History

The Aloha Grange #773 was organized on January 31, 1931 with 119 charter members.  Henry G Hagg was elected the first Grange Master.  Meetings were initially held at the Wheeler Hall but in March of 1932 Grange members voted to build their own facility.  C. J. Stickney donated a lot on the corner of Wheeler Ave. (now known as 185th) and Alexander.  During the summer of 1932 the hall was erected with volunteer labor and paid for, in large part, by donations.  On September 1st, the first meeting was held in the new hall and the building was formally dedicated on October 14, 1932.  It was completed in five months with just a $2,500 mortgage. In May of 1942, just 10 years after construction began; the Grange celebrated the burning of the mortgage.  We thank the courageous, optimistic, forward looking members who undertook this project in the depths of the Great Depression.  The membership list includes many names we recognize today such as Hagg, Kinnaman and Kemmer.

The building was designed to be more than just a home for the Grange.  It was to be a community gathering place for civic and social activities. The ballroom has always hosted regular community dances while the stage has provided a venue for musical and live theatre performances.  The ballroom was originally designed to accommodate the rudimentary film projectors of the day so that local residents could enjoy movies.

The lower dining hall has hosted many banquets and was the home to the annual Aloha-Hillsboro Community dinner for many years where crowds of over 400 were served by the Grange Members.  We have had the privilege of hosting weddings, anniversaries and other joyous celebrations as well as bazars, community meetings and activities.

Initially the Aloha Grange was deeply involved in lobbying Salem and Washington on farm issues.  As the Aloha area changed, the Grange has become an advocate on urban issues such as traffic and regular ambulance service. We do community outreach activities and sponsor two Cub Scout Packs.  With the change from rural to suburban, the building became the longtime home of two square dance clubs.  Our space is filled with healthy, family oriented activities and remains the civic asset its founders envisioned.

 

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