GREENVILLE — Stelvideo Grange No. 295 added another booth to its display in the Domestic Arts building at the Great Darke County Fair. It features a history of the Granges in Darke County over the years.
“The main point of doing this is to get something new and get people more interested in talking and bringing them down to talk to us more in the promotional area (at the fair),” said Susan Gunckle, junior leader of the Grange.
The history booth features such items as old song/drill/marching books, old voting boxes, two seals, a picture of the founder (Oliver Hudson Kelly), a map of all that Granges that were in existence in Darke County over the years, cookbooks dating back to 1961, gavels, the Bible, an emblem box, sashes and the centennial history.
Also featured in there is a map with all of the Granges that were in Darke County at one time with stickpins indicating their locations.
“In our search, we found 47, but a woman at the fair the other day said there was only one in Gettysburg instead of two, so I guess it’s 46,” Gunckle said. “A lot of work went into this. It was hard figuring out the records. We had to match dates to try and figure them out.”
Names listed in the booth are Stelvideo, Washington, Patterson, North Star, German (Anchor), Lightsville (with another listed as Lights Ville), Concord, Stillwater, Wayne, Brock, Arcanum, Painter Creek, Mississinawa, Pleasant Ridge, Hopewell, Victory, Champion, Sugar Valley, Butler, Fellowship, Allen Township, Jaysville, Castine, Greenville, Gettysburg, Fidelity, Weaver, Liberty, New Madison, York (Ansonia), Hollansburg, Wayne, Woodington, Jackson, New Weston, Patterson, Hillgrove, Wayne Trail, Ithaca Twin, Fort Jefferson (twice), Brown Township, Monroe, Bradford and Delisle. She also noted that Darke County was the first and founder of juvenile Grange in the state in 1901. It was known as German Juvenile Grange.
Another reported showed the following as the original members of Stelvideo Grange in 1873: A.C. and Mary Jane Frampton; Myram C., George and Angenetta Medford; Lucy and John Trump; Eli and Benton Martin; Abner C. Urban; John and Mahala Coppess; and Issac Koon.
In addition to the promotional booth and the historical booth, there are also booths for Stelvideo Grange and Junior and Youth Grange.
Gunckle said the Domestic Arts building now on the fairgrounds was the original Grange building during fair week with all of the Granges represented in their respective booths
“It was built by the Grange people,” she said. “They showed projects at the fair, but we don’t know where they showed them. It was so big they had to draw names out to see who could come to the fair.”
The earliest date they found there were exhibitors was 1898.
Gunckle also believes the Grange (now Domestic Arts) building was constructed between the 1903 and 1904 fairs.
At the promotional booth at the fair this year, the Grange is giving away pill dispensers and earplugs to fairgoers, the latter to protect their hearing while such events as the tractor pulls and demolition derby take place.
Contact Staff Writer Linda Moody at email@example.com or at (937)569-4315 ext. 1749. Read more news, features and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.