Rockford Grange celebrates 100 years

Rockford Community Grange will be celebrating its 100-Year anniversary with an open house. The community is invited to come tour the old Grange, find out about other community partners, join in a potluck dinner and stay for an old-time country dance.

Doors open at 3 p.m. From 3-6 p.m. community organizations, farmers and businesses will have informational tables for the public to check out. 4-H members will have some of their animals for a petting zoo.

At 6 p.m. there will be a community potluck open to anyone. Hood River Valley area Granges will be supplying delicious desserts.

At 7:30 p.m. the Folklore Society will be putting on the Second Saturday country dance, featuring The Mill Creek String Band. This is a family dance, no experience necessary, with dances taught on site.

Rockford revitalized in 2006 with many new faces coming forward to save the building and pick up the good works of the Order.

Besides keeping the historic Grange building maintained, Rockford members’ current focus is on local food security and supporting local small farmers.

They accomplish this by sponsoring the Country Living Classes, teaching people basic skills such as growing gardens, preserving and cooking food, small livestock raising, composting and many more classes all listed with the Community Education directory.

Rockford also has a long history of supporting other community endeavors, such as contributing to 4-H, Adopt-a-Dog/The Hukari Animal Shelter, Dogs for the Deaf, FFA, Gorge Grown Food Network, History Museum, to name a few.

History of the Grange

Rockford Community Grange received its charter in 1913. Before it was called Rockford, it was called Westside and Park Grange. When Rockford was built it was the largest Grange in the State.

The early members of the Grange worked with the Bonneville Power Administration to bring electric service to the then rural area of the Hood River Valley. One of those members, Lucile Wyers has been a Grange member for well over 70 years. Rockford also donated a barn on its property to have a fire truck available to the Westside community. Later members helped to build the Westside Fire Department’s station there. With aging members and dwindling membership, Westside Fire District purchased the Rockford Grange in 2005.

Rockford has hosted many weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries, memorial services, community meetings, Barrett School reunion, graduation parties, Food co-ops, and even large family dinners over the years.

For many years Rockford was the home of the WyEast Whirlers Square Dance Club, and home of the “best NW dance floor” made with Birds-eye maple. The stalwart dancers, Gene and Bonnie Wright, Bob Tallman, Russ and Myrtle White, Larry and Laura Young and Gladys and Bill Castle worked hard keeping the building maintained, improving it by putting in new, modern bathrooms.

Today, there are several dance clubs who dance at Rockford. The Plus Dancers, Round Dancers and the Folklore Society Contra Dancing.

  • Rockford Community Grange is located at 4250 Barrett Dr., at the corner of Markham Rd., and next door to the Westside Fire Department.
  • For more information please call Linda Short at 541.490.9287.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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