“The Odd Fellows
Lodge is a two-story, gable-fronted frame structure set upon a concrete foundation. The Lodge measures 27’ x 52’
and is two bays wide and four bays deep. The weatherboard walls are clad with asphalt siding and the roof is covered with
sheet metal. There are two brick chimney flues projecting from the roof, one towards the front and one towards the rear. The
Lodge was built sometime during the 1920s and served the community for approximately 50 years until it closed in 1975.”
Citing Places From the Past, Claire Lise Cavicchi, p.128.
“The Odd Fellowship
was founded in England in the 18th century. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows in America began in Baltimore
with the founding of the Washington Lodge #1 in April 1819.” Citing Places From the Past, p.128. “Its ladies' auxiliary is known as the "Daughters of Rebekah", sometimes referred to as the
Rebekahs." Citing Wikipedia.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was not originally an African
American fraternal organization at the national level. An alternate branch -- the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows --- was
founded in 1843 so that African Americans could seek membership. The Sandy Spring Lodge #6430 was one of these African American
lodges. “Created at a time when the Independent Order was primarily a white-only organization, the Grand United Order obtained its charter directly from the Manchester Unity in Great Britain and
the American Independent Order organization had no control over it. Although still in existence, membership in the United
States has declined, due to the mainstream Independent
Order no longer being segregated and the decline in fraternal membership in general." Citing Wikipedia.
“The Odd Fellows Lodge served as a health and life insurance
agency for the African American community of Sandy Spring. The members paid fees to the Lodge and in turn the Lodge provided
medical and funeral expenses for its members. During the days of segregation, the Odd Fellows Lodge stood as a place of worship,
a site for social activities and a center of education.” Citing Places From the Past, p.128. The Lodge has always been a venue available to the Sandy Spring community. For example, when its neighbor, the Sharp Street
Methodist Church, needed a temporary home due to a fire, the Odd Fellows Lodge was used.
In 2005, upon learning of the Lodge’s history, a small group convened to save the historic structure. This group,
the Odd Fellows Lodge Preservation Committee, was able to secure private funding, a $100,000 State bond bill and a $90,000
Montgomery County government grant to complete the exterior of the preservation (Phase I). Phase I began -- and was completed
-- in Summer 2008. Fundraising and grantwriting contined. With significant financial support from the Maryland Historical
Trust, Phases II (windows) and III (two interior floors, stage, stairs, ramp and HVAC) were complete by March 2016. We are
proud of this significant restoration project for the community.