Shannon Nickelsen has fond memories of visiting the local Grange as a young child. Her grandmother, Orale Reude, was the junior Grange leader in the Cape Horn area, just outside Washougal.
“It was a part of our life,” she said. “We used to put on flag ceremonies and candlelight ceremonies. On Sundays, we would have ham dinners at the grange. Grandma taught us how to set and wait tables, and we would get tips. It was so rewarding.”
But as Nickelsen got older, she became more involved with the local 4-H club and began a part-time job, and the Grange went on the back burner. However, she continued her membership until it closed in 1998.
But in an interesting twist of fate, Nickelsen is now working to preserve the very things she enjoyed so much as a child. She is hoping to revitalize the Fern Prairie Grange, which has been inactive since 2008.
Nickelsen, who lives just down the road from the building, began her renewed interest in the Grange a few months ago, when she was looking for a place to host her 25th wedding anniversary party.