Atkinson Historical Society Grange
Atkinson Grange, Patrons of Husbandry No 143, was organized November 29, 1889 with 21 charter members. Herman Noyes server as the first Master. "Atkinson" was selected by ballot as the name of the Grange. The Grange continued to meet in the Academy Hall, which was in need of renovation. In September of 1912, Herbert Poor offered a building lot on Bassett land east of the Academy and diagonally across from the Center School as the site for a Grange Hall.
When the Grange Hall was torn down in 1986 many items were recovered including the main curtain for the stage. There are also a number of current Atkinson residents who were former members who have donated items for the display.
The hall was officially opened on February 12, 1913. At the time of its construction the hall was considered one of the finest Grange halls in New Hampshire and was valued at $6,000 with a debt of only $3,000. A home talent drama, "Silar the Choir Boy" , was presented and raised about $150. Some of this money was spent for stage scenery, including the front drop with its painting of Menageria Rocks at Island Pond. This front drop painting will soon be displayed at the Kimball House.
The Grange is more than a building and a slate of officers. It has had its dramatic moments. One such event occurred in the mid-thirties, when George White, Sr. was Pomona Master and the meeting began at 3 in the afternoon, there was a break for supper downstairs, and the meeting resumed afterward. It had been snowing all day, and while there was no accumulation at suppertime it became a nor'easter. When the meeting closed at 10:30pm people were dismayed to find their cars frozen under drifts. No one could get out. Three children were put to bed on the pool table, but everyone else settled down for a friendly night of talking and singing.