Granges are America’s oldest national agricultural organization. For the past 155 years, they have united private citizens in improving the economic and social position of the nation’s farm population by supporting a variety of issues, including economic development, education, family endeavors, and legislation designed to assure a strong and viable Rural America. Today, this grassroots organization has evolved to include non-farm rural families and communities, with 150,000 members and 1,700 established chapters nationwide, a mere fraction of the tens of thousands that once spanned the country.
Our local history with the Grange organization began c. 1890 when The Satuit Grange #187 was established with members hailing from Norwell and Scituate. Meetings in those days were held in a member’s barn. They eventually moved and met at the Fogg Hall, the current site of Coastal Heritage Bank in the center of Norwell, until the chapter disbanded in 1903. Interest in the Grange resurrected, and in 1939, the Norwell Grange #410 was officially formed with 81 members on its charter.
In 1941, the Town of Norwell sold us our current building with the hope that its history would be preserved. According to Joseph Merritt's book "History of Scituate-Norwell, Massachusetts," it was built in 1876 and originally housed the District No. 2 Grammar School. In 1888, the Norwell High School was moved to the second floor. Over the past 146 years, the building itself has changed, but its character and historic value has remained.
In 2019, a group of agriculturally inclined individuals revived the Norwell Grange #410 with the hope of restoring the building, to create a gathering space focused on community outreach, rooted in our town’s agricultural history. Since then, we have received some donations to begin the building restoration process, however there is still much more to do to bring this historic gem back to life.
Today, with your financial support and participation, you too can be part of our efforts to restore the historic Norwell Grange building. We are currently raising funds for the following repairs:
exterior building repairs and painting
new accessible bathrooms
new commercial kitchen
We also welcome in-kind donations of time, talent and supplies. For more information about in-kind donations, please contact us. Also, please check with your tax preparer to determine if your donation is tax-deductible.
We look forward to providing a gathering space in the future for the entire family, keeping in mind the Grange’s agricultural and community principles of fellowship, agricultural education, service and social activities. We appreciate your support on this journey.