History of the Gardner Lodge
Gardner Lodge #1426 was organized in the month of December in the year 1921. At that time a dispensation was granted by the then Grand Exalted Ruler William Mountain of Michigan. At the Grand Lodge Convention held in Atlantic City in July of the following year a Charter was granted By Grand Exalted Ruler William Abbott of San Francisco California.
The birth of the Gardner Lodge was the desire and request of Elks, residing in Gardner, who were members of various Lodges. About sixty Elks forming the nucleus of this Lodge demitted from Fitchburg Lodge #847 while others demitted from the Leominster Lodge #1237, Iron Mountain Lodge #700 of Michigan and others. A first class over 400 men was initiated at a gala event. Among the many honored guests that day was future GER John Malley.
On the night of November 7, 1937, a disastrous fire ravaged the Elks Home and from the charred and smoked remains of the old home the new home was erected. Finely architectured, completely and attractively furnished and a Lodge Room with the beauty and simplicity of comfort. The new home, though smaller than many, ranked high among the better homes scattered far and near in the far flung realms of Elkdom.
As the years were to come and go, the officers and members began to realize that our home was not large enough for our social affairs and club functions such as District Deputy Visitations, Installations and things of that nature. Finally in 1957 our membership voted to approve an addition to our building. In early 1959 the addition was completed.
The Lodge had a new dining room large enough to accommodate over 200 people and upstairs a banquet hall that could be used for our social functions as well as our own Visitations and Installations. The hall could also be rented for wedding parties and convention meetings. For the members, a new bar was installed and a beautiful paneled card and reading room overlooking Crystal Lake was made available for their pleasure.
Presently there are 300+ members of the Gardner Lodge. If you would like more information about the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, please visit the following links:
31 Park Street
Gardner, MA 01440