Copake Grange Dedicates Plaque: Honors Bernice Bussett On Saturday, May 4, 2019

A crowd gathered in front of the Copake Grange # 935, as a historic plaque, funded by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation®, was dedicated. The plaque, which is now installed in front of the Grange, commemorates that in 2001, the Grange was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Copake Grange was founded in 1902 and built in 1902-1903. On hand to help celebrate the history of the Grange were New York State Senator Daphne Jordan and Assembly Member Didi Barrett. As part of the May 4 celebration, the Grange honored longtime member Bernice Bussett. Mrs. Bussett was born in January 1920, eighteen years after the Copake Grange was founded. The daughter of Albert Bristol and Gladys Van Hoesen. Mrs. Bussett grew up in the house on Main Street located next to the land where the Bank of Greene County currently stands. Mrs. Bussett remembers a string of dinners, film showings and other entertainment at the Grange as she was growing up. After the Pearl Harbor bombing and US entry into World War II in 1941, Bea was one of many who received training at the Grange to take turns staffing an aircraft spotting tower built near the site of the present day Town Hall. The training was to recognize both the sounds and silhouettes of various aircraft. Among many others who received the training were Urbain Nadeau, Remo Gabaccia, Bea’s sister Barbara, Howard and Blanche McGee and Dorothy Silvernail Hughes. The Copake Grange is the only Grange Hall left in Columbia County which still operates as an active Grange. In the past two years, the Copake Grange has seen a surge of membership as it has regained its place in the community. Grange member Joseph Shirk presents honoree Bernice Bussett with a Certificate of Commendation and a gold sheaf pin, as Mrs Bussett’s sister Barbara Gobillot, State Senator Daphne Jordan and Assembly.