By Cara Kaser
For those who subscribe to the Heritage News or Historic Preservation listserv maintained by Oregon Heritage, you may have notice a trend in Oregon’s recent additions to the National Register of Historic Places. In the last six months, four properties related to the history of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) around the state have been listed in the National Register. These include the Clatskanie IOOF Hall, the Enterprise IOOF Hall, the Hardman IOOF Lodge Hall, and the Marshfield IOOF Cemetery.
Why have so many IOOF places been listed recently? As it turns out, Oregon has 26 IOOF-related properties already listed in the National Register. Some IOOF properties are individually listed, while others are listed as part of historic districts. Also, the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, part of Oregon Heritage, has surveyed an additional 68 IOOF properties around the state. These include simple wooden IOOF buildings in rural communities such as Wingville in Baker County to elaborate stone or brick buildings in urban areas like the IOOF Building in Ashland.
Oregon also has three IOOF cemeteries listed in the National Register located in Coos Bay, Medford, and Eugene. An additional six cemeteries have been surveyed around the state. Like IOOF buildings, IOOF cemeteries are also diverse in character, ranging in physical size, layout, number of burials and markers, and artistic ornamentation.
Undoubtedly, there are more IOOF places in Oregon that have not been surveyed yet or listed in the National Register. If you know of an IOOF place in your community, check to see if it has a record in the Oregon Historic Sites Database. If it doesn’t have a record, you can fill out a Historic Resource Record and submit it to Oregon Heritage for inclusion in the database. You never know – one day that place could be listed in the National Register too!
To download National Register nominations for recently listed properties, visit our recently listed webpage. Also, you can download National Register nominations for other National Register-listed properties through the Oregon Historic Sites Database.
Cara Kaser is the Heritage Outreach Specialist for Oregon Heritage.