Trish Yerges
The La Grande Observer

Imbler High School senior Garrett Christensen took on an unusual task for his senior project, organizing and archiving the historical inventory of Pleasant Grove Grange No. 475 on Hunter Road west of Summerville.

Grange Historical Inventory Project” seemed like a clear-cut assignment. He even had the guidance of his project adviser Kathryn Creech and mentor Margaret Craig. But as 17-year-old Christensen was about to learn, even the best laid plans can go awry.

On Nov. 25, 2016, grange member Teresa Butts showed Christensen the project that lay before him — a closet, back room and outside shed full of dusty things, including songbooks, meeting notes, gavels, membership receipts, budget ledgers, pins and sashes.

Christensen and his mother, Kathy Christensen, returned to the grange later with their truck and took it all home where Garrett could sort through everything.

“They had some old items from their grange and multiple other granges sitting in their storage, all disorganized and not in very good shape,” Christensen said. “They wanted me to essentially get it down on paper, organize it, set it out and categorize it. That was the first part (of the project).”

The volume of grange materials was a bit overwhelming until he devised a method of organization.

“The biggest challenge I had was that the inventory was so disorganized, and there was so much of it all over the place,” Christensen said. “So we hauled it all over to our house and put it in the garage,” planning to bring the materials inside as he sorted through them.

As he was starting to sift through the items, something unexpected happened that complicated the entire project.

See complete story in Wednesday's Observer