A Bit About Our History

The Little Grange That Could!

It was September 25th, 1919. Eighteen people crowded into the old Bennetville School to hold a very important meeting. The business at hand was to discuss whether or not there would be enough local support to start a local Grange. Twelve of those people showing paid their dues of sixty cents, half of which was sent to the State Grange for an application of charter. Why was a Grange so important? Back in 1919 small communities were fragmented from each other, sometimes by rivers and mountainous country, or just the distance one needed to travel. In the case of the small settlements of Benettville and Mansford, the Sauk River flowed between them. The only way to cross was to take the very unpredictable ferry that seemed to keep it's own schedule, ford the swift currents of the Sauk or travel practically all the way to Darrington and cross the rope suspension bridge. The Granges have been historical known for bringing communities together and to build infrastructure that was needed for a strong growing area. On October 29th the first meeting of the Mansford Grange #710 was held to elect their officers. Plans were set into motion that would change the upper Stillaguamish Valley forever. It wasn't until 1926 the Grange built their first Hall across the Sauk River at Mansford. Money was raised to buy a piano and they held their dance.

The Mansford Grange over it's many years has been instrumental in bringing in phone lines, improving and building roads. It was the Darrington Improvement Club, Arlington Commercial Club and the Mansford Grange that built the Squire Creek Campground.    High waters washed out the bridge to the grange in 1932. They moved the Grange to the Mansford School, a few years later the Sauk River flooded again destroying the school. The Grange later relocated at the Darrington Club rooms. Finally in 1944 the Mansford Grange purchased land at the old C.C.C. Camp Darrington site and used the commissary building for it's hall. In 1946 the brand new City Hall building was completed with a dance hall upstairs, the city clerks and Mayor's offices on the middle floor. The fire hall was on the street level and the jail and court room down in the basement. In the same year the grange and other community members decided to sponsor a festival called the Timberbowl to raise money for the new fire truck.

The Timberbowl was a very successful Darrington fundraising tradition for several decades.  In 1953 the grange again became homeless when heavy snows collapsed the grange hall roof in. It was decided to rebuild on the same location. It was also in 1953 that the grange donated the land behind the Sauk River Trading Post for a small city park. When the new hall was completed in 1955, it kept some of the old C.C.C. Building to the west side. On May 1st of that year the grange met in their new hall, this is the hall building currently being used today.

The Mansford Grange #710, a group of dedicated people that believe
"Community Is Job One"!