Oakland Tribune from Oakland, California on March 21, 1971 · 117
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Oakland Tribune from Oakland, California · 117

Oakland, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, March 21, 1971
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V The Odd Fellows Hoarded History SO MANY Oakland landmarks are falling today before the powerful hammering of . the wreckers ball that a great portion of the towns business district might easily be mistaken these days for bomb-ravaged London or Berlin in the late days of World War II. Brick and concrete walls are tumbling on both sides of Broadway, but the six-block area on the west side of the main drag is getting the major attack. Less attention is given to the northwest corner of 11th and Franklin Streets where The Tribune is looking forward to improvements. There the Odd Fellows Temple - probably-the oldest landmark of all is now only a hole in the ground. The cornerstone of the Odd Fellows Temple is the only one of all the presently doomed building to surrender a vault holding precious mementoes of yesteryear. The Odd Fellows first built their lodge rooms there in 1869, as testified to by the four 1869 newspapers uncovered in the old cornerstone box. There were some coins too, including a silver slug. - - In 1869 Oakland was only 17 years old. The year marked the 50th .anniversary of Oddfellowship in the United States, a fraternal society that came to American shores from England. The Oakland Lodge of I.O.O.F. was instituted as early as 1865, but its meetings were first held in what was known as the Allyn Building on Broadway between Eighth and Ninth Streets. Four years later they purchased the 11th and Franklin Streets site and erected their .own building. The Tribune wouldnt be on the . streets for another five years. THOSE 1869 newspapers resurrected from the cornerstone box of the Odd Fellows Building managed to pinpoint an important date in Oddfellowship, although none of the four papers printed news of the Odd Fellows happenings in Oakland. Turning to the other sources, The Knave has learned that there were two Odd Fellows lodges in Oakland in 1869 with a Library Association under their control. The aggregate membership of the two lodges at that time was 180. ' Oakland Lodge No. lid, institute ed in 1865, held its meetings on Tuesday evenings, and University Lodge No. 144, instituted in 1868, held meetings each Thursday night for its 60 members. The I.O.O.F. Library Association was organized Aug. 12, 1867,. boast-j ed 31 members inT869, and held ' VoluMeij ift'fts llbfthy for the Here is a rare photo of the first Odd Fellows Hall that went up in 1 869 at 1 1 th and Franklin Streets use of card holders. Noble Grand of Oakland Lodge 118 was F. S. Reinach of the dry goods firm of Reinach & Company at the corner of Broadway and Sixth Streets. W. J. Gurnett of the furniture firm of Irwin & Company in the Sessions Block on Broadway, between 11th and 12th streets, was Vice Grand. Grocerman Peter Baker with his store on Broadway between Fifth and Sixth Streets was Recording Secretary, Justice of the Peace George H. Fogg re cording secretary, and Butcher-man D. Vogt, treasurer. The Vogt butcher shop was another Broadway business 10th and 11th Streets. Leading lights of University Lodge 144 included Noble Grand W. D. Harwood, editor of the Oakland News; Vice Noble J. V. B. Goodrich of Goodrich - & - Reed, Broadway hardware merchants between 12th and 13th Streets; Recording Secretary Thomas V. Goddard, a clerk with bookman W. -"Kir it; if ! ' -iC:, ? 11 ! f .-Jl n i' Jw I I I i 1 f I f I I ! . Cr .The old Odd Fellows Hall of .1869 pictyrdat.the top replated'hr 193 by thfa imposing building, bu it B. Hardy, andJ. H. Seymour, treasurer. Officers of the Odd Fellows Hall Association incorporated in June of 1869 with capital stock of $16,000 was J. E. Marchand, president; Attorney T. M. Antisell, vice pres-idnet; J. L. Browne, secretary ; Joseph Becht, treasurer, and O. H. Burnham, George H. Fogg and C. B. Rutherford, directors. DURING the ..latter part of 1869 the Odd Fellows Hall Association purchased the lot at the northwest corner of 11th and Franklin Streets for $4,300 and erected a frame building 50 by 80 ffeet three stories high. It cost $16,959 including furniture and was well adapted for the purpose intended. The first floor was fitted up for stores, the second floor was the meeting hall and the library room, and the third floor was the refreshment room that included chess tables. J. C. Holland, a plasterer. and Jacob Doblin, a cigar and tobacco merchant, headed up the Library Association. John Goss, a college student, was listed as librarian. It must be remembered that the campus of the College of California -was only one block away .-The Oakland Public Library came into existence the year before,. but didnt open its doors until 1869 in a building two blocks away. The big frame building served the I.O.O.F. in Oakland from 1869 . to 1913 when it was tom down for construction of a new edifice. The three-story brick building built in 1913 is the one that was just tom down to make way for Tribune improvements. Its builder was Alfred .21 -CM OakUtthSfj&ribime Sun., March 21,1 971 v

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