Silverton Grange, No. 506, celebrates its 75th Anniversary.
According to the policy manual for the West Virginia Stage Grange, the Grange is the nation’s oldest rural grassroots, advocacy organization that works to improve individuals, families, and communities. With a presence in more than 3,000 local communities, the Grange, founded in 1867, is a thread woven into America’s fabric.
The Grange is devoted to service with a mission to provide opportunities for individuals and families to develop to their highest potential, stronger community states, as well as a stronger nation. Their vision is to enhance the welfare of all Americans by offering charitable assistance to individuals or communities in need, and providing educational, social programs, and activities for both individuals and families.
The Silverton Grange was originally organized in 1930 by Scott Montgomery, a State Grange Deputy, under Charter No. 488; however, it was closed due to World War II. In 1943 it was reorganized under Charter No. 506 and is currently the oldest active grange in West Virginia.
The land on which the Grange now resides was presented to them in August of 1956 by Herbert and Ruby Shriver. At one time a dairy barn, the building was reconstructed into the present Silverton Grange Hall by their members and is used for meetings, social gatherings, and other community activities.
With the motto of, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” the Silverton Grange coordinated the first annual Adopt-A-Family program for the Ravenswood area in their hall. Every year since then, the Grange has had an active member on the screening committee for this program, which continues to grow.
The Junior Grange was started in July of 1949. They also take part in the community service projects. Barbara Green has been working with the Junior Grange members for the last three years and has overseen many projects.
Recently the Junior Grange took on a project at a local cemetery to replace their worn and tattered flag. During the new flag raising ceremony, they only expected a few people to show up. To their surprise, around 25 people attended including Grange members, cemetery officers, and several veterans.
Reaching out to Veterans is a big part of the community service the Grange focuses on each year. Fruit baskets are made and distributed around Thanksgiving to local vets and cards are sent out to vets statewide on Christmas and Valentine’s Day.
Grange members have made 425 Valentines and signed over 5,685 cards. Last year the Grange did Valentines for Vets where they decorated 76 bags and included a handmade peanut butter chocolate heart in each one.
“These veterans really do appreciate all we do. I have been contacted by several of them who have expressed how it makes them feel to know they have not been forgotten,” Green said.
As a part of their 75th Anniversary and the upcoming Veteran’s Day, the Grange honored their members who are veterans.
Several fundraisers are held throughout the year to raise money to help in the Grange’s efforts to assist those in need. One large fundraiser is the sale of homemade Easter Eggs. In 2018, the Grange sold over 2,800 eggs.
Whether collecting pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House, hosting the Pinewood Derby for the Scout Troop, or providing scholarships for students who participate in the local FFA, the Silverton Grange plays a large role in our community and its 75 year history holds a special place the heart of Jackson County.