What is the Grange?
Copake Grange 935 is a non-profit community organization comprised of local members from the Roe Jan area in and around Copake, New York. We are a local chapter of the National Grange, an organization over 150 years old that is dedicated to supporting and advancing the life of rural communities, particularly those with agricultural roots. Our Grange Hall, built in 1903, with its 94-seat theater and meeting spaces, is a location dedicated to bringing the community together through lectures, plays and performances, and serves as a civic center to advance local initiatives that can benefit our rural community.
Our mission is to carry on the purpose of the National and NY State Grange, to provide a non-partisan space where all are welcome, and to serve the needs of the community. The members of the Grange value the historic significance of the Copake Grange, and they carry that legacy forward in making the Grange a vital part of the community.
- To maintain and update the historic Copake Grange building located in the Hamlet of Copake, which is the only Grange building still being operated as a Grange organization in Columbia County.
- To be financially self-sustaining.
- To provide a meeting place for various community activities, such as community dinners, performing and visual arts, private parties, public forums, and other events in support of the Roe Jan Community.
- To investigate immediate and long range needs of the community and advocate for them. Examples include the needs of farms and farm workers, affordable housing, child care, elders, healthcare, infrastructure, conservation and energy, transportation, and charitable giving.
“I concluded great good would result from bringing the farmers of the country together in a fraternity...[for] the mutual benefit and interests of the men who till the soil, the bone and sinew of this great Republic.”
oliver h. kelly, founder of the National grange, 1867
On October 17, 1902, 63 residents of Copake met to discuss joining the National Grange movement and establishing a local "subordinate" Grange in town. In its first official meeting, on October 24, 1902, over 80 charter members were initiated as inductees of the new "Copake Grange No. 935."
At an early meeting of the Copake Grange, it was voted to build a Grange Hall on land given by Mrs. Carrie B. Langdon and her mother, Mrs. Charity Ann Snyder. The new Grange hall cost $2,400 and the first meeting in it was held on September 9, 1903.
Among its many achievements, the Copake Grange supported the New York State Grange in sponsoring an Agricultural College at Cornell University, establishment of the Dairymen's League Cooperative Association and The Farm Bureau, founding of the Copake Boy Scout troop, sponsorship of two local basketball teams, and forming the Copake Fire Department.
The Copake Grange maintained, in the Grange Hall, a public lending library for the use of the community. During World War II, the Grange raised funds to send ambulances to France, purchased war bonds, and gave free use of the hall to the Red Cross and other civic organizations in support of the war effort.
Today, the Copake Grange continues its legacy of public service, working with Habitat for Humanity, local performance groups, and other organizations to enhance the quality of rural life.