Did you know....?
|In 1976, David Buchanan,
the local pharmacist purchased the building next to his pharmacy. The building was
the the former Odd Fellows Lodge at 27 South Second Street. He hired some
contractors to begin renovating the former Lodge. The men began to tear apart a
closet on the second floor of the building, they discovered a false floor. Upon
removing the flooring, a large canvas was found in a compartment below and under the
canvas, a human skeleton in a mahogany coffin. Whose skeleton was it? How long
had it been there? Why was it there? The contractors decided to unearth
the story behind the find.
It was found that the skeleton has been wired to create a movable jaw and bending fingers. Metal insignia found in the casket contained the three linked circles of the Odd Fellows crest. The three rings signify the Odd Fellows motto of : Friendship, Truth, and Love.
With this clue in hand, several older members of the local I.O.O.F. were contacted. They remained anonymous because of their sworn oaths of secrecy about the order's rituals. They informed the contractors that the skeleton was used in some way of initiation programs and degree promotions exercises. How it was used was not revealed but it was hinted that it was the medium of providing some hilarious moments.
How long was the skeleton in the Lodge building. No one knows for sure. In 1976 the building in which the skeleton was found was over 100 years. The Odd Fellows moved in to the location on June 8, 1932.
The late Mr. Buchanan displayed the skeleton in his store for a short time as a conversation piece.
Where is the skeleton now? Well, he never left. The building at 27 S. 2nd Street is now a bridal store called UNIQUE BRIDAL operated by my good friend, Gretchen Brinich. The former Lodge member remains upstairs on the 2nd floor, in his coffin, in a closet. Who is he? Well, I guess we'll never know.
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on the Odd Fellows: Mineral Lodge,
No. 285 I.O.O.F. was chargered November 22, 1847 and organized April 1, 1848. The
orginal members were: John Batter, Philip Lewis, Anthony Mawry, Jacob Metz, William
Phillips, William Renner, John Seitzinger, Daniel Shafer, William Walker and William
The lodge met each Wednesday evening in the hall on the corner of 2nd and Hancock Streets. On September 27, 1865, the lodge purchased from John Holmes, four acres for a cemetery. It was chartered on July 12, 1866, under the name of Odd Fellows' Cemetery Association of the Borough of Saint Clair. The cemetery was dedicated on October 1, 1867. Later an addional three acres were purchased.
Membership in 1934: George Boote, Noble Grand; George Kapsha, vice Grand; Charles J. Crawshaw, Treasurer; Joseph Kelly, Secretary, Joseph H. Hughes, Chaplain; Joseph P. Kelly, Joseph H. Hughes, Joshire Tuckett, Trustees. (See Prime Spots)
1958 Overview of Saint Clair