The roots of the Grange organization are in farming, and while few members now earn their livelihood growing field crops or raising livestock, our collective interest in issues related to food and the land continues. Because all of us do eat, after all, and most of us prefer to breathe clean air, drink good water and live on a nice patch of earth, maybe with a bit of a garden, we all have a reason to care about the world’s resources. Recognizing that people are a valuable resource, too, the National Grange now emphasizes "community" as a raison d’être for local Granges. How to turn that broad directive into focused action is the subject of much discussion.
A brief history
In June of 1873, at at time in Grange history when membership was limited to those "directly interested in cultivating the soil," Greenfield farmers started the first Grange in Massachusetts, Guiding Star Grange No. 1 (number one not because it won a contest but because it was first chronologically). Thanks to the persuasive influence of Oliver Kelley's niece Caroline A. Hall, Grange women were allowed to vote and hold office, a rarity at a time when women were generally disenfranchised...
Learn the rest of the story »
What we do
At the moment, much of our energy goes into keeping the building going, so that we can continue to offer it as a valuable resource for our many user groups. The hall that we work on so much provides meeting and/or rehearsal space for the Greenfield Harmony Singers, Guiding Star Clog Morris, a Boy Scout Troop, and a church group, among others; over the years it has hosted numerous concerts, workshops, and craft/artisan fairs. We also sponsor Boy Scout Troop #16, provide a home for a Tuesday afternoon Farmers' Market (in season), maintain the traffic island, offer occasional support to various worthy causes, and put on the annual Agway dinner.
See our Projects page for what's up next »
The common notion that the Grange is some kind of quaint secret fraternity is outdated. It is true that at Guiding Star Grange, where meetings are still held more or less in the traditional manner, officers wear embroidered sashes, but otherwise we pretty much dress and act normally. It's also true that there is a password, but forgetting it today is likely to be of much less consequence than forgetting your e-mail password.
Guiding Star Grange meets on the first Tuesday of the month, generally starting at 7 p.m., at the hall at 401 Chapman St. in Greenfield, except that July and August are often at a nice picnic spot instead. You'll find our meetings on the Events calendar, and you may find many of our members and current officers on the dance floor. Come and say hi!