The Book - Bart Beck

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About Bart Beck

THE GRANGE

The Grange Hall was moved far enough to the North to allow the highway to pass between it and the river. LeRoy Stell and I built the new concrete steps, at the front of the building, after it was moved. They are still there. That must have been in 1927 or 1928.

There is a real good article, in the paper, about the Riverside Grange, and in that article, it is said that the hall was wired for electricity in 1938 and before that, it was lighted with kerosene lamps. This is true; the building had been lighted with kerosene lamps, but sometime shortly after 1930, Harry Shively got hold of a used acetylene gas lighting system. It was complete, with the automatic carbide generator, piping, fixtures and all. Harry and I installed the piping and the generator, and then we had gas mantle lights, which were a big improvement over the kerosene lamps. You may ask, why we didn't wire the building, for electricity, at that time. "Elementary, my dear Watson"; the closest electricity was the Sturgis Dam, three miles to the east or Three Rivers, three miles to the west.

The Grange has a very profound meaning, for me, because it was during the winter following our move to the Thoms farm, that the family joined the Grange. One of the members of the drill team, that conducted the initiation ceremonies, was a very pretty, young lady that lead me from one station to another, for instruction, and as it turned out, that same pretty young lady has lead me, from one station to another, for more than fifty years. She was Louise Shively, who on June 17, 1933, became Louise Beck.

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