EAST EDDINGTON – The East Eddington Grange was formed on March 9, 1889, at the East Eddington Public hall. Two organizations, the Farmers Club and Young Ladies Sociable’s, raised funds and began construction of the public hall 10 years before the Eddington Grange was formed.
Eddington Grange charter members and officers were Jerome Comins, master; John Sweet, overseer; Harry Shaw, lecturer; Asa Lyford, steward; David Johnson, chaplain; Dan Stevens, treasurer; Boyden Bearce, secretary; and J. Albert Leach, gatekeeper.
Many of their descendants still live in Eddington.
The Grange was a national organization founded by a midwesterner, Oliver Hudson Kelly, and some of his friends who wanted to improve the quality of rural life. On April 11, 1889, Deputy B. A. Burr of the Maine State Grange read the dispensation from the National Grange.
He instituted the East Eddington Grange No. 301. This designated 301 means that 300
subordinate Granges already had been instituted in Maine. The first was Eastern Star Grange
No. 1 in Hampden.
The growth in the Grange by March 31, 1891, was 46 members with dues 3 cents a member. During the early years, the Grange met every Saturday night and paid 25 cents a night for the use of the hall. Every three months, $1.50 was paid for the use of the piano.
In the winter and early spring, meetings were all day. The business sessions would start by 10 a.m. and adjourn for a bake bean dinner at noon. In the afternoon business was finished and a literary program was presented. The meeting was closed around 4 p.m. in time to get home for farm chores.
The Grange was a family organization. In December 1900 the fifth degree was performed for the first time at the state meeting in Lewiston. All but one of the officers of the degree team came from East Eddington Grange No. 301.
Over the years, the Grange has had active and lax years. On the 50th Anniversary in 1939 there were 84 members. In 1951, there were 239 Grange members. In recent years the Grange emphasis is on community service. There have been many projects for the good of the community and the Grange.
In 1947 the Grange voted to sponsor Boy Scout Troop 23, and a Junior Grange was started and continued until 1973. Many projects were for improvement of the East Eddington Public Hall, now known as Comins Hall. The Grange had exhibits at Bangor State Fair where they won second prize for four years and first prize for six years. In 1961 the Grange was a leader in organizing the sesquicentennial celebration in Eddington.
The Grange shared in the American Revolution Bicentennial observance in 1976 and the Eddington Founders Day in 1981. The Grange participated in the parade and program in 2011 during the bicentennial incorporation celebration of Eddington. East Eddington Grange has held meetings with state representatives, senators, speakers on environment issues, concerts, plays and variety shows.
East Eddington Grange No. 301 has held its meetings at the hall for 125 years. We plan to
continue our service to the Eddington Community for many years more.