Independent Order of Odd Fellows Hall
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows Hall building has been an important social and commercial landmark in Stevensville since it was built in 1912. The IOOF is a fraternal (male) organization founded in Baltimore, Maryland in 1819. Generally speaking, its members work to improve society by providing in a variety of social services to the communities in which they are located. In Stevensville, members of the local chapter participated in these activities and gathered for meetings and other events on the second floor of the building; the first floor was leased for commercial use. For a time, the city occupied the first floor as well (see below). The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.
Backstory and Context
The IOOF built the lodge (halls are also often referred to as lodges) in a vacant lot. The building that was there had burned down in 1905 and the lot remained vacant, allowing the IOOF erect the lodge. The facade features decorative brickwork including I.O.O.F at the top center. In the 1920s the first floor of the building was used a theater. It appears that the chapter adopted the name Garden Valley Lodge 1929. Then starting in 1949, the city then occupied the first floor, using it as city hall, a public library, and a fire station. Garden Valley sold the its interest in the building to maternal organization called Hope Rebecca Lodge No. 15 in 1955. Hope lodge did the same in 1978. The city finally moved out in 1985. Since then, various businesses have occupied the building.
Grant, Frank. "I.O.O.F. Hall." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. June 19, 1991. https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NRHP/91000747_text.
"IOOF Hall 217 Main Street." The Historical Marker Database. Accessed June 8, 2020. https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=123390.
Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:IOOF_building_Stevensville.JPG