May 9, 2013 | Vol. 117 -- No. 3

The continuing adventures of Tyler Grange

We left Tyler Grange degree team last week marching smartly, turning corners with precision. In 1947 they chose Evelyn Franseen as their queen candidate for the Cheney Chamber of Commerce May Day parade and won a prize. The bank account whispered “You are six months behind on your bills.” No problem. Tyler Grangers held card parties, carnivals as well as dances and served lunches at farm auction sales. Two years later the bank account was smiling with $1,800 tucked away.

The Grangers took ownership of the Tyler School House and surrounding grounds. They must have felt invincible for a little while. Nobody told them a roaring forest fire was coming in 1960. It swept the Tyler area and devastated land and buildings for many miles around. The old school building posing as the new Grange Hall, and other buildings, were destroyed. Grange members once more pulled together and with help from others bought a surplus building from Fairchild Air Force Base. It would become their new Grange Hall. Other granges offered needed items. Chairs from the old Cheney theater were put in place. Tyler Grangers were in business again.

As the years rolled by Tyler Grange members distinguished themselves in many ways. Elvin Childers won third place in a national Grange essay contest. Gilbert and Merle Peterson were named conservation farmers of the year. J.P. Brown and Sons were cattlemen of the year and Jerald Betz held the office of president of the Wheat Growers Association. The Lee Ableman family won the national Grange talent contest in 1967. Kay Ham won a state talent prize in 1968. The Grange fair booth in 1974 won second place and the Alysworth French Trophy. Janet Miller became the Fairest of the Fair. Following as princesses were Gale Ableman and Susan Shea and in 1994, Melanie Lund, Fair Queen.

The Grangers encouraged railroad executives to install crossing signals on country roads. They influenced telephone companies to run toll free lines to Spokane. They work every year with the Adopt-a-Highway program picking up trash. Their voice has been heard concerning wetlands, re-districting, growth management and landfills. Tyler Grange keeps adding more information.

And look, here’s something already: annual Tyler Daze community flea market. Co-sponsored by Tyler Grange and Station 312 Volunteer Association. Note the date of Saturday, June 1, 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Call Lyle Polack at 239-4548 to reserve your space or table (inside or outside) by May 24. Set up Friday after 4 p.m. and/or Saturday 7-8 a.m. Free advertising for you. Sell your treasures. Find other treasures and new ideas. Visit with friends. Admire show cars. See the Fire Department equipment.

There’s free coffee all day. The Community fire district state opens at 7 a.m. for breakfast, donations accepted. Lunch: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. donations accepted. Also, hamburgers or German sausage dogs prepared by Tyler Station 312 Volunteer Association. Firefighting equipment will be displayed.

See you June 1. Join the group that never quits!

Luella Dow is a Cheney-area author. She can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress.com.

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