The IOOF Hall at the corner of College and North 13th was built in 1904. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

For several years, the IOOF Hall in Philomath served as a center of the community with town meetings, Christmas programs, concerts and various types of social events occurring within its walls. The 119-year-old building still stands at the corner of North 13th and College streets.

The Philomath chapter dates back to 1893 when its charter was granted and the IOOF Hall was built in 1904. Remodeling and maintenance projects through the years kept the space relevant. The building’s busiest days are in the past but there is still activity. For example, the Social Rebekah Lodge meets a couple of times most months and the American Legion Marys River Post 100 uses IOOF Hall for its meetings.

The following article, published a century ago on April 23, 1923, in the Corvallis Gazette-Times, provides a peek at how IOOF Hall used to be utilized for community events:

“The entertainment given by Loren Luper’s orchestra at the IOOF Hall Friday evening drew a large audience, and everyone enjoyed the musical numbers. Friday afternoon, the orchestra entertained the high school and seventh and eighth grades with a few selections. At this time the students voted as to who was the most beautiful girl in high school. The results were announced at the evening session and Miss Ruth Vicary was awarded a box of candy.”

150 years ago

1870 census: In 1870, according to the census report, Oregon had 13,548 persons engaged in agricultural occupations; 6,070 persons performing professional and personal services; 2,619 engaged in trade and transportation, and 8,694 in manufactures and mining. There were 162 clergymen and 194 lawyers. (Published April 19, 1873, in the Benton Democrat).

125 years ago

Philomath items: Some swans enroute to Alaska passed over Philomath Monday. … The union primary was held here Saturday. Charles Davis was nominated for justice of the peace, and Ed Allen for constable. … Marsh Allen has been enjoying the grippe for several days. … Wm. Jones of Oregon City, has moved into the Hogan property. (Published April 22, 1898, in the Corvallis Gazette).

100 years ago

Philomath death: Louis Perkins, resident of Philomath during recent years, died at his home there early this morning, following a brief illness. The funeral service is to be held from Bovee’s chapel at 2 o’clock Monday afternoon, with interment in Newton cemetery. Mr. Perkins was born July 14, 1857, and was aged 65 years. (Published April 21, 1923, in the Corvallis Gazette-Times).

75 years ago

Saddle club: Organization of a saddle club, to be known as the Philomath Buckaroos, has been completed in that city. Glen Witham was named president of the club, with Melvin Castle as vice president and W.E. Wilkinson as secretary-treasurer. There are 10 members initially. (Published April 22, 1948, in the Corvallis Gazette-Times).

50 years ago

Egg hunt: Children from toddlers to 12 years of age will participate in the annual Easter egg hunt Sunday at 2 p.m. in Philomath City Park. There will be divisions for the various aged youngsters and prizes. Sponsors are the Philomath Frolic Inc. and Philomath Jaycees. (Published April 18, 1973, in the Corvallis Gazette-Times).

Brad Fuqua

Brad Fuqua, Philomath News

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.