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Grange History

 

Interlaken Grange #160

 In November 2008 a Model Grange was held at Interlaken Grange #160. Students from South Seneca's Advance Placement History Class were visitors; Officers for the day were members of Seneca County Pomona Grange with guest State Historian Carol Bailey. After a History of the Grange program by Ms. Bailey, Seneca County Historian Walt Gable led a debate style discussion on Grange topics. The day concluded with lunch.

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    According to available information Farmer Grange No. 160 was organized at Farmer, Seneca Country, New York, (later Farmer Village and now Interlaken) by a Mr. Haggerty on April 2, 1874. 

        The 1874 officers were William W. Booram, Master; W. Ford Rappleye. Overseer; A.P. Austin, Lecturer; P. W. Rappleye Steward; Alton Booram. Assistant Steward; C. H Parshall Chaplain; A.D. Peterson, Treasurer; William Ditmars, Secretary; Anson Boyer Gatekeeper; Mrs. W.F. Rappleye, Pomona; Mrs. M. Rappleye, Ceres; Mrs. A.D. Peterson. Flora; Mrs. W. Ditmars, Stewardess.  

In 1954 Eva Clapp, a well known historian
and member of Interlaken Grange #160,
included this list of charter members of Farmer Grange from 1874.

The bracketed material has been added to help identify these early members.

Austin, A P

Austin, Jehial

Austin, Mrs. Jehial [Ann R Rappleye]

Blauvelt, Franklin [died 1899 age 48]

Boorom, A J

Boorom, A (Alton?)

Boorom, Mrs. A

Boorom, William W

Boyer, Anson H [died 1886 age 35]

Ditmars, Mrs. William [Marietta Huff]

Ditmars, William [died 1890]

Parshall, C H [Caleb Halsey]

Peterson,  Abram D

Peterson, Mrs. A D [Mary Wintersteen]

Rappleye,  A J

Rappleye, Mrs. A. J

Rappleye, Marion

Rappleye, Mrs. F M [Ruth A Morgan] Rappleye, Mrs. Peter [Stella Williams]

Rappleye, Mrs. W Ford [Sarah A. Blauvelt]

Rappleye, Peter W

Rappleye, W Ford

Records from both the Grange and members indicate that at least three buildings were home to Farmer and later Interlaken Grange #160 within the village.

William E. Gardner in a letter to Eva Clapp dated  November 11, 1954 describes the first meeting building as being south of what is now the Interlaken Historical Society Farmers' Museum.

 
Meetings were also held in the Masonic Hall for many years. Interlaken Grange rented  the hall for $36 per year. This picture from that time period shows the many age groups who participated in Grange activities. Grange is a family based organization, welcoming everyone to participate.

For a number of years the Grange would also convene in the Odd Fellows Hall over the Clover Farm store.  
The merger of Interlaken Grange #160 with Covert Grange gave it a Grange Hall in Covert.  
   
Grange Officers play an important role in the life of a Grange, particularly long time Masters. One note in the history of the Interlaken Grange concerns Nora Bainbridge. She was the first woman to act as Grange Master in Interlaken and when she moved from that office, she was given a $5 gold piece.

Shown at right are nine Past Masters of Interlaken Grange taken in 1951: Nora Bainbridge, Elizabeth Young, Fred Freestone, Eva Clapp, Harry Carpenter, E. R. Minns, Clarence Ward, George Hunt and Vance Crane

During the 1976 Bi-Centennial year  the officers were: Philip Stannard Master; Charles Ditmar Overseers; William Bates Lecturer; Maynard Youngs Steward; Lewis Morgan Assistant Steward; Ruth Bates Lady Assistant Steward; Martha BallChaplain; Elsie Ward Gatekeeper; Clarence Ward Treasurer; Mildred Stark Secretary; Betty Morgan Ceres; Hazel Menter Flora; Ruth Albertsman Pomona; Executive Committee, Clarence Ward, Lewis Morgan and Martha Ball.

 

In addition to the business meeting portion of the evening Grange meetings include education and fun social activities. Various items have been gleaned from the minute books.

During 1896 members seem to have centered social life on Grange activities. In cold weather there were candy pulls and oyster suppers, and in late winter a maple sugar "sociable." As days grew warmer, Grangers held clambakes on the lake shore, went on picnics, and had parties with ice cream as the main dish, or coffee with homemade pies. Other Social activities included a sugaring party with an assortment of pickles, perhaps to off-set the maple sweetness.  The early 1900's included spelling bees, Grange Fairs and harvest exhibits, a two-cent supper, speakers on a variety of current events and new literature. There were debates also, the subject of one of these was “which is harder to steer, a tractor or a mule?”

 

Anniversaries

With any organization anniversaries are a time to celebrate. In 1905 there was a special celebration to honor charter members with seven of the ten survivors present.

Another anniversary observance was held in 1934 with more than 200 in attendance. During the program, Mrs. Marion Hurlbut wore her grandmother's wedding gown.

 

Shown at right is the celebration in June 1948 when Past State Master, and member of Interlaken Grange #160, Fred Freestone (2nd from right) received his Golden Sheaf Certificate for 50 years of membership in Grange. The certificate is being presented by State Master Henry Sherwood (2nd from left), while Interlaken Grange Master Clarence Ward (center) and Mrs. Shewood and Mrs. Freestone observe. Over 500 people from 33 counties and 10 State Officers joined in the celebration.

Five other Interlaken Grange Members received Golden Sheaf certificates as well, Mrs. D. C. (Mary Peterson) Bassette, Mrs. T. B. (Mary E) Freestone, Mrs. Artie Flagg, Mrs. Emeline Grove and Mr. Wirt Severn. The Interlaken Review noted, "This represents in reality 300 years of service in the Subordinate, State and National Granges."

For the April 3, 1954 celebration of the 80th Anniversary, Millicent Toombs and Eva D. Clapp compiled a history from the minutes of the meetings. This history was both read at the celebration and printed for distribution. This history noted the routine happenings of the meetings, the special joys and sorrows through the years, and gives a unique look into the Interlaken Grange.  
In 1974 Interlaken Grange celebrated their 100th Anniversary. A special Weekend was held April 5th, 6th and 7th. The Friday night program honored important members, including Charter members of the Grange. Guest speakers and music were also a part of the evening. Saturday evening’s highlight was a Square Dance at the Grange Hall. Sunday, April 7 featured an Open House in afternoon including Historical Exhibits  

A special exhibit in May 1935 included items taken from the cornerstone of Interlaken's old school which were to be preserved still longer in the cornerstone of the new school.

 

134th Anniversary April 12, 2008

 
   

Twelve members of Interlaken Grange were honored for long term memberships: J. Foster (25 years) M. James Creswell, Philip Stannard, Elnora Creswell (40 years); Winnie Jones (50 years); David Jones, Sr. (55 years); Jane & Myron Beardsley (65 years), Florence Vargason (75 years). Shown also is Worthy State Master Oliver Orton. Not present were H. Bassett (60 years); E. Adair and E. Egan (65 years).

Community Involvement

Over the years, Interlaken Grange has contributed to many other civic needs such as Near East Relief, Interlaken Fire Company and the high school band, CARE, State Grange building fund, arthritis foundation, Korean Children's Fund, a children's home, scholarships and Farm World Affairs Inc.

 

         For those who believe electricity has been around forever, please note that the proposal of electrification of rural Seneca County was the subject of a program at one Grange meeting in 1935.

 

         A 1973 Community Service Project was the lettering of rural Mail Boxes (200) in the Interlaken area. Sponsored by Interlaken Grange #160 the work was done by Mr. and Mrs. William Bates of Covert.

(Photo courtesy of the Interlaken Review)

Bicentennial Project

In 1975 a major project for the Grange was the Bicentennial Project of Restoration of Covert Baptist Church in Covert. The project included the painting of the outside of Church, Chapel and Steeple with two coats of paint. All paint and work were donated by interested people. This project also included the starting of services and receiving of a full time Pastor. Restoration continued inside the Church in 1976.

 
   

Covert Grange # 1227

Arthur Smith, a Searsburg Granger but a resident of Covert, saw a need for a Grange here. After getting together 46 interested persons, they sent a request to the State Grange. March 23, 1911 a dispensation was granted and the charter was received and recorded on April 17, 1911.

From the currently available records these are the names of the charter members of Covert Grange.

Acker, Frank
Acker, Jennie
Arden, Fred
Arden, Rosa
Bullivant, Fred
Cole, Coburn
Cole, Cora
Dawson, Grace
Frost, Wirt
Frost, Ida
Frost, Marion
Frost, Lottie
Hand, Willima
Hand, Maggie
Hand, Marion
Hand, Gertrude
Hand, Luther
Harmon, Harry
Harmon, Bertha
Hawks, Edwin
Hill, Jane
Horton, Emma
Horton, Elmon
Grant, Fred
Medlock, Ella

Medlock, Morris

Patrick, Harry
Patrick, Louise
Patrick, Edward
Riley, Agnes
Schrier, Walter
Schrier, Nettie
Smith, Benjamin
Stannard, Henry
Stannard, Edna
Stevens, Lewis
Stevens, May
Stevens, Milrie
Stevens, Ray
Taylor, Frank
Taylor, Hermnia
Travers, Joseph
Whightman, Elihu
Whightman, Mary
Whightman, Hugh
Wixion, Dan
 
 

In 1961 several of the charter members were presented with their Golden Sheaf award, which recognizes their 50-year membership in Grange. Included were Henry & Edna Stannard, Ida Frost, Ella & Morris Medlock. Making the presentation is Evelyn Dawson, Master of Covert Grange.

   
   
   
The first officers of Covert Grange were  

Master 

 

Edwin Hawks

  Overseer  Coburn Cole
  Lecturer    Jennie Acker
  Secretary  Ella Medlook
  Steward   Morris Medlock
   Assistant Steward  Harry Patrick
  Treasurer  Luther Hand
  Chaplain   May Stevens
  Lady Assistant Steward   Cora Cole
  Ceres  Louise Patrick
  Flora  Bertha Harmon
  Pomona    Edna Stannard
  Gate Keeper  Frank Taylor
  Executive Committee Joseph Traverse
    Fred Bullivant
    Marion Hand
     
     
     

 

  Seneca County Granges Current Granges in Bold    
Number Name Year organized    
34 Junius 1874    
40 East Fayette  1874    
44 Seneca 1874    
64 Kendaia   1874    
88 Tyre 1874    
116 Rose Hill 1874    
139 Magee Corners  1874    
155 Ovid  1874    
160 Farmer Village Interlaken 1874    
213 Lodi  1874    
249 West Fayette   1874    
250 Mount Pleasant  1874    
1181 Romulus  1909    
1227 Covert   1911    
1261  Lakeview 1912    
1304 Tyre City 1913    
Historical Bits and Pieces for Granges in Seneca County  
July 1960 Kendaia Grangers Get 50-Year Certificates

Kendaia Grange No 64 presented Golden Sheaf certificates to three members in recognition of fifty years of continuous membership in the order of the Patrons of Husbandry. They were Archie McWhorter of Romulus; Charles C. Garrison of Romulus; and Fred Thorpe of Geneva. The certificates were presented by Worthy Master Alvin F. Simmons.

 
   
Noel Clawson (left) and Hazel Moses (right) were recognized July 9th, 2008 for their dedication to Seneca County Pomona Grange. Noel served as Pomona Master for 30 years, and Hazel served as Pomona Secretary for 40 years.
Each year the Family Advocacy committee of the NY State Grange sponsors a number of contests within the local and county Granges. In 2008 Barb Stewart of Interlaken submitted this award winning hand quilted bed-sized quilt. Congratulations, Barb, and thank you for participating in Grange activities. 
   

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