Members and visitors gather insideCascade Lodge No. Jazz musicians could make $100 to $200 a week playing in one of Shanghais many nightclubs, which made the trans-Pacific trip quite lucrative. Black Elks. A place for members to socialize. Back then, a self-professed old school member of the Ballard Elks complained about the eager-beaver women agitating for membership: When theyre twisting your arm, he told the Seattle Times, Im sure its going to pass.. Surfs, as in rides a stand-up paddleboard behind the tug when it makes its way through the bay outside the club. The Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World. And we pour a stiff drink.". Come down and visit us on the shores of Shilshole Bay. Considering the location, I thought the price was, Audrea H. said: Great room for a great price. Their functions can range fromutilitarian Brooks uses them to store iPods, change, dartsand playing cards to celebratory. Theres the event space panoramic windows, a mounted elk head, and ample space for the line dancing, Zumba, and waltzing classes and the social quarters, resplendent in old photos, vinyl bar chairs, a shuffleboard table, and a digital jukebox (one night, it played Fine Young Cannibals She Drives Me Crazy on repeat). Ontario Black History Society.  Julian Henson, Interview with Paul de Barros, 20 January, 1991. The proximity of Seattle to Asia also gave Jackson Street musicians the unique opportunity to travel and perform internationally. Johnson describes Shanghai as a cosmopolitan city with representatives of every race in the population.  Taylor, 154. You are listenin My research of the Seattle Times historical archive for mentions of the Panama Hotel yielded stories of a colorful past. Canton Alley. Our expansive club on the first floor is open for members and their guests to gather indoors in the Club Room or outdoors on our covered patio or open-air waterfront terrace. The social quarters have no phone. In Farewell to Manzanar , Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston describes her father singing "Kimi ga yo," the Japanese national anthem. Greeters, food runners and dish washers are all volunteer positions. The dream of Seattle had been colonized by a bunch of rich dorks in performance gear who didnt even know how to flirt. By their very name, secret societies inspire curiosity, fascination and distrust. We hold major institutions accountable and expose wrongdoing. Return the completed application to the front office during business hours or to the bartender along with our $25 application fee. To get to the bar of Cascade Lodge No. Were like a cult, a tan, freckled, ambiguously aged woman tells me, the dregs of Coors Light swishing in the bottom of her plastic cup. The order is just one of many clandestine organizations that exist today, though the popularity of these secret clubs peaked in the 18th and 19th centuries, writes Noah Shachtman for Wired. Im going back to the kitchen to get a piece of foil for my leftovers, she tells me, and Im gonna tell Felix that was the worst damn steak., The head of scholarship, Karl Johan Uri, made a barnaise sauce at home, and a small Tupperware of it is circulating at a corner table, where Ellen, in her early thirties, waits for her husband to arrive. The IBPOEW was modeled after the BPOE. Matt Lutton / Boreal Collective for BuzzFeed News, Steve Larson/The Denver Post via Getty Images, Library of Congress; courtesy Ballard Elks, the only real place for black folks to go. During the era of segregation, the lodge was one of the few places where black men and women could socialize, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote. Mike Seely is a former editor-in-chief of Seattle Weekly and the author of Seattles Best Dive Bars: Drinking & Diving in the Emerald City. Privacy Statement The ebbing of community, Putnam writes, has been silent and deceptive; membership in nearly every civic activity, from the PTA to card games, has more than halved since the peak of involvement in the 1960s. Outside in the lobby, Lois and Brad are checking steak tickets. I was that freak talking to people at the gym and the grocery store, just trying to start conversation. One day, she saw a flyer looking for Girl Scout leaders, and she was swiftly assigned to the brand-new troop that meets at the Elks. As multiple studies have shown, the more you drink and eat and do philanthropy work and live with people unlike you, the more likely you are to treat them as people, whether in your voting patterns, public speech, or willingness to help them in a time of crisis. During the Depression, Shanghai was home to many wealthy internationals which created demand for the latest U.S. craze: jazz music. How progressive the order actually was is up to interpretation. Under Bonds' stewardshipas former chapter president, the Elks Lodge paid off its mortgage and now owns the building. A jazz musician famous in Seattle, . Copyright (c) 2010, Kaegan Faltys-Burr Christine Provost of the Central District (center) and Kim Brooks of Federal Way (right) join a man named Cornelius of Rainier Beach (left) at the bar inside Cascade Lodge No. army relocation center at Puyallup Fairgrounds near Tacoma. One of those leaders, Liz King, pops into the bar and gives Zuniga a hug. Ballard Elks Club. I kept coming here with dudes, but finally I said, You know what, screw the dudes, Im gonna join. . Chartered in 1925, the lodge was established because, at the time, Black people were barred from joining the city's all-white Elks. Turning 90 again? Ben teases.  de Barros, 45. Its founding members opened the club on Congress Street,. (Her medieval bad-ass title indicates that she heads up the lodges womens auxiliary.) He folds and unfolds a scrap of paper where hes doodled the major themes of orientation: Heres what you pay in dues ($99, paid every April), heres the good we do (thousands of dollars every year to various charities), heres your commitment (The Elks is whatever you make it). Amid all this, we encounter Brooks, sipping on a glass of Crown Royal poured by bartender and Daughter Ruler Gaye Spearman. Ive only been yelled at to go home, gentrifiers once! Fillipinos [sic], Japanese, Negros and whites mingle in the same hotels and restaurants and there is an air of comradeship.". "God knows what they were thinking back then," Rick Gathen, the BPOE's national marketing manager, says of his organization's regrettable racial underpinnings. Like the Cascade Elks, the Royal Esquire Club was founded by a group of African-American men who, at the time, were barred from traditional, white-run fraternal organizations. B. F. Howard took over the running of the organization after Riggs went into hiding. It wasnt until the 70s that they allowed male minorities to join. Hence, a predominantly African-American membership that peaked at about 200 two decades ago has dwindled to fewer than 50. The Ancient Order was created before state health insurance began in England, so the cluboffered sickbenefits to its working class members. Franklin D. Roosevelt was an Elk; so were Truman and MacArthur and Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. Johnson started playing music at age seven and was playing professional jazz gigs by 1924, only ten years later. We have no tolerance for people who have hatred in their heart.". But even the lavish Ubangi continued to deal with problems of police harassment. This historically Black non-profit charitable, fraternal organization is still operating. Perhaps one needs to be a member of thealtruistic and friendly society known as the Independent Order of Odd Fellows to know for sure when the club first started, butthe first written record of the order comes in 1812, however, and itreferences George IV. May 24, 2016.Matt Lutton / Boreal Collective for BuzzFeed News. A few years later, in 1920, Smith and Jimmy Woodland open the Entertainers Club at 12th and Jackson. In the climate of Roosevelts New Deal, Jackson Street jazz clubs began catering to more class-specific audiences. On this date, in 1868, the Black Elks were formed. Obsessed with travel? As the new members introduced themselves, a group of 20-plus Elks paddleboarders were grouped around a large table in the other room, putting the final touches on a plan that will allow them to store their boards in the lodges basement.  Taylor, 147.  Ad for The Green Dot, Northwest Enterprise, 11 January, 1934, p.4. I have some edits for you, Ill send you an email, she replies, rushing out the door to make a literal mile of lasagna noodles from scratch. Clearly, police raids were a common occurrence. Introduced himself to *RayCharles 16 @BlackElksClub Inspired by his blindness and genius. During the Great Depression, there was no time to reminisce about the excess of the Roaring Twentiesit was a time to look forward. The woman is wearing an oversized faux fur vest and heeled suede boots, which is to say shes dressed for neither the Elks nor Seattle. That prompted Blacks to form their own organization, the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World (IBPOEW). The group voted to name itself the Elks, narrowly defeating the Buffaloes, and borrowed much of its ritual from the Freemasons, then one of the largest organizations in the country. Lodge Directory. Lodge Address: 6411 Seaview Avenue NW Seattle WA 98107. These new groups forged their own path in the face of racism, and established vital gathering spaces for Blacks seeking basic services and a safe social outlet as the civil-rights movement took flight. Theres Green Lake to the north and the polluted Duwamish River meandering south, and in between all that water, there are neighborhoods: the radical and queer of Capitol Hill, the chichi of Queen Anne and Magnolia, the hippies of Fremont, the pan-Asian enclave of the International District, the aspirational squares of Wallingford and Green Lake, the young families of West Seattle, the historic African-American community of the Central District, and the sleepy, Scandinavian-infused world of Ballard. 2023 Cascade Public Media. ArtSEA: Comedy, dance and bankruptcy, now showing on Seattle stages, ArtSEA: Swaddle yourself in soft Seattle art, Some farmers question WA state's plan to pay workers overtime, As Downtown recovers, Seattle reimagines what it could be, Two Pike Place totem poles to be removed but maybe not for good, As crypto mines aim for climate action, critics call greenwashing, Human Elements: Glass creations inspired by PNW marine life. In this country, there are two distinctive strands of Elks Club. "We've basically been growing by 20 percent a year," says the lodge's former exalted ruler, Ben Braden, who acknowledges that his lodge's waterfront location on Shilshole Bay is a pretty enviable calling card. club the FBI raid. Shoe Shine parlor Recreation Rooms Few Seattle neighborhoods have experienced that change in feel as acutely as Ballard, which, more than any other Seattle neighborhood, has always felt like its own tiny town, in part because it was at least until the early 1900s, when it was annexed, under much protest, to the city of Seattle. Transcripts, University of Washington Manuscript Collection. Its stated purpose is "that the welfare and happiness of its members be promoted and enhanced, that nobleness of soul and goodness of heart be cultivated, that the principles of charity, justice, brotherly & sisterly love, and fidelity be inculcated, that its members and their families be assisted and protected, and that the spirit of patriotism is enlivened and exalted.". Although when compared to more prominent jazz cities like Chicago, New York, or New Orleans, Seattles scene was small, it had its own special character. Like the Foresters, it set up protections for its members. Id been widowed twice, but the gentleman I was going with at the time, he got me to join. Women had been lobbying for entrance for years, but it wasnt until 1996, when the Elks had already spent over $1.25 million litigating suits brought by women around the country, that the national organization voted to allow them entrance. The name is a reference to the Greek legend ofDamon and Pythias, the Pythagorean ideal of friendship. African Americans during the 19th and the first half of the 20th century were denied entry into any of the White fraternal organizations. Suddenly the lights went out and a battle ensued in which the county officers were roughly handledNot satisfied with their raid Sunday morning and incensed by the beating they received, two of the constables returned to the club Tuesday night and assaulted Lem Turner, colored bystander outside the clubThe raid and actions of the constables has caused city wide condemnation and is generally regarded as an attempt to shakedown the sporting district for graft money.". It wasnt an accident that Voltaire, George Washington, and Ben Franklin were all active members. Riggs obtained a copy of the BPOE ritual and applied for and was granted copyright for the Black Elks. And just like todays networked radicals, much of their power was wrapped up in their ability to stay anonymous and keep their communications secret. The Northwest Enterprise reported on the raid the following Thursday: "In what was purported to be a gambling raid, four constables from the Morningside precinct engaged in a battle royal with employees of the Black and Tan Club, 12th Ave. S. and Jackson Street early Sunday MorningFinding no evidence of gambling two constables said to have been under the influence of liquor, began abusing the employees by cursing. They all rent for about $1,500 to $3,000 and boast views of water and walking distance to Ballard Avenue, a bricked street lined with gastropubs, French brasseries, shops that sell cute sandals and even cuter baby clothes, and bars with names like Shelter and Kings Hardware that literally overflow with twentysomethings. White Elks in Birmingham, AL, pulled Riggs from where he worked and threatened to lynch him unless he relinquished the charter on his next trip to Birmingham. And here at the Elks, I dont ever have to worry about my drink being spiked, or my purse being stolen, or guys harassing me., A man one seat down, silent our entire conversation, speaks up, his eyes still focused on the Mariners game in front of him: And if you ever do have problems, you know, you can count on us.. Like many of his brothers and sisters at the lodge, Blacknall now resides in south King County. That is, until Amazon and its estimated $5 billion citywide impact and 24,000 Washington employees happened, and every neighborhood seemingly transformed into an amalgam of overpriced condos with living roofs, hot yoga studios, CrossFit boxes, bars with $7 microbrews on tap, and transplants willing to pay for all of it. Jazz musicians in Seattle, c. 1925.  While Jackson Street was always the heart of Seattles jazz scene, the nightlight extended to semi-legal roadhouses (freestanding nightclubs located on the outskirts of town) where alcohol and jazz flowed freely. We call it going Elkn. Its fun to get your friends to join, and to meet new friends here, he adds. Our lodge is a true landmark in Seattle. Smith owned numerous nightclubs during the 1920s and 1930s, for which Taylor dubs him the impresario of black nightlife. The Depression hit everyone in Seattlebut not Smith. "So we just have to keep showing them success.. The Yesler-Jackson community with its strong Black population and Seattles social and political context of legalized corruption provided the perfect atmosphere for jazz to grow and thrive. The most rude mannered and impolite of all races, he says, is the American white man. Processing / Interviews / Initiation: 6. Jazz musicians and clubs came and wentPalmer Johnson went all the way to China while the Ubangi club just went underbut Jackson Street remained the heart of Seattle jazz for many years after the Great Depression. Riggs agreed but never returned to Birmingham. Thats precisely what drew Lauren Zuniga, a reedy 26-year-old who moved to Seattle from rural Kansas when her boyfriend got a job in tech. I think it's a generational thing. This may seem strange, but it is a fact. Its a great way to meet new members too!  Some of these big names even appeared in Jackson Streets nightclubs. Chinese section where Henry's childhood apartment is located. Menu  Taylor, 147. Portraits of officers of the Ballard Elks on the monthly initiation day. Ive only been a member for three months, and Ive met so many people. (Lets just say she knows how to use caps lock, another member told me. But when that money stays local when you meet the students who receive the scholarship when they come to the lodge, or watch the Girl Scouts run around the event space next door it just feels different. By 1933 the Alhambra nightclub, owned by Noodles Smith and Blackie Williams, had been renamed the Black and Tan and business was booming. Seattles jazz scene weathered the Depression well and managed to maintain the vibrant musical scene that had developed in the area in the decades before the economic crash. It seems that jazz music gave Johnson the opportunity to experience a society where racial differences were much less important and formulate critiques of the prevalent mentality of white superiority in the U.S. In Ballard, the age span is part of the lodges allure. Any amount is greatly appreciated! Many white musicians of the 40s and 50s noted the collegial spirit between black and white at the Black Elks. Hes watched as the Ballard VFW, where hes also a member, has declined and fielded multiple all-cash offers for its slowly dilapidating building, situated in prime Old Ballard real estate. Sometimes, theres light friction Lois Morgensen, the lodges secretary, finds herself annoyed with some of the aspects of growth (All these people trying to get their spousal cards, she told me, and their last names are different!). The Grand Exalted Ruler of an Elks lodge can hold office for only a single year; as a result, there are no ruling dynasties, and young and new members arent just encouraged to take control, but also essential to yearly operations.  Taylor, 148. So what is the attraction? See the News section and our Facebook page for updated information. Raffle tickets and drinks at Ballard Elks Club. Prolonged negotiations and mounting complaints at the Seattle-based coffee retailer show the obstacles a new labor movement faces. An earlier version of this story misstated her last name. I tell people that Im part of the Elks and they give me funny looks, Ben Braden, who sits on the Ballard Elks executive committee, told me. Soft sculptures at MoM, jazzy paintings in Pioneer Square and ghosts en pointe at Pacific Northwest Ballet. On November 17, 1898, the first meeting of the Black Elks was held. "The black community, we had to have our own spaces, we couldn't go to other clubs." There aren't many people left who can recount the history of the Black Elks Lodge, but Barbara Lewis can. But this place bucks that trend.  The Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World ( IBPOEW) is an African-American fraternal order modeled on the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. The Lodge recently purchased the building that was formerly known as Ponti Seafood restaurant, a stunning location on the Ship Canal near the Fremont Bridge. It was formally called the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and was founded in Cincinnati, OH. First, Seattle had a very small Black population, with about 3,500 Black residents out of about 366,000 in total. ", Like Spearman, Blacknall was exposed to an Elks lodge as a child and stuck with it. The toast is ostensibly about the Elks, but it also ritualizes the broad and primal hunger to know that your presence has been, in some way, indelible a dream that joining, and its attendant commitment, of labor, of capital, of care, guarantees. Gradually that group started doing more with charity, and a lot more with veterans, but it was pretty much a mens organization.. The White Elks forced Riggs out of his job, and he could not find work anywhere in Cincinnati, so in 1899, under an assumed name, he and his family moved to Springfield, OH. Spearman is a Kent resident whose grandfather started an Elks lodge in Yakima. In what city does Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet take place in?  Ibid., 3. A blue light flashes whenever anyone buzzes to gain entry, and all folks even nonmembers are welcome, provided they remove their hats. I like to remind people that once youre an Elk, youre an Elk for life.". Turnham was a charismatic musician who next led her own big band.  Ibid., 47-49. In aseries of criminal trials, 20 Maguires weresentenced to death by hanging. The building is also home to an . Today, most lodges have diversified: While many, especially in rural areas, remain largely white, there are dozens of clubs whose membership is almost entirely black; in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Elks Club has become the only real place for black folks to go.. When Henry first met Keiko what fragrance did she smell like for a brief moment? Todays group includes a broad-smiling, Anthropologie-vibed woman, in her mid-thirties, who became involved through the Eat Ballard neighborhood association; a couple with relaxed faces in their sixties who live in the condos next door; a real estate agent in her forties who thought itd be a good time to be part of a service organization; and a youngish dad who runs a business refurbishing vintage furniture from his home, just a pinecones throw away from here. Theres also a pair of grizzly-bearded, round-bellied twentysomethings, one of whom just moved from Pennsylvania, where his grandfathers an Elk. The Grand Orange Lodge is still around today with clubs in Ireland, as well as others around the world. A year later, the Northwest Enterprise reported another Sunday morning raid, this one on December 30, 1934: One proposal involves replacing the waterscape dinosaur sculptures and all with a meadow of native plants. This small difference was enough, and in 1918, the BPOE officially ended its opposition to the IBPOEW.  de Barros, 38-29. He says, "Membership will rise and fall. I didnt join until the 90s. Those new members composed of stockbrokers, tech workers, and other monied hipsters filling Austin in the mid-2000s had a different idea of what the Elks could be: They wanted to eliminate the semi-alienating names for elected leaders, forbid smoking in the bar, and host functions like the one, in the mid-2000s, where Dead Kennedys singer Jello Biafra judged a bikini contest. 527 were here. I just love Ballard, Zuniga sighs. If you are able please consider a donation to the lodge. I got it off eBay, he explains to everyone who asks. It was jazz man. And it was jazz that made Jackson Street famous. Jasmine. And they said no way just dont cuss in front of the girls, and dont drink before the meetings.. She told me this day is a dream come true for her. 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