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Sue Bush
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Sheffield Grange Event

12:00AM / Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sheffield - Celebrate an organization that has been a part of Sheffield and of rural America for over 100 years.

The "National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry” was founded in 1867 and expanded rapidly after the Panic of 1873, and the Sheffield chapter of the Grange was chartered in 1900. Officers and long-time members of that organization will be part of a panel discussion to explore the local as well as national impact and influence of the Grange, which can still be felt today. Panelists for this event are Alicia Brazie, Julie Hannum, and Betty LeGeyt.

Sponsored by the Sheffield Historical Society, the program is free and open to the public. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 13, at Dewey Memorial Hall, Main Street (Route 7) in Sheffield. Refreshments will be served.

After the Civil War, a survey of the battered South was ordered to find ways to restore rural areas. The lands and the people who survived needed so much. One recommendation was for an organization that would bring rural people together for social as well as educational rebirth. With that philosophy, the Grange was born. The movement soon spread to all parts of rural America, not just the South. Granges were formed in small towns and villages throughout the country to serve as networks for the betterment of those communities.

Alicia Brazie is the current Master of the Sheffield Grange. She is also treasurer of the Massassachusetts State Grange, and Past Master (along with many other offices) of the Hartsville Grange, now disbanded.

Julie Hannum comes from a long family association with the Grange. She joined the local Grange at age fifteen, met her husband, Steve, at a Grange Youth event, and is still active in the organization. She is an educator and currently serves on Sheffield's Board of Selectman.

Betty LeGeyt and her family have been long associated with the Grange; they operate one of the oldest dairies in Sheffield. LeGeyt is also the minister of Trinity Methodist Church in Ashley Falls and is currently the Chair of the Trustees of the Bushnell-Sage Library. Join us for this celebration of American history.

For further information on Society programs, contact the Sheffield Historical Society, 159-161 Main Street, P.O. Box 747, Sheffield, MA 01257, (413) 229-2694 or email us at shs@sheffieldhistory.org. Or contact The Trustees of Reservations at (413) 298-3239.
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