Landmark leveled

CHARLOTTE CENTER-A historical landmark came crashing down Thursday morning.

The old Grange Hall in Charlotte Center stood for over 100 years in the town.

According to Cassadaga Village Historian John Sipos, at the end of the Civil War the United States was heavily into reconstruction and our nation was mostly agricultural.

During this time period the grange was born as a way to give farmers a chance to come together and socialize.

By 1872 there were over 1,100 granges across America.

Sipos said the original Charlotte Center Grange was built on March 29, 1895 and at that time had 216 members. When it burned to the ground a new one was built soon after in the early 1900s because of the grange’s importance to the community.

He said the grange also provided education to the farmers and nearly every rural community had a grange hall to use for their gatherings.

“The grange became a friend of the farmer and his family,” he said.

Many local people reflected on the times they spent at the old grange and think fondly of their memories spent inside those walls.

Sue Strong Lawson of Cassadaga in an email said, she “remembers attending many family dinners there.”

O. Winston Bartholomew of Gerry said in an email, he “met his wife Valerie Barmore at the grange and they have recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.”

Janet Blizzard Fredrickson of Cassadaga recalled in an email she “attended many square dances at the grange.”

In another email to Sipos, Allen and Beverly Higgs said their family has been in the area for over a century and they remember the many dinners, square dances and gatherings that happened at the grange over the years.

There were also Cassadaga High School basketball games held in the Grange Hall.

Sipos said he and his wife watched sadly as the building was torn down.

“There are many memories, and as the building was being demolished, one could feel the love from the people of the Grange, which existed for years and years,” he said.

The building has not been used since the 1970s and fell into disrepair, leading to its demolition.

Comments on this article may be sent to jwillis@observertoday.com