The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was one of the many organizations formed in Slocan. Others included the Orangemen, Rebekahs, Masons, Knights of Pythias, Independent Order of Foresters, Miner’s Union, Women’s Christian Temperance Union, Women’s Institute, Agricultural Association, Rifle Association, Slocan City Band, and many others. The Rebekahs were the female counterpart of the IOOF, often the men would belong to the IOOF and their wives belonged to the Rebekahs. They shared the building and had their meetings there.
IOOF began in 1897 meeting every Thursday night in the Bull building on Main street (Slocan Pioneer 7 Aug 1897), and in 1904 the Slocan Drill (12 Feb 1904) reported that they had purchased the “Sturch” building and lot on Main Street at Delaney Avenue. This was the location of the first hall which worked well for them until the early 1920s. The group then decided it was time to move and purchased property from the City at the corner of Harold and Delaney, the current location. The work on this hall was completed in 1924 and became the primary place for events in the community. They proudly mounted the “three rings” on the outside of the building which stood for “Friendship, Love & Truth” and this symbol can be seen in some of the pictures.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge #40 operated in Slocan for about 50 years before the building was purchased by the Village. The Village leased the building to a local senior citizens group in 1973, who received a grant of more than $24,000 for renovations to the building. It was renamed the Silvery Slocan Social Centre.
In 1999 it was leased to the Royal Canadian Legion. This hall continues to play an important role in the community. Weddings, funerals, plays, fairs, dances and many other events have been held here throughout the years. You can still see the “bones” of the original building, though various renovations and upgrades have taken place. During some external renovations done on the building in late 2014, the contractor uncovered some Japanese signatures on the paint under old siding. After some enquiries, it seems that graffiti is not a new concept, but one that’s been around for a lot of years!
This appeared in the Slocan Drill on October 31, 1902:
The sixth annual ball of the local lodge of Oddfellows, held in the Music Hall Friday night, was an enjoyable affair, there being about 40 couples present. A long programme was presented and it was in the wee small hours when the shine was brought to an end. Mine host Baty, of the Slocan Hotel, who provided the supper, put up the best spread the burg has yet see, all the delicacies in the market being on parade. The Adcock orchestra provided the music and Wm Hicks acted as floor manager. A small cash balance resulted to the Oddfellows after all expenses, the ball being voted a success. Grand Master Graham, of Victoria, who has been visiting the various Oddfellows lodges in the province called on the local organization Friday. He afterwards took in the ball given by the society in the Music Hall.
Additionally, from this location, you can see two other buildings which hold historic importance. They are both private homes now, but the house diagonally opposite to the Hall once belonged to Malcolm Cameron who ran the Pioneer Livery and Feed Stables – General Packers and Forwarders – in the early 1900s. Here a saddle horse could be rented for $2 per day. Mr Cameron had teams of horses that he used for hauling jobs, including moving ore from the mines for shipping to the refinery.
And directly across the street is a building with a false front built in the 1930s. This was known as Clough Bros General Merchants. Ed Clough and his wife Agnes lived upstairs and ran the business downstairs. After 35 years in business, they sold the store in 1974 and built a house across the river in West Slocan. (courtesy of Greg Nesteroff’s Mayors of Slocan book). Prior to this location, the Cloughs had a store on Main street.
Moving south on Harold you’ll be entering the present day commercial area of Slocan and just down the block on the right, you will see our next stop – the former Kino’s Market.