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Chico Grange Records Edit


MSS 302
Finding Aid Author
Leilani Silver
Finding Aid Date
May 14, 2010
Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of Description


  • 1932-1993 (Creation)


  • 7.13 Linear Feet (Whole)
    12 Boxes

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  • Abstract

    The Chico Grange was established in 1932 to give support and create opportunities for the rural and agricultural communities of Butte County. The collection consists of organizational records for Chico Grange 1932-1993, including minutes, reports, membership, correspondence, financial, journals, handbooks and scrapbooks.

  • Arrangement

    The Chico Grange records were previously stored in an old freezer, behind the stage, formerly the porch area of the Old Bidwell Schoolhouse. Grange member Jon Luvaas performed the preliminary arrangement. The materials in each rough series were placed in a box together. Many of the materials were already in folders and booklets, which were not re-foldered. Records that were loose or kept in an envelope were re-foldered.

    Arranged by Series:

    Series 1: Organization, Boxes 1-5

    Series 2: Membership/Financial, Boxes 6-7

    Series 3: Activities, Boxes 8-10

    Series 4: Scrapbooks, Boxes 11-12

  • Biographical / Historical

    The National Grange or the National Order of the Patrons of Husbandry, founded in 1866 by Oliver Hudson Kelly, has a rich history in building opportunity and bringing equality for farm and rural communities. It grew out of agricultural discontent in the Middle West that focused on efforts to battle railroads and grain elevators. Since its inception this fraternal society has worked toward the educational, social, and economic betterment of agricultural people, as well as for the welfare of all. The National Grange has had significant influence on local, state, and national legislature, which lead to the passing of the Granger Laws, as well as the first state and national control of all public utilities. It is a family organization and brings together men and women of all ages. It was the first American association of any kind to work for equality and justice for women, and the first to admit women with full membership equal to that of a man. There are five levels of Granges: National, State, Pomona, Subordinate, and Junior. They all follow the organization, rituals, and programs set forth by the National Grange.

    The Chico Grange, a subordinate of the National Grange, is known as a community service organization, with a mission to promote healthy local agriculture, environmental stewardship, and a vibrant community. Chico Grange #486 is one of the Granges established in Butte County. First known as the Shasta Union Grange #486, it was officially recognized on May 31, 1932. In 1937, a name change was made to Chico Grange #486. The Shasta Union Schoolhouse was the first meeting place of the Grange. When they had outgrown the schoolhouse, members bought the Sacramento Schoolhouse on Nord and Sacramento avenues in 1937. In 1954 the Chico Grange bought its current home, the Bidwell Schoolhouse located at the cross roads of Nord and Rodeo Avenues. The Chico Grange has provided the community with social, cultural and educational opportunities, as well as entertainment, emergency shelter, and a meeting place. There are special programs for youth, young adults and women. They have been involved in political activism and have successfully influenced both state and local policy. The Chico Grange has always been heavily involved in community service. The Women’s Committee regularly raised money for charity organizations by having pie socials, quilt raffles, dinners, and variety shows. Some of the charities include the Muscular Dystrophy Association, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, American Cancer Society, and the March of Dimes. The Relief Committee raised money to help needy families struggling from the depression. In the early 1930’s there was a great need for agricultural financial assistance, so Chico Grange members helped to organize the formation of Butte County Federal Credit Union in 1935. In the 1950’s members could purchase discounted items, such as gasoline, tires, machinery, spray materials, etc. from the Grange Business Organization.

  • Access Restrictions

    Collection is open for research without restriction.

  • Usage Restrictions

    No restrictions.

  • Acquisition

    Gift of Chico Grange #486, 2010

  • Preferred Citation

    Chico Grange Records, MSS 302, Special Collections, Meriam Library, California State University, Chico.

  • Processing Information

    Processed by: Pamela Nett Kruger and Leilani Silver, May 2010

  • Related Materials

    Northeastern California Historical Photograph Collection, Old Bidwell School, May 1953, call number sc21032, Special Collections, Meriam Library, California State University, Chico.

    California State Grange, 67th Annual Convention Bulletin 1939, Chico, California, call number S39 A2 1939 (N.E.Cal.), Special Collections N.E. Cal, Meriam Library, California State University, Chico.

  • Scope and Contents

    The collection covers the period of time, between 1932 and 1993. The records in this collection were arranged in four series: organization, membership/financial, activities, and scrapbooks. The organization records consist of National and California State Grange master’s speech, programs, journals of proceedings, handbooks, and rosters. It includes lecturer’s bulletins, resolutions, by-laws, constitution, and rituals. It also contains the Chico Grange meeting minutes, reports, correspondence and local history. The membership and financial records consist of roll books, dues account books, and quarterly reports. There are also membership applications and cancellations. Samples of loans and payments are also included. The activity records contain skits, awards, community service programs, and song sheets. A majority of the activity records consist of the Committee of Women’s Activities and the Women’s Home Economic Club. They include minutes, reports, programs, contests, and financial records. The assortment of scrapbooks covers the history of the Chico Grange from 1932-1993, and includes information about officers, members, committees, and important aspects of Grange life. There are also photographs, fair ribbons, and newspaper clippings.