Monday, June 05, 2023

, CT, 06019

The History Of Our Grange

From the book:  "The Grange in Connecticut" by Lida Ives (1954) --

The name Cawasa was taken from the Indians; it is the name of a river which flows through the area. The Grange was organized under State Master Sherman Kimberly on October 16, 1885, with 34 Charter Members.  By January 1, 1953, membership had grown to 339.  The Grange was incorporated on March 27, 1922.  The Grange Hall was dedicated on October 16, 1890.


From the book "The Connecticut Granges" (1900) - 

This Grange had its beginning at New Hartford, where, at the home of Weston Barnes, on October 16, 1885, it was organized with thirty-four charter members, whose names follow: Austin Beckwith, George T. Douglass, Prescott C. Barnes, Albert Dowd, G. C. Beckwith, Frank Watson, Weston Barnes, Zerah J. Hinman, Samuel K. Henry, Isaac Barnes, Frank R. Baker, George E. Rood, John E. Wells, Benjamin F. Beckwith, Adna N. Barnes, Andrew Barnes, William Edgar Simonds, H. F. Clark, E. R. Henry, Mrs. G. F. Douglass, Mrs. T. C. Barnes, Miss Florence A. Barnes, Mrs. Z. J. Hinman, Mrs. Albert Dowd, Mrs. Austin Beckwith, Miss Mary Hinman, Miss Hattie L. Hinman, Mrs. Weston Barnes, Mrs. Isaac Barnes, Mrs. John E. Wells, Mrs. G. C. Beckwith, Mrs. E.R. Henry, Mrs. S. K. Henry, Miss Grace M. Barnes.

The officers chosen were :

W. M., Austin Beckwith., 0., G. F. Douglass; L., T. C. Barnes; S. Albert Dowd; A. S., Zerah J. Hinman; c., G. C. Beckwith; T., Frank Watson; S., Weston Barnes; G. K., S. K. Henry; Ceres, Mrs. G. D. Douglass; Pomona, Mrs. T. C. Barnes; Flora, Miss Florence A. Barnes; L. A. ., Mrs. Z. J. Hinman.

If there is one quality more than another to strike the student of the history of Cawasa Grange it is a large and pervasive vitality. That this sustaining principle has been present in large measure is evident from the present large membership, relatively to its largest growth. There is no Grange that has passed the period of its first flush, whose accessions exceed its losses, one year with another, and the test of its calibre, force and right to its title and number as a unit in the Order lies in the aggregate of absorption of Grange idea the genuineness of the espousal of Grange tenets, and the measure in which these are the controlling forces in its activities.  It is the sum of these that gives temper and cast and character to a Grange; that gauges its powers for usefulness and determines its span of life.

Cawasa appears to have been constituted along these lines. It seems to have been born aright, and to have gathered perennial draughts of the vital principle with the onward-flowing years. When we see Granges of half its age that were organized under favoring conditions of locality and are nowmelted away into oblivion, and others whose tenure of life is at strained tension, and then reflect that this Grange has gathered its constituents from four towns, that its habitat is inimical to Grange growth, that numerous rival secret societies occupy its field, that the varied diversions of a manufacturing village present a bar to its natural growth and influences; that it suffered by fire, which swept away its home and most of its belongings, that it has borne the disheartening experience of finding indifference where there should be zealous fidelity, and dereliction which made imperative the reluctant pruning knife, - when these things are remembered and we note its progress through the years, how it has held steadfastly to the purposes of its organization, always gaining something to set off against its losses, always doing something to denote its sentient quality, finally building and equipping a commodious hall, we are impelled to comparison and to the conclusion that Granges may be indigenous anywhere, and that the index to their genuineness is broadly patent in their annals.

Whatsoever the aspect presented in the annual trial balance of this Grange the tangible evidences of growth, permanency, purpose and vital cohesiveness are plainly projected, and in such measure as to furnish ample warrant for largest hope in those who would see the lamp of Grange-life ever burning upon it altar. It has met with the inevitable experience that come to all things human; success and discouragement, adversity and prosperity, allurements to hope and temptations to despair have alternated along its career, but its firm grounding in the right principles ofthe Order has carried it along in stable safety to ways of ultimate gain.

Its meetings were held at the homes of its members at first, and then its home was established in Mechanics' Hall, in Collinsville. This was burned in 1886 and the fine equipment of tools, regalia, crockery, kitchen appurtenances - everything, in fact, except the records was destroyed.The Grange then met at the Masonic Hall till the other was rebuilt.

In 1890 the Grange built a home of its own, a large hall with a capacious storeroom underneath and flanked by convenient horse sheds.  This cost $2,000, the work being done by members of the Grange.  IN 1891 a fair was held by the Grange, which netted $243.59; a purchasing agent was appointed and supplied with funds, and his sales for the year aggregated $4,860.  Each year has found the financial condition good with a varying cash balance to its favor in the bank.

The highest membership total has been 158, which figure has now receded below 118. The averageattendance has always represented a creditable percentage of the membership, and a lively interest has been almost continuously apparent.

The Masters, Lecturers and Secretaries have been as follows: 

1887 - Austin Beckwith, Mary C. Hinman, Weston Barnes; 
1888 - G. C. Beckwith, E.M. Beckwith, Weston Barnes; 
1889 - G. C. Beckwith, H. F. Clark, George F. Lewis; 
1890 - G. C. Beckwith, H. F. Clark, John A. North; 
1891 - G. C. Beckwith, W. J. Barber, G. A. Codaire; 
1892 - F. G. Humphrey, James Case, G. A. Codaire; 
1893 - F. G. Humphrey, Mrs. B. F. Jones, B. O. Higley; 
1894 - G. A. Codaire, G. C. Beckwith, W. J. Barber; 
1895 - F. A. Bidwell, Ida G. Case, F. G. Humphrey; 
1896 - F. A. Bidwell, Lewis Thayer, F. G. Humphrey; 
1897 - F. A. Bidwell, Mrs. Z. J. Hinman, F. A. Humphrey;
1898 - Z. J. Hinman, Mrs. Z. J. Hinman, F. G. Humphrey; 
1899 - F. A. Bidwell, John Crowley, A. W. Bristol, Jr

© 2023 . All Rights Reserved.