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May 21, 2013 > Happy Birthday to Mission Peak Odd Fellows Lodge #114

Happy Birthday to Mission Peak Odd Fellows Lodge #114

Submitted By Nancy Johnson, Assisted by Aamir Rasheed,

June 27, 2013 marks the 150th year anniversary of Mission Peak Odd Fellows Lodge #114. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is a charitable organization that has served our local community by supporting Boy Scout Troop #111, Abode Services homeless shelter, schools, music programs and much more. We are deeply intertwined with Fremont History. This birthday announcement is also an invitation to the community to attend our Open House on Saturday, June 29.

Our history began on January 9, 1863 when 10 members of Crusade Odd Fellows Lodge #93 of Alvarado (Union City) gathered at the Union Hotel to see if there was a large enough group from the Washington Corners area to justify a Lodge. They discussed membership and fitting a Lodge room for the purpose of Odd Fellowship. This discussion was fruitful and on June 27, 1863 a representative of the Grand Lodge of California came to the township of Washington Corners and instituted the new Mission Peak Lodge #114. The members rented the building offered to them by A.O. Rix for $150 per year until they purchased the building in 1865. In 1890 they sold this hall because they had all worked together with nearly $10,000 in donations from the members to build the new hall directly next door. Sadly, in 1895, the original hall was lost in a big fire that swept the town.

In October of 1890, the members moved into their new home on Broadway in the township of Irvington. Not too far of a move considering that this was at the same address where Washington Corners had been; later to be named Irving, then Irvington, then Fremont. We still maintain this hall today and the history inside our walls outshine the history of our building. In 1906 the hall was damaged by the great quake, but our damage was minimal compared to the loss of the Grand Lodge of California in San Francisco. To this day, our Grand Lodge has to work hard to locate a member of the order prior to 1906.

In our hall we have supported many organizations who have met here with the same purpose. The Native Sons of the Golden West met here in 1895 after their hall was burned in the fire. The St. Jude children's hospital has met here. As part of the Odd Fellows, our lodge has had a Canton, Encampment, Jr. Odd Fellows and two Theta Rho clubs. Also, two Rebekah Lodges have met here; the first, in 1893, was Aqua Pura Rebekah Lodge #193 which surrendered its charter in 1934. The second, in 1946, was Niles Rebekah Lodge #336 that moved to our Hall when theirs was sold and they changed the name of the Lodge to Silver Star Rebekah Lodge #336 in 1949. This Lodge and Mission Peak Lodge are the only two Lodges left in our hall. Our membership is small but strong and committed to the work we do for our community.

Over the years, our Lodge has supported influential community leaders. Many of the streets and schools in Fremont will be recognizable to the members of Mission Peak such as Blacow, Durham, Eggers, Grimmer, Hirsch, Mattos, Mowry, Mallard, Osgood, Overacker, Peralta, Shinn and Walters. The Building was managed by the care of our members and income for our building maintenance was received through rentals of the two downstairs stores. In 1960's the false front was added to the building at the request of our renters so that they could utilize the main street access for "Window Shoppers." Also the building was painted green. Thankfully our members saw fit to restore this fine landmark to the original beauty when the hall was built.

Due to the needs of our membership and requirements of State earthquake standards, in 1989 the Lodge cancelled rental agreements with the downstairs stores and refurbished the entire building. This was a huge project with many members doing the plastering, painting and assisting the contractor, Geo. Peacock Co. We added an elevator, the bathrooms are all ADA accessible, the kitchen is certified by the health department and the building is earthquake retrofit. Seeing that our Lodge has survived the 1868, 1906 and 1989 quakes, this building should be the safest place to be in an earthquake.

On May 27, 2013, our Lodge will kick off an Odd Fellows display at the Museum in Mission San Jose for the Washington Township Historical Society. For more information on the museum, please contact President, Gil Garza at gil_garza@comcast.net. At our open house, members will be present to answer questions, assist with a family research database. Drawings will be held to raise funds for the many charities we support; a light lunch will be served at noon. At 2 p.m., guest speakers from across the state will help celebrate our birthday.

Although an RSVP is not required, we are requesting notice to know how much food to purchase. Please contact our Lodge Secretary at (510) 673-3958 or email ioof114@comcast.net if you would like to attend.


Odd Fellows Open House
Saturday, June 29
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
40955 Fremont Blvd., Fremont
(510) 673-3958

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