American Values, Hometown Roots
The Grange prides itself in helping our community prosper through its various programs. We invite you to learn more about our various functions by using the buttons as the top of the screen.
Why we joined
I joined because I wanted to help my community and this was a place I had always knew was community oriented organization.
I joined the Chetco Grange in 2011 because a very good friend of mine asked me to, hard to say no to a good friend sometimes so I signed up. I had been inside the hall on many occasions but never really knew what a “grange” was about. As it turned out I fell in love with our great community center and have since become the president.
I see a lot of things that have made America great becoming lost, because of the age of the populous, people not fellowshipping and community support. The granges or community halls were the center piece of most small communities, weddings, parties, election debates, Friday night dances, rummage sales, meeting hall for all types of groups, card playing, quilting, first aid, blood drives, fire department pancake feasts, agriculture discussions and wakes. I grew up next door to the atmosphere, in fact, part of my family’s property was dedicated for the building of the Hall and when it burned down the property was given back to our family. My goal, it that is what you want to call it, is to make sure that the Chetco Grange and Community Center is a center piece in Harbor, where the community has the use of a well maintained building with amenities that are new and user friendly. This is the Building of the Community and we are the caretakers or custodians, so it is our responsibility to provide a place where people or groups can fellowship and if I can help make this happen and be for future generations, I have fulfilled my goal.
Back in the early seventies I lived in Medford, Oregon. The first Grange I saw was in Eagle Point and the kindness and friendliness I felt when attending a dance there, made a lasting impression on me. I have supported stewardship of our lands and communities since that time, so when I moved to Harbor, Oregon and found the Chetco Grange down the street I was pleased. While attending dance classes there I was invited to attend a business meeting of the Grange and did so with alacrity. I was honored to be offered membership and I have enjoyed myself ever since. I now call it “Our Grange” and I am dedicated to carrying forward the stewardship of hall and grounds. Support and enhancement of the community here in Harbor with my fellow members is also very important to me. Recently I sent an e-mail to Winco inviting the supermarket company to open a store in the vacancy in the mall across from the hall. Sure hope they come! Right now my goal is to refurbish our hall and bring it up to date. Along with that is fund raising to complete our improvements. Today I begin work on the Chetco Grange First Annual Talent Show to be held in October 2016. The best part of my involvement in our local grange is the fellowship of the members. Each one is special in their own way and the friendship is priceless. All of us working together at a community event held at the hall is the most and best fun ever!!!
Now, at the age of 71 I have spent nearly as much time in Brookings as I did in the beginning of my life, as to my retirement life having been brought to Brookings by my Swedish immigrant parents in 1945. My dad was driven to succeed in life as an immigrant who had hardly any formal school ing before the age of 14. So at 6 months of age I was brought to Brookings with my mom and dad from Klamath Falls, Oregon. Those were challenging times to grow up in a small village like Brookings where there was work in logging and my Dad picked ferns for florists. We lived in a tiny cabin above Hanscams Store and he took odd jobs and worked for the mill and then became involved through sheer determination to be a lily bulb grower of Easter Lilies and that is where a huge development changed our lives and many others in this community. It was so successful and profitable for the willing and the determined Dahlstrom and Watt. Flora Pacifica was our original home and I still take craft classes in my dad’s barn. During this time we had our social events and that would be Family oriented potlucks. The Grange was responsible for offering the location and hall to provide the room for large groups, music and dance. This is where all holidays were spent and children were always present. I remember his name was Joe Zump, on Oceanview Drive who was also a bulb grower, who had the best rendition of "Oh Holy Night”, and I was young but those Christmas parties were at the Grange. These were all farmers and bulb growers and people who worked the land. Hence the strong agriculture focuses of the Grange. My mom surprised me with a 16th Birthday party with my friends at the Grange. The hall was so large compared to our group but it did not matter. I was deliriously happy. Later in years I had high school friends who came to the Grange for Square Dancing classes. Yes I think we were Junior Grangers. I know for sure that mom and dad were officers of the Grange as their names are listed in a document as to their positions during the 1950's. When it turned out that there would be a Curry County Fair event with a Court who needed to vie for positions, I had to sell tickets to the talent show at the Grange where my classmates and I had to compete for a talent contest. I was terrified but mom was a pusher and I took instructions from an upper classman who knew the "Charleston". I had an original Charleston dress and could not believe I sold the most tickets and won the contest. That meant that I was the Brookings Fair Princess to represent our town in Gold Beach. The queen turned out to be Maureen Walker, yes, the respected Rose Walker family and daughter. We still talk about that experience. So that brings me to the point of graduating from high school here. Then new horizons opened and I went on to the Nursing School that my aunt went to in Portland called Emanuel School of Nursing before she went into WWII as a nurse. I graduated in 1966 and mea a man and married and had 2 children. I worked in a children's clinic until the birth of my children. Long and short I divorced after 8 years and in1976 met my current husband and married in 1976.We raised a blended family of 8and I worked part time at Meridian Park Hospital for17 years as a geriatric nurse. When we became empty nesters we spent a year deliberating about coming back to Brookings for me my home town, where my husband took over another dental practice here known as Brookings Dental Arts. Never been happier, best ever decision. When the Grange reorganized in 2007, I said count me in as our dearest friend of the family was Frank Kelly. He was like my God Father. His wife was my early teacher here and Frank transferred the key to us new members. The night he passed, I held the office of Ceres and it was my duty to drape the Charter for the fallen former members for the Grange. Frank was the last man and it sent chills up my spine. It was so emotional to me and I said I will be with the Grange as long as I can for Frank’s sake. You see the Chetco Grange is historic and has been so important for so many reasons for this community. While Farmers are no longer as viable here, it is still a strong component of the Chetco Grange history, and in any capacity should continue on that direction.