Bethlehem Grange #137 Community Center is located in the Town of Bethlehem, Albany County, Selkirk, New York, in the hamlet of Beckers Corners which is on NY SR 396, just west of the junction of US route 9W. It’s about 3 miles west of exit 22 of the NYS Thruway(I87), and about 8 miles south of Albany, New York, our state capitol. Bethlehem Grange #137 was founded in 1874 as a local “branch” (aka Subordinate) of the Grange(Patrons of Husbandry), a national farmer/agricultural advocating organization.
Today membership is open to community service conscious individuals from the age of five years and up. Bethlehem Grange basically serves the southeastern corner of Albany County, New York, which encompasses the communities of Selkirk, South Bethlehem, Glenmont, Beckers Corners and others.
Meetings are held on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 7PM.
Five monthly suppers are held during the autumn and spring months, and are the primary fund raising events for the Bethlehem Grange.
For information on our Junior Grange #115 check their site.
ALL GRANGE EVENTS ARE HELD AT THE BETHLEHEM GRANGE COMMUNITY CENTER, ROUTE 396 SELKIRK, NY, UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED. THE BGCC IS HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE, AND IS AVAILABLE FOR YOUR PERSONAL OR ORGANIZATION’S EVENTS.
The Founders: On December 4, 1867 in a small Washington, D.C., building that housed the office of William Saunders, Superintendent of Propagating Gardens in the Department of Agriculture, the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, more commonly known as the Grange, was born. Here, sitting around a plain wooden table, a group of seven earnest men, planned what was destined to become a vital force in preserving and expanding American democracy. They were all men of vision-they had faith in God, in their fellow man and the future. The Seven Founders of the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry were:
- Oliver H. Kelley
- William Saunders
- Aaron B. Grosh
- William M. Ireland
- John R. Thompson
- Francis McDowell
- John Trimble, assisted by Caroline Hall who was later named an honorary 8th founder of the Grange
Their names are inscribed on a Birthplace Marker located near the site of the original building on the south side of 4th Street SW, near Madison Street on the mall in Washington DC. The marker was officially dedicated on Sept. 9, 1951, and is the only private monument on the mall.
The 11-story landmark National Grange headquarters building in Washington, D.C. was dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on June 29, 1960, and is the only private edifice in a federal block across from the White House. It serves as a non-governmental headquarters for agricultural and rural families. A professional staff administers policies established annually by democratic Grange processes at local county, and state levels.