International Order of Odd Fellows Hall, Hamilton
Hamilton Commercial Historic District
A plaque centered under the cornice of this imposing two-story building reads “No. 48 I.O.O.F. Hall 1918.” I.O.O.F. stands for International Order of Odd Fellows, an organization that advocates love, friendship, and truth while offering fellowship and a social safety net for its members. Historically, lodges paid members sick benefits and funeral expenses, contributed to a statewide retirement home, and supported local and national charities. The I.O.O.F. constituted Hamilton Lodge #48 in 1892 with eleven members; that year the order numbered approximately three-quarters of a million men. As early as 1895 the Odd Fellows met here every Monday on the second floor of a wooden commercial block. Early lodge members included Skalkaho farmer Robert Nicol, First National Bank president F. H. Drinkenberg, and merchant Oliver Cooper, partner in the store that occupied the hall’s first floor by 1901. In 1918 the Odd Fellows replaced their wooden building with this solid brick business block. Today the Odd Fellows and their sister organization, the Charity Rebekah Lodge, still meet here, continuing a Hamilton tradition of over a century.