Like most new western cities, Spokane was home to many fraternal organizations. Fraternal organizations were a type of social organization whose members united for beneficial purpose. These societies were dedicated to the professional, intellectual, physical, and social development of its members and community. It was estimated that at one point in Spokane one-seventh of the men and women belonged to one or more of these societies.
A sect of the Odd Fellowship settled in Spokane in 1880. Odd Fellows membership required belief in an all-knowing, creator God. Members had to demonstrate an ethical character and could not be engaged in the "liquor business." Why the name Odd Fellows? This cannot be answered definitively, but some scholarship suggests that aligning themselves together and forming a secret society during that era was odd. The name could also originate because all the men in the Fellowship had odd trades. The Odd Fellowship does not date back to Roman times, contrary to popular belief, but from late 18th Century England.
The Odd Fellows IOOF Lodge is a three-story red brick building with the letters, "IOOF," etched into a flat frieze. The building includes a ballroom on the first floor, a billiard room on the second and a mezzanine on the third. The Odd Fellows IOOF Lodge was designed by the famous Albert Held. To learn more about Albert Held check out stories on the "Amman Apartments" and "San Marco Apartments."