Oswego Elks Lodge #271
An 'All American Lodge' 2006-07
The Lodge numbers are assigned as the Lodges are instituted so as you can tell by our low number, we are a very old Lodge. Oswego Lodge received its charter in October of 1894, which makes us 121 years old. This building that we are in was built in 1851 for use as a private residence and many noteworthy people have lived here throughout the years. A. B. Merriam and his wife Hannah, daughter of artist Thomas Hanford Wentworth, were the first occupants. In 1866 the residence was sold to John R. Noyes who, in 1880 sold it to Malvina Guimaraes who was related to Issac Singer, the inventor of the Singer Sewing Machine. After Malvina's death in 1882, the residence was sold to Neil Gray, a partner in the Oswego Shade Co., whose son established the Oswego Machine Works. In 1922, upon the death of Neil Gray, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks purchased the building. The Hall was added in 1961 and in the 1970's we expanded the hall. In 1983 the Lodge bar area was renovated and in 1990 we expanded the kitchen. Several years ago an offer was made to buy our building and the organization considered building in a new location, but we decided that we couldn't replace what we had and the history that goes with the building. With this decision made, the Lodge has been very active over the past several years updating the structure.
Oswego Lodge has over 800 members and is one of the 6 Lodges in the Ontario District #6300; the other Lodges are Syracuse #31, Auburn #474, Fulton #830, Liverpool #2348, and Camillus #2367. There are 17 Districts in New York comprised of 150 Lodges and 85,000 members.