Friendship, love and truth: On the trail of the Odd Fellows

My first summer with the Historical Society, nearly some 20 years ago, I was researching an exhibition on a secret society named the Odd Fellows. I had never heard of this organization before, however, I learned later that throughout my life I had seen this organization’s symbol, namely three interlocking rings, but did not recognize the significance of it. This project stemmed from a donation of artifacts from Weld Coxe and Sim Atwood that were found in the attic of the Odd Fellows Hall building (built in 1879) on Water Street. Over the years this has housed many different businesses, included the Ragged Sailor Gallery (founded by Eileen Lee and Diana Stevens) and currently the year-round Odd Fellows Café and Block Island Ghost Tours. The name of the café downstairs is an acknowledgment of the International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF), which on the second-floor housed the hall/temple of the Block Island chapter of the IOOF, known as the Neptune Lodge Number 26.The oldest paper documentation of this society is a lodge in London in the decade of the 1740s that points to a IOOF lodge with the number 9, thus this clearly was not the first. Naturally,

Read the rest of the article on the Block Island Times