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Around The Grange
Nov 2021 News from Higganum Grange No. 124

By Grace Bitter

  November 3, 2021 --

Higganum Grange celebrated its 130th Anniversary on Aug. 20 with a picnic on land formerly owned by its founder, Myron G. Skinner (Feb. 3, 1885 - Jan. 11, 1952). The March 1950 issue of “The Chatter”- the Higganum Grange newsletter at the time, recounts how the Grange began in 1891 as follows:

“It all started with a Rural New Yorker subscription. Mr. Chalker from Old Saybrook visited Myron Skinner for a subscription to this farm paper.   In the course of the conversation the Grange was  discussed.   Mr.   Chalker was the Grange Deputy for New London County. When Myron became really interested, he contacted Mr. Dunham, then the Deputy for Middlesex County, and Higganum Grange was organized. Interested people were discovered by conversations and no paper publicity was necessary.”

They had good attendance and often they had as many visitors as members. Visitors came especially from Middletown, Killingworth and East Haddam.

Often in the old days, during new business or the Lecturer’s hours, questions concerning agricultural problems were discussed. When outside speakers came, the Grange held day meetings with a potluck dinner (at noon).

Myron Skinner had orchards, fields and pastures along the west side of the Higganum Reservoir. He sold milk, apples, pears and peaches. He made strong apple vinegar called “Skinner Vinegar”, excellent for making “Skinner Pickles”. After he retired from farming, he opened a small grocery store and gas station. In the back room, he printed name cards, wedding invitations, funeral announcements and business forms. He raised flowers and sold them for weddings and funerals.

Myron served several terms as Master of the Higganum Grange. One daughter, Fannie Skinner Peck, and her husband, Winchester, were Golden Sheaf members of the Higganum Grange. Their son, Les- lie Peck, also a Grange member, built his house on one of Myron’s former corn fields. The Higganum Grange’s celebratory picnic, with a 130th birthday cake, was held on that property as guests of Lindamae Peck, Myron’s great-granddaughter and a 4th generation member of the Higganum Grange.



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