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Around The Grange
The Connecticut State Grange & Peoples State Forest

By Todd Gelineau, CT State Grange Secretary

  AUGUST 27, 2018 --

It’s summertime in Connecticut and time for many of us to get out of the house and enjoy nature.  A favorite for many is People’s State Forest in Barkhamsted, CT.  Did you know there’s a Grange connection to this beautiful place?  Lida Ives wrote about the Forest and the Grange connection to it in her book “The Grange in Connecticut:”

At the 45th Annual Session of the Connecticut State Grange held in January 1930, the following resolution was accepted and adopted:  “Brother Albert W. Lillibridge, Chairman of the Legislative Committee, offered a favorable repoirt on a resolution pertaining to the Peoples Forest.  Report accepted and the resolution adopted and placed in the hands of the Executive Committee for action.

WHEREAS: The state forestry department is doing valuable economic and demonstrative work, and

WHEREAS: The Peoples Forest, so-called, in Barkhamsted, is being purchased with funds donated by individuals and associations, and more land is desirable and available.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Connecticut State Grange appropriate the sum of one hundered ($100) dollars for this purpose.”

In the Executive Committee minutes of January 16, 1930, we find that Chairman Allen Cook was instructed to request the State Forest and Park Association to use the appropriation of the State Grange in one plot so that it may be known as the State Grange plot… In the February 17, 1930 Executive Committee minutes we find the following:  “As an appropriation was made to aid in the purchase and development of a State Forest more generally known as the Peoples Forest and owing to the nature of the organization, it developed that the $100 thus appropriated appeared to be rather small and consequently inadequate to purchase a plot worthy of bearing the name of our organization, therefore, the State Master and Chairman Cook were directed to formulate a letter to go to Pomona and Subordinate Granges asking small contributions to the above fund…. Brother Cook later reported that $484 was available toward a plot in the People’s Forest and presented a diagram of twenty acres located near the highway.  Upon motion of Brother Welton, it was voted to direct Brother Cook to take the required action to have the section referred to, designated as the “Grange Plot.”  Upon motion duly seconded it was voted to authorize the drawing of an order on the Treasurer for $16.00 to complete a fund of $500 to pay for the plot with the anticipation that the $16 would be collected to reimburse the treasury.  Brother Welton was granted permission to invite some of the good brothers in his part of the State to meet him at the plot referred to and clear some of the brush near the parking space.


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