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Traditions & Spirit

Mascot: Grangers

Our school mascot has landed on many lists of "Unique" mascots. Which leads people to ask,"What is a Granger?"

The answer is simple, A Granger is a Champion!

On the field, in the classroom, and in life; our students are champions. Determination, Pride, and Sportsmanship...these are the cornerstone of the Granger Tradition. A tradition carried on by the students who represent LaGrange in athletic competition.

In its over 100 years of excellence, LaGrange High School has produced championship teams on all fields of play.

But where does the Granger come from?

Originally LaGrange High School Teams were known as "The Blue Veterans" or simply "The Veterans."  This name came about due to the baseball team.  The teams wore blue stockings and were called the "LaGrange Blue Stockings" but there was a younger team and an older team, comparable to Varsity and Junior Varsity.  To differentiate them the older team was called the "Bluestocking Veterans," but just the "Blue Veterans" when applied to sports other than baseball.  Before the beginning of the 1932 school year there was a contest held to pick a new nickname.  "Granger" won out and has been the name not just of all sports teams, but all students of LaGrange High School since.

But where did it come from?

The city of LaGrange is named for the home of the Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier,the Marquis de Lafayette, a French citizen who came to America to support the Revolution. LaFayette, as a guest of the United States Government, made a "Farewell Tour" of the nation from September 1824 until December 1825 and during this time he spent two weeks in Georgia with Governor George M. Troup serving as his official host. During this tour of the state he visited the burgeoning community and commented how much it reminded him of his home "La Grange" (French, literally, for "The Barn" but more colloquially a reference to a farm in general). To honor LaFayette the town adopted that name.

The name Granger comes from the Anglo-Norman French word "grainger," from the Late Latin "granicarius." It was originally an occupational title for a farm bailiff, responsible for overseeing the collection of farm rents for the Lord of a Manor. In Scotland , the monks who farmed the old abbeys frequently called their farm operations "The Grange." They housed cattle and stored grain at the grange, and around the farmstead was generally a cluster numerous cottages for the laborers and their families. The monk or lay brother in charge was known as “The Granger.” So "Grange" evolved in English to refer to a large farm or a country house with its various farm buildings, usually constituting the dwelling of a yeoman or gentleman farmer who were referred to as "Grangers." There are records of men such as George Washington, who controlled a large farming interest at Mount Vernon, being referred to as “Granger Washington” during the pre-revolutionary war era.

The term began to die out in the United States following the Revolutionary War as titles with ties to the English Aristocracy were not in keeping with egalitarian nature of the new Republic. The term survived a little longer in the Midwest where it was applied to anyone with a large farm. In fact the Dictionary still defines a Granger as "a Gentlemen Farmer who manages a large interest."

Does this mean our Mascot is a farmer?

No! The school has never officially used the term Granger to indicate or describe the mascot as a farmer. The most probable origin is that the term was adopted for its alliterative effect with the name LaGrange.  The use of the term "Granger" was localized to the upper midwest.  Thus the teams was referred to as "The Grangers" for years before that colloquial meaning became known.  

Much like the use of the impossible to define term "Hoosier" for a person from Indiana, Granger is less a definitive mascot; instead it is a nickname not only for the men and women of LaGrange High School, but also the standards of excellence, spirit, achievement, and loyalty the exemplify Grangers!