Revival begins for Sallal Grange
By ALLISON ESPIRITU
Snoqualmie Valley Record Reporter
December 28, 2009 · Updated 11:29 AM
The Sallal Grange’s 77-year history of community service could get a new chapter, if efforts now underway to restart the organization come to fruition.
Members of the Grange surrendered their charter in 2007, citing a lack of active membership. But the state Grange organization never gave up on the local chapter. Washington State Grange invited interested parties to a meeting Monday, Dec. 14, asking what they want to see in a new North Bend-based chapter.
“We wanted to make sure there is good interest,” said Terry Hunt, property manager for the Washington State Grange.
The Grange — formally, The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry — is America’s oldest farm-based fraternal organization. It is a non-partisan, grassroots advocacy group for rural citizens, promoting legislative programs and community activities such as talent and craft contests, scholarships, youth programs and camps.
At one time, the Sallal Grange had 42 members. Local Grange efforts included support for Initiative 872, the state blanket primary measure in 2004; hosting the first official meeting of the Cascade County Committee to form a new county out of part of King County; hosting the Kiwanis’ Giving Tree Program; providing a site for election polls; and housing Mountain View Baptist Church.
Last week, Washington State Grange president June Hendrickson told potential Grange members that the sky is the limit for the types of community programs they could do.
But before they start, the Grange must be reorganized. To start a grange, it takes a minimum of 13 people; 25 attended last week’s meeting.
“It’s up to the grange to decide what they want to do — seminars, dances, whatever might be of interest to the members that actually join,” Hendrickson said.
North Bend resident Karen Granger has used Sallal facilities since she moved here in 1978.
“The grange had several events that I used to count on,” Granger said. “It was also a place where people could come and talk about issues.”
Planning to help rebuild the organization over the next several months, Granger hopes to find members who are interested in their community and have skills and backgrounds to develop a more meaningful Grange over time.
“To show honor and respect for the former membership, who managed and maintained the grange, they will be welcomed with open arms,” Granger said.
Individuals who can help restart the Grange may attend the next meeting, 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 28, at the Sallal Grange Hall, 12912 432nd Ave. S.E., North Bend.
To learn more or get involved in the new Snoqualmie Valley-based Grange, contact Karen Granger at firstname.lastname@example.org.Contact Snoqualmie Valley Record Reporter Allison Espiritu at aespiritu@valleyrecord,com or 425-888-2311.