(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
A couple sits on their wagon before the old Post Office building in Deerfield, Massachusetts. The building behind them was built as a school by the town in 1842 and was used until 1874 when another building was constructed. The building was then turned to commercial and other uses, including being used as a Grange Hall. The National Grange, or the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, was founded in 1867 as a fraternal organization of men and women. It was loosely based on other societies of the 19th century. The national organization opposed what it saw as the exploitation of farmers by big-city capitalists and railroad companies. In the 1870s its membership boomed due to a severe economic depression that badly hurt farmers. Around that time, a chapter was established in Deerfield. Although the national organization declined in the years after 1880, it persisted in many New England towns.