Order of Elks Lodge 65 (Lawrence, MA)

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Lawrence Lodge No. 65 of the B.P.O (Benevolent and Protective Order of) Elks began on May 15 of 1887 in the old Odd Fellows Hall on Essex Street.  This came only nineteen years after the first lodge was organized in New York City by a small group of men affiliated with the theatrical profession.  The intent of this new organization was advance the principles of Americanism together with charity, justice, brotherly love, and fidelity.  The Lawrence lodge was the third such group in Massachusetts after Boston and Springfield, and at that time initiated forty-six charter members.  The early meetings were held in the Knights of Pythias Hall, later known as Needham Hall, to be followed by the Knights of Columbus Hall in the Old Bay State Building, and from 1904 to 1920 in the Schaake Block.  In July of 1917 the Grand Lodge Session was held in Boston.  Lawrence Day was a featured event allowing Lawrence Lodge to escort their fellow Elks through the great mills.  During the years of 1919 and 1920 400 new members were added allowing the purchase of a lodge home at the corner of Lowell Street and Broadway.  The membership eventually outgrew this building and in 1969 a new building was erected at 632 Andover Street.  The complex included landscaped grounds, a pavilion, ball field, and horseshoe courts.  The building provided a billiard room, a sauna, an exercise room, and bar.  Lawrence lodge has aided the Greater Lawrence area with a number of charitable accomplishments. The lodge has provided wheel chairs and hospital beds for the afflicted, Christmas baskets to the needy, and oxygen tents and other supplies to the City of Lawrence.  Other less well known activities include monies to the United Fund and other charitable drives for both religious and education institutions.  In 1961 the Lawrence Lodge expended more in contributions than any other lodge in Massachusetts.

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