But what, exactly, is a grange? That’s the question fair goers most frequently ask when they visit the building. The Grange is a fraternal organization focused on agriculture and husbandry that was founded in 1867 as a way to reunify people after the Civil War. There are Granges in cities and towns across the United States; today, Essex County has five Granges. Each of them exhibits in the Grange Building, with displays of fruits and vegetables, canned and baked goods, and arts and crafts. The Fair first began awarding premiums for the best Grange display in 1891, and still does to this day.
The Grange sponsors social activities, community service, and political lobbying. We have had a Grange department for many years where different granges would come in and compete with their exhibits. Our grange displays here at Topsfield Fair are perhaps the most intense displays that you will see in the area. We take pride in our wonderful grange building and displays!