Small towns used to be populated by Moose, Elks, Eagles, Masons, Oddfellows and other members of fraternal and social organizations. Today we have Facebook.
When Friend Jan and I traveled across Ohio, I was struck by how many small towns had buildings associated with fraternal organizations. In some, like in tiny Nelsonville, two of the largest buildings in the downtown area were affiliated with organizations like the Fraternal Order of the Eagles. (You can click on the photos to make them larger.)
Knights of Pythias
This is Nelsonville’s Pythian Building, built in 1905.
Shawnee Knights of Pythias
When I shot a collection of architectural photos of Shawnee, Ohio, I roamed the former Knights of Pythias building, which had also served as an opera house and theater. Rotting lodge robes were still hanging in a closet.
Visitors to the lodge meeting room were checked out through this peephole before being admitted.
International Order of Odd Fellows
The IOOF – International Order of Odd Fellows – met a few doors down.
What organizations did Cape have?
I was prepared to say that Cape didn’t have many fraternal organizations, but a quick scan of the 1979 City Directory turned up quite a few:
This photo of men was taken in the Knights of Columbus Hall on April 2, 1967, if the note on the negative sleeve is to be believed. I searched for it in The Missourian, but didn’t see it. Either it didn’t run or I shot it as a freelance job.
Some of the men look familiar, but the only one I can identify for sure is the man in the back row, on the left. That’s Ray Seyer, Wife Lila’s uncle. You’ll be hearing more about him soon. Lila went back to Cape for his 90th birthday party Saturday.
These are men who wear serious, built-to-last wingtip shoes. I wonder if they were made in the Cape Shoe Factory? Click on any photo to make it larger.
The KC Hall
The Knights of Columbus Hall that overlooks the Mississippi River is one of those buildings that I would recognize at a glance, but haven’t had many occasions to visit. My most vivid memory is abandoning my date – probably Lila – in my car in the parking lot one night while I dashed off to shoot a fire in a neighboring building.
Casino vs. Bingo?
Will the Bingo players keep coming or will the Casino dry up that income for local charities and groups?
A family photo
The last time I was inside the KC Hall was after Lila’s mother’s funeral. The family gathered there to reminisce and to snack on food friends had brought. Inevitably, cameras came out and the picture-taking started. This sequence shows Son Adam with his Uncle John Perry. The family resemblance is plain.