Another in Captain Tom's photo series on his home town -
The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry was established in 1860 for the purpose of encouraging the local and national agricultural community to organize to protect their interests. The Grange was originally modeled along the lines of Freemasonry with ritual, degrees of advancement, secret words and handshakes and closed membership meetings. It wasn't unusual for granges and lodges to have interlocking leadership. Where The Grange differed was that it had open membership - women, men and children over the age of 14 were encouraged to join.
The Senexet Grange #40, Woodstock, CT was established in 1901. Built entirely of fieldstone, it sits on its original location. The membership is still active (a lot of granges have since been disbanded) organizing holiday pie sales (absolutely the best apple pies and peach cobbler I have ever had - sorry Mrs. Francis, but it's true), an annual bluegrass festival which attracts musicians and performers from around New England, tag sales, and has a booth at the local Woodstock Fair. The proceeds go to various projects, the most interesting is the annual dictionary donation to the Elementary School third grade.