A Gig Harbor resident has cleaned up the Gig Harbor Grange at 5925 Artondale Dr. NW.
Betty Perry, owner of Event Resources Gig Harbor, took an interest in the forgotten property and devoted many hours into revitalizing the property.
“It was an atrocity,” Perry said. “It was scary, smelly, icky. It was the worst.”
The Grange building was built in 1912, making it 103 years old. It was originally a Methodist Church until 1938. From 1938 until 1956, it became a Pentacostal Church. In 1956, the Gig Harbor Grange No. 445 purchased the building.
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The Grange, loosely defined as an agricultural fraternity club, struggled to attract younger active members from the community and closed its doors in September 2013. The Grange building and property reverted to the Washington State Grange Association. Many Granges across the state are suffering from similar membership losses.
So Perry set out to bring it back to life. She contacted Washington State Grange State Master Duane Hamp, who agreed with her vision for the property. After logging more than 200 hours, by her estimation, the property is in good enough shape to be rented out for events.
“I didn’t get any payment for it, I just did it,” Perry said. “That’s how much passion I have for it. It’s one of those icons of the community.”
That passion is what drives Perry to do what she does with her business: help people find under-utilized spaces for all types of events.
“There are so many vacant meeting rooms and unknown venues in our community,” Perry said. “That’s what I’m super passionate about. When all of this under-utilized space is not out there for people to find where it is and if they can use it, then it’s lost revenue for businesses.”
The Grange is just one of the many properties that Perry lists on her website, www.eventresourcesgigharbor.com. The website has a checklist for locations so users can filter them based specifically on what they’re looking for. The business connects users with companies and locations that serve Gig Harbor and the Key Peninsula.
“It’s a resource for our community,” Perry said. “You’re not going to find Tacoma event locations on there. You’re not even going to find Port Orchard. I want to have services for our community, period.”