Small Ohio towns have plenty of one thing: buildings once occupied by fraternal organizations. Glouster, population 1,791 in 2010, had at least four in one block. This ornate building used by the Knights of Pythias, was labeled K. of P. Block.
A whole menagerie
In addition to the Knights, the street hosted a Moose Lodge, Masonic Hall and an Eagles Aerie.
Corner in late 1960s
I’m pretty sure this is the same corner taken in the late 1960s. I apologize if the photo looks dark. It’s hard to judge color and tones on a laptop because the appearance changes depending on the angle of the screen.
Football stadium built by WPA
Here’s another of those federal stimulus projects left over from The Depression. I wonder how many football games have been played in it since it was built in 1940?
Home of The Tomcats
The Home of the Tomcats looks like it has been freshly painted. They built it to last.
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: