Odd Fellows Hall Association of Sacramento stock certificate circa 1867
Uncommon fraternal collectible with elaborate printing throughout and interesting vignette of interlocked circles and American flag at the bottom. Unissued and not cancelled. Circa 1867 from company records. Dated 186_ on the certificate. This stock certificate was for the funding to build the Sacramento CA hall (finished 1871) around 1867.
This Lodge has had 7 homes. First meeting in the "Red House" from January 1851 - March 1851 when they relocated to the "Whitney Bldg." located at 4th & J st. In December 1852 the Lodge moved to the "Stanford Bldg." located at 3rd & K st. but this bldg. was lost to fire so the members again had to move, this time to the Bennett Bldg. located on J st. between Front & 2nd st. They moved again, date uncertain, to the St. George Bldg. at the SE corner of 4th & J st. and stayed here until their new and magnificent hall was built on the corner of 9th & K. This hall stayed in use for the several area lodges until the changing times made it unsafe for the membership to remain. They sold this hall in 1984 and purchased a nice building where they meet to this date on Howe Ave.
The name Odd Fellows refers to several friendly societies and fraternal organizations operating in the United Kingdom. It also refers to some Lodges with histories dating back to the 18th century. These various organizations were set up to protect and care for their members and communities at a time when there was no welfare state or National Health Service. The aim was to provide help to members and communities when they need it. The friendly societies are non-profit mutual organizations owned by their members. All income is passed back to the members in the form of services and benefits. The Odd Fellows are also fundraisers for local and national charities; branches (lodges) raise money for local causes, and the Societies as a whole raise significant amounts for charities.
The Odd Fellows had spread to America in the late 18th century, and several unofficial lodges existed in New York City; but American Odd Fellowship is regarded as being founded in Baltimore in 1819, by Thomas Wildey, and the following year affiliated with the Manchester Unity. In Britain in 1834, the Tolpuddle Martyrs were unexpectedly convicted and transported for "membership of an illegal friendly society". The Odd Fellows "Board of Directors" hastily modified the "constitution" to evade a similar fate.
Members of the Odd Fellows in the United States were not pleased to see the ancient rituals changed without their agreement, particularly to satisfy a British Government against which they had fought a war of independence. As a result, the Odd Fellows in America declared their independence from the Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows and became a self-governing Order – the Independent Order of Odd Fellows – which established lodges across the world (and continues to this day).