Grange celebrates its history at Jefferson County Fair

wwny Grange celebrates its history at Jefferson County Fair

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Since 1895, different chapters of the Grange have been putting together exhibits to teach fairgoers about agriculture.

This year’s theme is ‘Grange throughout the years.’

Jefferson County used to boast 45 chapters. Now, there are fewer than 10.

Grange member Nelson Eddy says the decrease is due to the way people get around.

“In the beginning it was, transportation was horse and buggy, and you didn’t go as far in an evening to a meeting or to an event and returning that same evening. Where today, you get in the car and in an hour you can go any place in the county,” said Eddy.

Along with the exhibits. Grange chapters take part in various competitions.

The agricultural photo contest puts different aspects of nature on display.

Some Grange members say the scarecrow competition is the real popular draw of the event.

Scarecrows are judged on durability, originality, and creative use of materials.

The Grange also raises money through a food stand that has been part of the fair for decades.

Some of the proceeds go towards cancer research.

Eddy says the Grange has helped bring cancer treatments to Jefferson County.

“We didn’t have a treatment for cancer in the beginning, where we do now. And it’s beneficial to many, many people who can’t afford to travel to Syracuse, or to other areas for treatment,” said Eddy.

Kids interested in becoming Grange members start off in the junior grange.

Junior Grange leader Karen Wilcox says the program teaches children “patriotism, and ritualism, and leadership.”

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