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From The Historian's Desk
The “Lost” National Convention

By Edith Schoell, State Historian

  JULY / AUGUST 2008 --

Did you know the Connecticut State Grange hosted National Grange in 1907?  The planning didn’t take long and not too much information is found.  In the Journal of Proceedings of the Connecticut State Grange for 1906, the Master, O.S. Wood, stated in his address, “In accordance with the vote of the last session, I invited the National Grange to meet with us next year.  It seemed best for it to go to the Western country next year, but gave me the assurance that the session of 1907 might be expected to come to Connecticut, should we so desire.”

In Brother Wood’s address January 1907, he said “The next session of the National Grange is to be held in Connecticut if satisfactory arrangements can be made.  For us it means systematic planning and a great amount of work.  Nor is it any too soon to begin this work.”  (January to November)  “All New England is interesting itself in the movement and anticipating a very large and enthusiastic meeting.  The other New England States promise to send visitors by the hundreds and I am sure Connecticut never fails to do her duty.”

National met in November 1907 and at the January 1908 Session, Brother Wood stated:  “The session of the National Grange just closed is regarded, by all the members, the most successful of any ever held… when the vote to invite the National Grange here was taken, and afterwards, considerable doubt was expressed in regard to the wisdom of the invitation, but, today, all concede that great good will result, for even those outside our Order were surprised at the Strength of the Grange, and the manifest devotion of its members… it will be a sad day for the Grange when the basic principles of our Order are made secondary to mere social functions.”

“The main objects sought to be attained by the National Grange, so far as they affect Connecticut are, in legislation:  The parcel post.  Grange life insurance, preservation of our forests, further pure food legislation.”

In Lida S. Ives’ book “The Grange in Connecticut” she mentions National Grange meeting in Connecticut and that a class of 2,490 took the Seventh Degree in 1907.


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