cadillac Grange No. 567 with dues paid for 1942. He enlisted in 1943. Do you have any information on this Grange? I also was surprised as dad grew up in Otter Creek which is not a particularly agricultural area that they had a Grange. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Contact Philip Bracy.  (pjbracyatoutlookdotcom)  


According to the Bangor Daily News, developer Chad Graham is seeking information regarding the Aroostook Union Grange Hall #143 in Presque Isle. (Thanks to Granger Pat Libby for letting us know that Aroostook Union was organized April 6, 1875 by Eldridge Knight. First Master was George F. Whidden and Pat believes it closed officially as of December 31, 1995. This information has been shared with the reporter.)


Tim Wilson is seeking information and a photo of his great-great-grandfather, James A. Grover (1848-1932) who was for many years a member of Riverview Grange in Lisbon Falls. Contact Tim  (psychle62atyahoodotcom)  . (Note that Historian Stanley Howe has already made several suggestions for contacting local historical societies.) Request received May, 2016