FAIRFIELD – Muriel Tupper doesn’t think her 80-year membership to the Grange is anything to brag about.

“I admit it’s a long time,” said Tupper, 94.

But impressive? Not to her.

“Everybody’s in the Grange around here,” she said.

Though it still may feel that way to Tupper, the membership of Maine Granges is a fraction of what it was at its peak in the 1940s — around the time she moved from her parents’ house in Smithfield to Fairfield with her husband.

That’s also when she joined the Victor Grange in Fairfield Center, where she was recognized recently for her 80 years of service to the organization.

State Grange Master Jim Owens said every year there are usually two or three people from Maine who celebrate 80 years of membership to the Grange. This year, however, Tupper was the only one to reach the landmark anniversary.

Tupper, who first joined the Fairview Grange in Smithfield when she was 14 years old, is among about 5,500 Grange members statewide. There were once more than 60,000 members, Owens said.

Since the 1940s, the number of local Granges in the state has shrunk from about 400 to 150. With more options for entertainment, Owens said, people no longer rely on the Grange as their social outlet, like they did when Tupper joined.

“They’ve got computers and televisions and transportation,” he said. “I think it’s just the way society is today.”

Also known as the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry, the Grange was founded in 1867 to bring farmers together to discuss their common concerns.

Both Tupper’s and her husband’s families were dairy farmers, and they took over his parents’ business when he returned from World War II.

But it’s not talk of farm life that stands out in Tupper’s memories of the Grange. It’s the social events — the suppers and the dances — that she recalls best.

The petite, white-haired woman talked about her life as a Grange member from the kitchen table in the modest house her husband built across from their farm on Oakland Road. It was hard for her to put into words why, she said, but the Grange has always been a big part of her life.

Tupper’s husband, Robert, who died a couple of years ago, was also a lifetime Grange member and served as its treasurer for decades. Brian Tupper, one of their six children, remembers him going to the Grange hall every week. Both of his parents, he said, would visit different halls and help out as servers at Victor Grange suppers.

“They were there just about any time anything was going on,” he said. “It was a huge social thing for them back in the day.”

All ages would gather for the suppers and the dances, said Muriel Tupper. At a time when traveling, even around town, wasn’t as easy, the events were sometimes the only opportunity to visit with other people.

Now, there’s more variety to events at Grange halls. Roger Shorty, treasurer of the Victor Grange, said the group hosts craft fairs and dinner theater. But the purpose of those events is still to bring people together and to raise money to run the hall.

“In many ways, it has stayed the same, but of course it’s had to progress as the world has changed,” Tupper said.

Only in the past year, Tupper said, did she stop attending all the Grange meetings. But she made sure to make it to the hall last month, when the Victor Grange celebrated its 137th anniversary and Tupper’s 80-year membership.

“I’ve enjoyed the people, and I’ve enjoyed the work,” Tupper said.

Brian Tupper said his mother doesn’t like to talk about herself much, but he could tell she was excited to get the recognition. “She wouldn’t ever admit it, but she was very happy,” he said.