NORTHFIELD — The Northfield Historical Society has received a grant from the New Hampshire Humanities Council to present "New Hampshire's Grange Movement: Its Rise, Triumphs and Decline". The program will be presented on Monday, November 25, at 7 p.m. at the Northfield Town Hall, 21 Summer Street, Northfield.
Speaker Steve Taylor is an independent scholar, farmer, journalist and longtime public official. With his sons, Taylor operates a dairy, maple syrup, and cheese making enterprise in Meriden Village. He has been a newspaper reporter and editor, and served for twenty five years as New Hampshire's Commissioner of Agriculture. Taylor was the founding Executive Director of the NH Humanities Council and is a lifelong student of the state's rural culture.
In the late 19th century, much of rural New Hampshire was in decline due to abandonment of farms, decline in population, and reversion of cleared land to forest. The development of the Grange movement offered social interaction, entertainment and mutual support. As membership surged it became a major force in policymaking in Concord. Many Grange initiatives became law, placing the state at the leading edge in several areas of reform.
Steve Taylor analyzes the rapid social and economic changes that would lead to the steep decline of the once powerful movement. The program is free and open to the public.