Not far off of Interstate-5 in Washington State, somewhere between Kelso and Castle Rock, sits a small, white, house-like building that might easily go unnoticed.
But inside this nicely kept structure, once a week, a group of grange members and others from the local community show up to make Christmas “Boots for the Troops”.
While every “boot”, aka Christmas stocking, has a tag with the Pleasant Hill Grange’s address, the members have yet to hear back from a recipient-Soldier, but it doesn't keep the Grange members from feeling confident that the “boots” have reached a deserving service member.
The Pleasant Hill Grange #101, the oldest grange in Cowlitz County; a grange has been in continuous operation since 1891, and in this same small building since 1892.
In fact, this particular grange was the site of the Washington State Grange Convention in 1900, which meant that most members at that time arrived either on foot or in horse drawn buggies.
With beginnings that go back to 1867, and once a mainstay in rural communities of the United States, Granges and Grange memberships have fallen drastically over the years
One grange member commented, “Holidays are a lonely time for troop members and a Christmas Boot from home will let them know we care.”
The Pleasant Hill Grange also makes “Quilts for the Brave” which is a program that makes a patriotic quilt for every wounded service member that returns to the States.
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