I spent some time in the New York State Historic Newspapers database looking for evidence of community holiday celebrations at the Grange. The NYSHN is a great place to get lost in the past, easy to search and hard to stop! Newspapers like the Essex County Republican, Ticonderoga Sentinel, Lake Placid News and others included short announcements, reports, and references to Christmas celebrations at the Grange starting in 1916 right through the mid-1990s. The Grange chapter hosted holiday pageants and recitations, dances, musical performances, and always had a tree with presents for every child in Whallonsburg. There are still folks around who grew up here and remember Santa's visits to the Christmas parties. These were community-wide events with churches, schools, civic groups and the Fire Department joining in.
Recent holiday celebrations have continued that tradition and help us raise money for our neighbors in need through donations to the food pantries in Elizabethtown, Westport, and Willsboro. They are still a nice way to slow down, gather together, and enjoy time with friends. I hope you can join us on Sunday, December 10 for A Christmas Carol and on Saturday, December 16 for the Holiday Market. See you at the Grange this holiday season.
-Mary-Nell Bockman, program manager