Did you know?
That the National Grange was founded in 1867 in response to the devastation of farms following the Civil War? Farmers badly needed each other, a vision, and a political voice around which to organize.
That the Grange was progressive from its start being the first fraternal organization to include women? (As equals, no less!) Favorite causes included labor rights, women’s suffrage, quality rural education, and freedom from corporate tyranny (the railroad in the early days and then large agribusiness).
That of all the state Grange organizations, the Washington State Grange was the largest and most progressive in the country, often clashing with the more conservative east? See listed below some of the Washington State Grange legislative accomplishments.
That the Chimacum Grange was the “Pomona Grange," the main organizing Grange of Jefferson County? Our county’s other Granges included the Uncas, Quilcene, and Quimper Granges. Since then the Uncas and Quilcene Granges closed and merged with the Chimacum Grange.
That the current Chimacum Grange building was built in 1932 in 15 days? (Permitting must have been a bit laxer back then). The carpenter was paid $50 and given free room and board to build it alongside Grange volunteers. Reportedly, he carried his tools to the site each day on a bicycle.
Business aside that the Chimacum Grange was renown for its square dances and for winning the state fair blue ribbon every year for its agricultural display entry?
Some of Washington
State Grange’s legislative victories:
- Establishment of thefirst railroad commission
- First workman’s compensation law
- Bill limiting women's workday to 8 hours
- Washington State Women’s Suffrage (10 years before the nation)
- Public Utilities Districts Act—bringing electricity to rural areas
- Washington’s “Top Two” Primary system which took power away from political parties
- The Family Farm Water Act—allowing small farms and not just large agribusiness the right to irrigation
- The Bonneville Power Administration and the Columbia Bain Project