OHMPAA - Community Theater in the Hills

Norway Grange #45

15 Whitman Street, Norway, Maine

Norway Grange #45 was first organized on October 24, 1874 at the Norway Lake School House. On October 22, 1876 a 160-foot lot on Whitman Street was purchased from Henry Bangs for the sum of $550.00. The current Grange Hall was built on this site in 1909 and the first meeting was held on December 4 of that year.

Membership has fluctuated from 150 members in 1897, to a peak of 280 in 1910. A decline in membership began during the 1960's. Today, there are forty-four members, fourteen of whom have been members for 50 years, and six others who have belonged more than forty years.

In 1918, the Grange building was used as an emergency hospital during the flu epidemic. For many years, the Grange sponsored dances, suppers, minstrel shows, sales and auctions to raise funds. The funds from these activities enabled the organization to pay off all debt on the building in 1940. During World War II, sixteen male members and one female member of the Grange became active in the service. Grange members bought war bonds and made contributions to many worthwhile causes.

The Grange Hall

A stable was built behind the hall in 1922. In later years, the stable was leased to local businesses and used for storage. An arsonist set fire to the former stable in April of 2000 creating a great financial loss for the organization. On April 13, 2002, the Grange and OHMPAA signed an agreement allowing the community theater group use of the building. Grange members are excited to see the building used on a regular basis again. Funds derived from the arrangement with OHMPAA will provide financial assistance to help Grange members with the maintenance and upkeep of this beautiful historic building.

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