It was on June 18, 1947 while preparing for a Farm Bureau meeting that Dorothy Waugh made the remark that she wished that a Grange might be started in Vienna. It was quickly seconded and discussed throughout the day by members who were very enthusiastic about the idea.
Not sure quite how to begin, Hazel Bean suggested a letter be sent to two veterans of Grange work, Allison P. Howes of Pittsfield and Nellie L. Haskell of Auburn. Freda Kelley drafted the letters. Nellie and Allison both forwarded their letters to then Deputy C.C. Chretian. He came to Vienna to see what the cause of this sudden enthusiasm was.
The first meeting was held at the Union Hall on August 8, 1947. Forty-four people became Charter Members that evening and took their First and Second Degree obligations. Clarence Bean was elected Master and Clyde Waugh Overseer.
The name Mill Stream Grange was chosen and it was decided to hold the meetings the first and third Fridays of each month.
Before the end of the first year six more people expressed interest in becoming members, bringing the rolls to half a hundred.
On September 13, 1966 the school house in Vienna Village was purchased from School Administrative District #9 by Chester H. Bean, George Weiss, and George Heddendorf in their capacity as all of the members of the executive committee of the Grange.
Today, there is still a great deal of enthusiasm for the Mill Stream Grange which helps build a sense of community and forges solid connections between neighbors. It continues to meet on the first and third Friday of every month with a Pot Luck Supper at 6:00 pm and the Business Meeting and Program at 7:00 pm. Its participation has grown to nearly one hundred members. Thirty to forty members come to each meeting to enjoy programs like the Annual Minstrel Show written by Jeannette Daly and the comedy of Robert Skogland, “The Humble Farmer” of Maine Public Radio fame. The second time Robert came to the Grange he said he came back to tape the hearty laughter for his website! Other programs have included information on the Medicare D Program, Maine's last log drive, ice cutting on the Kennebec River, genealogy, the animal shelter, organic farming, feeding wild birds, habitat for humanity, throwing clay pots and guitars, as well as slide shows of trips to the Galapagos Islands, Ireland, England (by canal boat) and Africa. There have been games like Hide & Seek, Guess the Tool, and relay races. You never know who or what will show up for a program, but they are always good! It is a friendly bunch of people who enjoy sharing a good time together.
New members are always welcome! If you are interested in learning more, talk to a current Grange member, join them for a Pot Luck Supper or contact Paul Lavender, Master at 207-293-4408 or Allen Harville, Overseer at 207-293-2362.