Carnation, WA 98014 United States
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) founded Lodge No. 148 in Tolt on March 20, 1895.
The IOOF society had originated in England during the 18th Century and spread to the United States with its lodge system. It was one of several secret, self-governing group with ritualistic ceremonies and varied degrees of rank which were popular in America at that time. The Tolt Odd Fellows held their first meeting in a two story building near the Snoqualmie River owned by James Entwistle. The initiation fee was $20.00 which went to the construction of a meeting hall. They purchased a lot from George W. Shaw on the southeast corner of Tolt Avenue and NE 40th Street, and began construction. The Odd Fellows dedicated their new building on December 26, 1895. After 30 years of meeting inside this building, the Odd Fellows felt they needed a larger meeting hall.
The Tolt Odd Fellows purchased a lot on the northeast corner of Stephens and Bird Streets from the Tolt Townsite Company on July 3, 1925 to construct a larger meeting hall. Construction estimates were $10,000 and the Odd Fellows were able to coordinate $5,000 in bonds, a majority of donated labor, and charitable assistance from their women’s auxiliary group, the Grace Rebekah Lodge, to pay for the structure. On October 22 the first community dance was conducted in the new building. Community dances were a predominating source of local entertainment at the time, as well as a source of revenue for the sponsoring groups. The Tolt Odd Fellows held their first meeting in their new hall on January 14, 1926 and conducted a formal dedication ceremony on May 8th. On May 18, 1929 the Tolt Odd Fellows paid off all debts on their new meeting hall.
Gradually, secret fraternal societies, including the Odd Fellows, declined in the United States and were supplanted by philanthropic service clubs such as Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary which admitted women. After 42 years of service, the Tolt Odd Fellows sold their meeting hall in 1971 and joined the Falls City Lodge. The meeting hall subsequently became the Sno-Valley Senior Center.
Photo Credit: Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum
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