After the Lostine area lost its South Fork Grange #605 to fire in February 2015, residents were quickly back to work — fundraising, applying for grants and saving for a new grange.

On Saturday, grangers will welcome Wallowa Countians “home” to the new grange hall on Rosewell Street in Lostine.

The building is still under renovation but the main hall is now ready for parties, weddings, grange meetings, conferences and more.

“That’s the story of grange, isn’t it?” said June Colony, secretary/treasurer of the grange. “It’s both a remembrance of the old and plans for the new.”

The grange has a new infrastructure: heating, plumbing and other essentials. But the plans for the future include a remodeled kitchen suitable for most any private gathering, a library for the full room of agricultural and gardening books already donated, a big deck out back, American Disabilities Act-approved entries, a continued remodel of the (working) bathroom, planters and graveled parking and other projects.

“We’ve spent a lot of money on this place, but we didn’t want to spend down too far or move too fast,” Colony said. “We’ll start another round of fundraising and writing for grants in 2017 for the next projects.”

First on that 2017 list is the continued remodeling of the interior: kitchen, bathroom, offices and library.

But no one wanted to wait any longer to enjoy what they already had. The 40-by-40-foot space that is finished is all well lit, newly floored, and free span, providing open space for dancing, dining or a wedding procession.

Saturday (Oct. 15) the building will host a “Welcome Home” harvest party with cider pressing, a potato bar and apple pie dessert, a book signing for Lostine resident Eileen Thiel’s memoir “Seasons Silently Waiting,” dance music by (Terri and Gary) Moffit Band, and plenty of conversation. Ask grangers about their plans for future events and you’ll get an earful of great news.

The hall is open for rental, now, too. Call Scot Colony at 541-398-1828 for more information.

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