History of the Ono Grange #445 Patrons of Husbandry

As Researched & written by Shelby Tucker

The Ono Grange applied for its charter from the National Grange on March 15, 1930, for a fee of $15. There were 40 different community members’ names on the application with James J. Barr serving as the first Master,  Lena Driscoll serving as the first Secretary and Olive Miller serving as the first Lecturer. The first meeting was held on April 2, 1930, in a rented house owned by James J. Barr on Buell Road in Ono, California. This house was rented for $40 a year. One of the first orders of business was to rent or buy a piano, which was discussed at the second meeting that took place on April 16, 1930. It was approved that a piano would be rented from Addie Graves. On July 2, 1930, the second most important order of business was discussed; the need to find a piece of land of their own for a Grange Hall.  On August 6, 1930, the first by-laws were adopted and after a number of years operating meetings out of the rented house on Buell Road, negotiations began on February 23, 1934 with David Boyer of Ono, California, to purchase the lot of land in Ono that was next to the hotel and blacksmith shop.

In March of 1934, Mr. Boyer donated the property and soon after on May 11, 1934, the construction of the Ono Grange hall began. A platform was completed by May 25,1934, and the cutting, hauling, and preparing of the hand hewn poles for the roof and sides were quickly under way. Most of the lumber used was harvested from around Rainbow Lake in Ono. In September of 1935, with much exaltation, there was a new hall dedication celebration.

The Ono Grange first had electricity installed in 1940 from Verne Williams’ power plant on Eagle Creek. One of the first Ono Grange refrigerators and a very large wooden cabinet was still in use up until the day that the hall was destroyed in the Zogg Fire, September of 2020. The wooden cabinet was bought by Naomi Huelsman for $3.00 in 1938. The oak flooring was laid by members in the mid 1950’s and more often than not, did the members of the Ono Grange donate materials for the upkeep of the hall, from paint to dinnerware. It was an ongoing process and a labor of love to maintain the integrity of the building’s history and to keep up with the requirements of public safety and health.

The Ono Grange has not only served as an important platform to inform farmers and ranchers about political happenings but was and is still a very important hub for a social network for the community members of Ono, Igo and Gas Point areas. There is a long standing history of acts of community service associated with the Ono Grange, offering the hall as a meeting place to various groups formed in the area such as the historical society and the local 4-H club. The hall also provided a place for memorial services for those of the community and a space for long standing social traditions such as the Old Timers Dinner, Cowboy Santa Claus and pancake breakfast, Pre-Hunt Dance and has opened its doors for numerous fundraisers for grange needs or in times of need for community members.