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Sixes Grange #856 Marketplace
By Annette Langenstein, Staff Writer 

  I spoke with Ron Leitch, president of the Sixes Grange #856, a nonprofit organization located at 44556 Highway 101 in Sixes, Oregon. The Sixes Grange was originally built in 1936 as part of the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry, better known as the Grange, which was created in 1867. Granges were established after the Civil War to unify farmers and be a social organization providing educational and recreational opportunities for them. They evolved into a major political force to protect small farming communities. The Grange was actually the first national organization in the country where women had full membership and could be leaders. And like back in 1867, the Sixes Grange prides itself on its philosophy that all who enter are equal.

    The grange sat idle for a number of years before it was brought back to life in 2005. To make sure it would stay open this time, its members incorporated a marketplace into it, and it’s now open 7 days a week from 9 am to 4 pm. Wednesday nights they have bingo and a potluck, and as many as 80 people show up from the surrounding community. “We have about 12 people running the Grange,” said Ron. “Ten of us are Grange members, and each one works a certain number of days a month for their vendor space. Ten percent of sales goes back to the Grange, and that money then goes to the community to support various causes like the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, foreign exchange students, Head Start, and so on. We’ve donated well over $8,500 in the last five years, keeping the money right here in the community.”

The Sixes Grange was originally built in 1936 as part of the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry.

   So what’s inside this big white building alongside Hwy. 101? “We have homemade jellies made by a Grange member, local raw honey, vintage collectibles and antiques, resale items, crocheted items by Grange members, agate jewelry, driftwood art, fossils, petrified wood, sea findings like floats and starfish...and everything is either found or made locally,” said Ron. “We also have a huge selection of beads that are very reasonably priced and draw people from all over. And we are a Lortone dealer and sell their rock tumblers and grit to go along with the rocks and agates we sell.  Our biggest sellers are honey, vintage stuff, beads and driftwood. My wife and I do the driftwood, keeping the shape the way nature carved it. I burnish the driftwood with an elk antler, bringing out the finish.  It’s very unusual in that way.”

    When I asked Ron how his Shopper ads are working, he replied, “When we put the ad in about our Lortone rock tumblers and grit, it really made people who have driven by the Grange for years stop in and take a look.“

    Ron wanted to stress that the Sixes Grange Marketplace is proud of the fact that everybody is treated equally. “When the Granges were first started, all that was required for membership was that the person be 14 years old. This place is here to support the community and to protect the little guy. We put on free Thanksgiving and St. Patrick’s Day dinners every year, have a Halloween party for all ages, and our building is handicapped accessible.”

    So the next time your cruising along Hwy 101 between Langlois and Port Orford, take the time to stop at the Sixes Grange Marketplace, or call them at 541-332-0394.  They’re carrying on a 147-year tradition of equality and community support, and you might just find the perfect item you’ve been looking for.

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