New Bridge, Baker County, Oregon

New Bridge Grange was organized May 19, 1931, with twenty-one charter members. They were: Mr. and Mrs. W.C. Fields, Ethel Eidson, Catherine Ashby, O.E. and Gladys Robinson, Lucile Ashby Jones, Louie Eidson, Isabel Downs, Lionall and Wilbur Connall, Herman Ashby, Susie Ashby, Roy Winfred and Mary Coble, J.C. Dowell, Lute Parker, Elsie Blank, Mable Trickle and A.W. Fergerson.

     Catherine Ashby was elected the first Master and they met at the New Bridge Schoolhouse. Later they rented the Pool Hall from the Jim Holcomb estate and in 1937 voted to buy the building for $400.00. Immediately they built a kitchen on the back and anteroom on the front, wired the hall and built a stage benches and tables for the hall. Cost of the materials was $275.00, that amount being borrowed from the members and repaid by giving dances, box socials, dinners and bazaars.

     Community service has always been the main service the New Bridge Grange and over the years the hall has been used by the Grange and other organizations for meetings, church affairs, square dancing, public dances, dinners, showers and programs.

     The Grange has had many exhibit booths at the county fair and won a large number of first places. During the war years, the Grange bought defense bonds and the hall was used for Red Cross meetings, First Aid and Home Nursing Courses. They got the county to gravel the road between New Bridge and Richland and later to pave the road.

     They organized a Junior Grange that was active for many years and in 1946, the Junior Grange conferred the juvenile degree at the Oregon State Grange session held in Baker. They also had an active youth group that conferred the Grange degrees. Margaret Martin.





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