National Register of Historic Places in Sacramento County
The American River Grange Hall was listed on the National Register because of its association with the historic Order of Patrons of Husbandry (Grange), its use as a meeting hall and its influence in community formation between 1882 and 1946.
The Grange began in Washington DC in 1867 and spread to California in 1872. The American River Grange incorporated in January of 1873, meeting in the Fifteen Mile House until they built their own hall in 1882. The American River Grange Hall #172 has remained in continuous use as a Grange Hall since that time.
During the early 1870's, farmers joined the Grange Movement in droves. Their economic security was threatened by dropping crop prices, high labor costs, high costs of machinery, and the fluctuating prices of rail freight. Farmers believed that cooperative organization would solve their economical instability. After a few failed economic ventures, farmers realized that the Grange would not be a financial boon. However, it did provide a forum for discussion of common problems, educational lectures, and social events, as well as an escape from the isolation of their farms.
The Granger Movement continued to push its legislative agenda, fighting monopolies, working for tax relief for farmers, and establishing rural mail delivery and a parcel post system. The Grange has always worked to improve the social, economical, intellectual, and political lives of its members and community
Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1996.