The Manchester Grange will celebrate its 150th birthday, with Maine humorist Gary Crocker performing, in a Sunday event that is open to the public.

The Grange, which operates in its hall at 953 Western Ave., was founded 150 years ago, though it wasn’t incorporated until 1949, according to Stephanie Daggett-Nichols, chairwoman of activities for Manchester Grange 172.

Grange members, in a gathering beginning at 2 p.m., will celebrate the local agricultural, fraternal organization’s birthday at the Grange hall, with a performance by Crocker, a well-known local humorist.

Activities also will include an awards ceremony, in which three members — Mark Johnston, Brenda Lake and Edward Lincoln III — will be recognized as Golden Sheaf members, for their 50 years of Grange membership.

Maine State Grange Master Rick Grotton is expected to attend the ceremonies.

“We’re very excited. Gary Crocker is going to entertain us, then we’ll have the awards ceremony,” said Daggett-Nichols, whose parents, John and Ruth Daggett, were longtime active Grange members, as were her grandparents and great-grandparents.


She said the Grange raises money for a nurse’s scholarship, the Home for Little Wanderers, a local fuel assistance fund and local food bank; and it hosts bean suppers regularly from May to October, as well as two large craft shows.

She said anyone may join the Grange, the nation’s oldest agricultural fraternal organization. The Manchester Grange has added eight new members over the last two years and has approximately 40 members.

Before the Grange hall was built in 1906, Grange members met at members’ homes.

Public activities start at 2 p.m. Sunday, preceded by a luncheon for Grange members at 1 p.m.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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