I.O.O.F. Lodge 129 - Gold Hill, OR
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member thebeav69
N 42° 25.949 W 123° 02.981
10T E 495913 N 4697797
Quick Description: This lodge is located at the corner of 4th and Estremado Streets.
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 12/26/2014 12:07:51 PM
Waymark Code: WMN4KR
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member kbarhow
Views: 0

Long Description:
This I.O.O.F. lodge has seen better days. This lodge is currently home to Lodge 129 as well as the Rebekkah Lodge 97. I was able to locate a recent online article from the Mail Tribune that highlights the current situation and standing of this historic lodge and reads:

Odd Fellows hopes to rebuild historic lodge as community center

GOLD HILL — Faced with a dwindling membership and a parent organization wanting to see progress and financial stability, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows is rallying support to revamp its century-old lodge as a community center.

Members of the fraternal organization plan to brainstorm with city officials and other community groups on the feasibility of remodeling or rebuilding their historic lodge to provide a space to hold activities and events.

Lodge members presented their plan to the City Council recently and will attend a Dec. 1 council meeting to discuss the project further.

Members of the community group CanDo will meet this week to discuss their own plans for a community center and likely will attend the December meeting.

Pat Coniff, longtime IOOF member and treasurer, said Odd Fellows authorities in Portland are putting pressure on the local lodge to boost membership and to work to make their historic building, at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Estremado Street, viable for community use.

Coniff said a key component of successful lodges in other communities is retail space to provide income for the lodge to fund community projects.

The 116-year-old lodge could be rebuilt, extensively remodeled or replaced with a new two-story facility, said Coniff.

The lodge has gone unused save for twice-monthly lodge meetings and as a food pantry drop-off site.

"It would be really neat to build two stories and have the lodge upstairs, but a single story rebuild would run us about $890,000," Coniff said, adding members had already commissioned a design.

"With the grand lodge willing to provide 25 percent support, we have to see what we can do with membership and community support. Back when this lodge started, it was standing-room only. We're at this point now — it's like the dark hour. Our mission is to go ahead and produce this, but you have to have a community that wants it."

Eric Hodderson, chairman for the CanDo community organization, applauded lodge members' desire to serve the community.

After the city identified a community center as a future need, Hodderson said his organization has been working to determine what types of services and what type of building would best suit Gold Hill.

Hodderson said he was supportive of preserving a historic structure and working with other community groups, such as the Odd Fellows, but he said his process involved determining needs for various services and activities first.

"We're open certainly to working with the Odd Fellows, although they might be a few steps ahead of us. I think our view is that we would rather make sure we were addressing the needs and service side of things first and then figure out what the building needs would be," Hodderson said.

"Our facility needs will depend on a lot of factors, such as whether we're doing a food pantry and thrift shop or activities for kids. There are a lot of different issues to address before we can determine what would it cost us in terms of capital campaigns and facility type."

A second fraternal organization's facility, the Grange Hall, was recently shuttered, though it could have been a more suitable facility for a community space, Hodderson noted.

"Right now, our town has two social fraternal organizations with facilities, neither being used and both tied to fraternal membership-type stuff," he noted.

"They've got positions on all that stuff, and we don't even know the handshakes yet. We're open to working something out, but we're starting out simple and focusing on programming and community needs first."

Greg Walsh, another longtime member, said he envisioned everything from classes and a community meal site to a place with regional draw — which Walsh said would be needed to sustain a large facility — for musical performances, theater and as a rental venue.

"If the community really wants to see something happen here, we have the plans, but we're at the stage where we need input," Walsh said. "The ideal scenario would be if people came and said, 'Yes, let's build something really nice here.' To spend this kind of money in little tiny Gold Hill, it needs to be bigger than Gold Hill.

"People lament about the good old days going away, but this is an opportunity for people to step up to the plate and make the good old days happen again."

Location Details:
The only information I could obtain on this lodge was from a recent online article that highlights the lodge's current status (read above)

Date of construction: 1898

location website: Not listed

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