Pineland Grange is on the forefront of current Grange happenings, and it has a history dating all the way back to the start of the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry.
After the civil war, a northerner by the name of Oliver Kelley was commissioned to find ways to improve the agricultural condition of the South. With an armed guard he headed straight to Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston was still reeling from having been under siege for four years, 25% of the farmland had gone out of production and there were many widows and orphans. Many people from Charleston blamed all Northerners for the Southern condition and would not talk to Kelly. Kelly was successful in circumventing this issue because he was a Mason.
Kelly was taken on a tour of the Pee Dee river so he could see first hand the Southern condition. Kelly commented in his journal how he felt a warmness towards all he met, and saw the need for a nationally-scoped organization where people of the North and South could see each other as brothers and sisters. He finished touring the South, went back to Washington and formed the Grange.
Pineland’s predecessor, Baltimore Grange #16, was started in Kirby’s Crossroads (modern day Oak Grove) in 1870 right when the Grange movement began sweeping through the country. Baltimore was one of this nation’s first 100 Granges. This Grange was rumored to have met in an old school building.
During the gilded era, the members of the Grange got older and the Grange gave way to other organizations like the Farmer’s Alliance and the Farmer’s Union. It is said World War I put an end to the Grange movement in South Carolina, perhaps due to anti-war sentiment.
Pineland was started in the early thirties, during the height of the great depression. The land for the hall was donated by the Hayes family. It is said local Grange members came together and sawed the logs and built Pineland Grange. Pineland is the second oldest Grange in South Carolina with the oldest being Donald’s Grange in Donalds SC.
Almost 10 years ago, the Oak Grove Baptist Church began meeting at the Grange hall. Rev. Dotson, the current Grange Chaplin, and his family have put considerable effort in keeping up this Grange hall. Rev. Dotson died in 2014 and his legacy will be remembered.
In 2011 Pineland hosted the 2011 South Eastern Leadership conference. In 2012 Pineland hosted a meeting that was featured in an AP newswire press release and made it into at least 30 news publications across the country.
Pineland Grange is one one of the few Southern Granges which still conducts traditional Grange meetings. Our meetings are the third Thursday of every month at 7:00 PM. Visitors, particularly Grangers from anywhere in the nation, are always welcome. We would ask that you pick up an item for supper as our meetings always start with a cover dish supper.