It all started with an inquiry regarding Hope Grange #299. Emily Saladino wondered if we might have, buried somewhere and gathering dust, archived historical information regarding the Grange, their membership, and programming. Fortunately, our conversation didn’t stop there.
As?we talked, I learned that Emily has undertaken an interesting project for The Hope Elementary School. Her project has been endorsed by the Hope Historical Society but they had very little information regarding Hope Grange.
Emily’s filling a large traveling trunk with information, symbols, and items that represent Hope’s history in particular and Maine history in general. The trunk will become a resource when the school children (ages 7-11) study their local history. The starting point is 1792, with concentration is between the years 1856 – 1946. (Some of the best Grange years in terms of membership growth and expansion!) Emily says, “Granges were a huge part of life in this rural town, filling practical and social needs.? As Hope was a farming community up to the early 1960s most kids, then, belonged to 4-H or Young Farmers clubs.
Emily is seeking information and small artifacts or facsimiles to be included in the trunk. At this point, she only has photos of buildings and the Grange Logo. She’d like to have some general history of the accomplishments of Grange, how it influenced the lives of members and some interesting anecdotes about programs and events.
Can we help her with this project? I’ll bet we can! I’ve already sent some information and on my next trip to the Valley Grange Hall will be poking around to see if we have some items we can donate. Obviously, any information or memories specific to Hope Grange would be great but bear in mind general information and historical items will work. This is a great opportunity to help preserve history in a meaningful way while broadcasting the value of the Grange to curious young minds. Emily adds that she would be happy to “include a pitch for Grange participation and any of its youth-oriented programs.”
If you think you can help, you can comment on this post, contact Emily directly by email (esaladinooptonlinenet?subject=Hope%20Trunk%20Project) , or send your information, ideas, etc. to the Maine State Grange Webmaster (webmastermainestategrangeorg?subject=Hope%20Trunk%20Project) ?for forwarding.
Just in case it hasn’t occurred to you… this could also be an idea and inspiration for other Granges around the state. Teachers and administration are currently very busy starting the school year, but in another month or two it would be great to hear about some Granges who’ve contacted their local schools with an offer to provide a trunk of historical resources! It’s also a wonderful way to connect to other community organizations such as the local historical society, bring history to life, and promote the Grange. Let me know if I can help!