Historic Oddfellows Hall
History of The Historic Oddfellows Hall
Construction began on The Historic Oddfellows Hall in the mid-1940s. The original owners began construction, but for unknown reasons abandoned construction after the foundation and exterior walls had been built. The local paper called the building “…the neighborhood eyesore at the corner of Block Street and Merriman Road…”. The paper went on to say that, “…due to unfortunate circumstances entirely beyond the control of the former owners, it was never completed.”
In early 1949 the building was taken over by the International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) Lodge #11. This group of volunteers worked tirelessly over the course of several months to complete the building. The Odd Fellows (Chartered in 1946) had been meeting in a “…damp, cold basement…”. The move into this newly renovated, heated, ventilated and well-lit facility was very welcome.
The IOOF Lodge #11 disbanded in the early 2000s. For the next nine years, the building was used for many things. By 2010, when it was purchased by the Santeiu Family, the building had fallen into disrepair; the result of lack of maintenance, combined with vandalism.
Over the next several years craftsmen painstakingly brought the building back to its former glory, and then some. The floor plan was modified and improved, a new kitchen was added, with new flooring throughout. The final step was completed in 2020, with the addition of a parking lot, complete with storm water retention pond and drainage.
The Santeiu Family then generously donated the Historic Oddfellows Hall to the Friends of the Garden City Historical Museum as a compliment property to The Straight Farmhouse. The Historic Oddfellows Hall will be used to further exhibit the history of Garden City, and is currently available to rent for events to help support the Straight Farmhouse Historic District.
Our information on the history of the Historic Oddfellows Hall is good, but we are always looking for more. Do you have photos from an event you attended at the hall? Maybe you have photos of the interior and/or exterior. We would very much appreciate your sharing them with us. We do not need to keep the original. We can scan them and immediately return them to you. We would also LOVE to to meet with you and hear any stories you may have of the facility. Any and all stories and photos related to the Oddfellows Hall are welcome!
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