• Photo of the Beaver Marsh by Jeffrey Gibson.

    Cuyahoga Valley

    National Park Ohio

Social Organizations

Participation in local organizations helped farmers and other valley residents address issues that affected their lives. Many farmers were members of the Grange, the oldest national agricultural organization supporting rural communities. In the years after the Civil War, the Grange developed to help protect and improve the lives of America's farmers. The Grange has also worked to promote rural education, improve transportation and access to health care, and protect natural resources. The organization united farmers and provided resources for farming security and sustainability. Today, the Grange focuses more broadly on community service.

Other social organizations helped farmers and their families address concerns and implement changes to benefit local rural communities. Women's Farm Club No. 1, in Bath, was a female-led social club for farmers' wives. The club gave women an outlet for talking about important issues and built bonds between members.

 
Oral history audio.

In Their Own Words
Click the topics to hear stories about Cuyahoga Valley life.
Click here to read the text file.

The Grange (1 minute 30 seconds)
Hazel Broughton, former resident of Everett, describes the purpose and history of the Grange, a service club supporting rural communities.

Women's Farm Club No. 1 (44 seconds)
Pat Morse, whose mother was a member of Women's Farm Club No. 1, remembers club activities and events during the 1930s and 40s.


 
4-H Club competition at county fair.
4-H club programs came to Ohio in 1902, and introduced new agricultural technologies to farming communities. These clubs also gave rural youths an opportunity to participate in fun and educational group activities. Above, a young boy looks over the rule book for a 4-H sponsored county fair competition.
Courtesy/Cleveland Press Collection

Did You Know?

Drawing of a mule driver on the Ohio & Erie Canal.

A young James A. Garfield, 20th President of the United States, worked briefly as a mule boy on the Ohio & Erie Canal, an important cultural resource within Cuyahoga Valley National Park.