Monday, October 8, 2007

The South Montville Grange

The South Montville Grange has lingered at the end of our road, its paint slowly peeling from its clapboards for years. On occasion, there would be some minor bustling or a community supper, but generally it would be closed and no one around. We went to a supper, possibly the last one they had, about twelve years ago. Lots of doughy pies, beans and hot dogs as I remember.
Several years back, they came and built a handicap access ramp and a planter between the two doors where weeds languished. It still stood straight and was like an old friend that you would see often, but on each meeting you might be concerned for his health and what would become of him in the future.
I passed by the other day noticing that a lone worker was puting on a new roof. Thinking he was doing this for the Grange, I asked if he was being paid for his services - that he was possibly a volunteer. He said no and that in fact they (he and his wife) had bought it. They were both artists and that it would become a studio/workshop and that perhaps that they might have an occasional exhibition on the upper floor.
They now live near Kennebunkport with their children and makes his living as a carpenter. He comes alone during the weekends, staying on a modest cot in the upper floor. Their plan is to find land nearby and build a house.

You may ask; "what is The Grange?"
This explaination is modified slightly from this site.
The Grange briefy explained

"The Maine Grange was created on February 16th, 1876 and other town Granges were built soon after... a Grange is "America's foremost Volunteer and Grassroots Organization." The first Grange was organized on December 4th, 1867. It was made so farmers could have a say in politics across America. Through most of the 1900s, the Grange flourished and had power within America. The Grange had a very important role in community life in this small town."

Here is David coming down from the roof of the Grange

The first floor which will be their workshop studio.

The hall upstairs:

Here are three views that show the Grange circa 1900

and a detail of the above photo showing the Grange with its stable; the building on the left.


Eliza said...

Hooray for the grange!

How about a roof like that for our house?

Will said...

The plans by David never came to fruition. The Grange was sold again to Andrew Staples for an undetermined use.