In examining the record books of the Lodge from the years 1900 through September 1903, the first registered member of Springfield in 1900 was Edward McClintock, a 27-year-old lawyer, who also was the first Exalted Ruler of the new Lodge at the beginning of the new century in 1900. The names of 200 individuals are inscribed in that book. They each answered the following seven questions: (1) What is your name?, (2) Where do you reside?, (3) What is your occupation?, (4) How old are you?, (5) Were you ever proposed, suspended or expelled from any Lodge of Elks?, (6) Are you in good health?, and (7) Do you believe in the existence of a Supreme Power? The names, signatures, and answers are attested by J.H. Lane, Lodge Secretary till April 1903, and then by J.B. Shea, new Lodge Secretary.
Among the occupations listed were lawyer, physician, electrician (Yes! There was electricity in 1900), hotel clerk, police officer, real estate agent, mailmen, salesman, accountant, etc. (All very familiar occupations of members today). Some of the more interesting, unique occupations listed were a " traveling salesman," a saloon keeper, whip manufacturer, two carriage and wagon makers, wire weavers, an actor, farmer, and cigar manufacturer. Most of the 200 came from Springfield, but several were from Holyoke, Chicopee, Westfield, and Northampton, others from South Deerfield, Hatfield, and Ware. During these years the Lodge was mainly a young man's organization, the ages ranging from mid twenties in the thirties and forties. It didn't appear to be a retirees' club.
Throughout the 1900s there have been numerous distinguished Elks from the Springfield Lodge that have served Elkdom at the State and National level. Five have been Massachusetts State Elks Association President starting with James R. Nicholson for two years 1910-11-12 up to State President, Richard Falzone, 2010-2011. In between other State Presidents from Springfield were Irving R. Shaw, 1947-48, Edward J. O'Brien, 1970-71, Albert Santinelli, 1986-87, and Charles W. Russell, Jr., 1999-2000. Also many Springfield members have held Grand Lodge positions, the most famous ones being James R. Nicholson and John F. Malley, Grand Exalted Rulers in 1915-16 and 1927-28, respectively. Starting in 1904 to the present there have been 12 District Deputies from Lodge #61. The more recent ones were Donald C. Metzger, 1983-84, Raymond Buddy Avezzie, 1993-94, and James M. Roche, 1999-2000.
The current home of Lodge #61 at 440 Tiffany Street is the seventh residence for the Springfield Elks. The first in 1887 was rented space in Foot's Block at State and Main Streets, and then space in Union Hall (the historic Union Trust Company building on Main Street). It was during this time that the Lodge lost its charter. Reborn in 1900 with a new charter in hand members met at the American Mechanics Hall in Springfield, and then two years later moved to quarters on Worthington Street near Stearns Square. Another move took place in 1904 when the Lodge used the old Springfield Club at Worthington and Chestnut Streets. In October 1909 Lodge #61 purchased and dedicated a 9 foot 2 inch bronze statue of an elk that was placed at the front of the Worthington Street Lodge. The same Elk statue stood outside of 440 Tiffany Street until 2009.
While at Worthington and Chestnut Street, the Lodge held a 10th anniversary celebration.
(a copy of the menu is shown below):
Blue Points on Half Shell Celery, Radishes, Queen Olives ConsommÃ© Princesse Broiled Fresh Mackerel Parisienne Potatoes, Parsley Butter Broiled Native Spring Chicken New Brussels Sprouts Potatoes au Gratin Veuve Clicquot (Yellow Label) Champagne, Lettuce, Tomato and Cucumber Salad, Frozen Pudding, Roquefort Cheese Paste, Toasted Crackers, Coffee, Cigars, Cigarettes (Milo)
The Springfield Homestead (a local, weekly news journal) reported that each Elk member wore a white pink carnation with a tiny American flag in their coat lapels. Published reports of the evening stated it was a grand party with much singing, an address by the Mayor of the city, the Eleven O'clock Toast given, and then more toasts and singing followed.
The sixth move of the Lodge came in the 1910s when the Lodge acquired a lot at the corner of Myrtle and State Street (affectionately known for many years as "331 State Street"). In late 1914 a parade was held as Lodge members, delegates from other Lodges, and city officials marched from Chestnut and Worthington Street to lay the cornerstone for the new home at 331 State Street. The new home cost $50,000 to build, included a $3,500 pipe organ, a " huge" Lodge Room, a very masculine Rathskeller in the cellar, a reading room, fireplaces, beautiful wainscoting, ornate woodwork, living rooms on the third floor, high vaulted ceilings, was generously furnished, and of course had a billiard room - a state of the art Lodge Home. The new State Street Home opened December 1915 and was formally dedicated, March 1, 1916. The building was designed to last for years and serve as the Home of Springfield Lodge No. 61 into the foreseeable Future.
In the Early 1960s a search began to find a new home for Lodge #61. In several ways the Lodge was outgrowing its home for the past 45 years at 331 State Street - a need for larger quarters, more parking, and other problems arose. With a good deal of trepidation and some reluctance the Lodge members did vote to find a new home and site. A search committee formed in 1961 and two years later reported favorably on a site on Tiffany Street in a residential area of Springfield. Architects were hired, plans and costs and financing submitted to the Grand Lodge for approval. Ground was broken January 13, 1965 for the new home and was finished November 12, 1965. The Springfield Sunday Republican newspaper article, dated November 14, 1965, reported a Golden Elkdom Era Passes - Lodge Moves to New Home." Nine days later a class of 30 new members was initiated at the Tiffany site. A new era, new building, and new members became part of Springfield Lodge No. 61's heritage and future.
Outdoor Pavilion in Greater Springfield
Outdoor pavilion and banquet facility proudly serving the areas of Springfield MA, Chicopee MA, Holyoke MA, Hampden MA, Longmeadow MA, Wilbraham MA, Enfield CT, and surrounding areas
Springfield Lodge of Elks #61, 440 Tiffany Street, Springfield, MA 01108 • Phone: 413-734-2213