Old Downtown Lodge

Built in the 1960”s, our Downtown Lodge contains our Lodge Room, Club
Room, Parker Room, and administrative offices. Our Lodge has moved several
times in Rock Hill since our first location downtown in 1915. After a move
from a house on Caldwell Street in the 1940”s, the Lodge bought the Reid
home at the intersection of Reid and Main streets. Once our Lodge grew to
over one thousand members in the 1950”s, the present Lodge was built
between 1960 and 1961. The Reid home was demolished for parking space.
Afterwards, other homes were purchased on the land between Main and Black
streets growing our property to its state today.

Downtown Lodge

The following articles are from various newspapers in the area over the
past 60 years.

Charlotte Observer, February 26, 1940:(Date was
handwritten on article by a historian unknown at this time, stored in the
York County Library Local History section)

Downtown Lodge

ROCK HILL, S. C. May, 25. – The spring of 1940 will go down in history of
Elkdom in Rock Hill, as one of the most importaint periods in the 25 year
history of the club.

There are several reasons for this statement, most significant of
which is the fact that after a quarter of a century of wandering, the Elks
have come home, this time to their own home in every sense of the word.

The beautiful and imposing former J. Ed Reid home on Rock Hill”s shaded
East Main street has a new name now. It is the Rock Hill Elks” home. The
lodge acquired the $15,000 home and “moved in.”

A two story structure, the new Elks” home has 12 rooms. Opening from
either side of a wide first floor hall are lounge rooms. These connect
with a dining room, a kitchen, and a recreation room, and the secretary”s
office. Upstairs is a lodge room where meetings are held. There is also a
billiard room and two additional recreation rooms in this floor. The
upstairs hall opens to a large second story veranda.

In addition to these two floors there is a basement story. Here are
showers and locker rooms and space has been set aside in this story for a
gymnasium which is to be completed in the near future.

The official opening of the Elks” new home for inspection by the public
in the form of a reception was one of the highlights of Rock Hill”s
social season. Several hundred people attended the “open house” function.
R. P. Shultz, Exalted Ruler, and Mrs. Schultz with Secretary James E.
Parker, and Mrs. Parker headed the receiving line which included such
dignitaries in Elkdom as District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler Dr. W. G.
Sharpe of Greenville, S. C. who was the guest of honor. Other officers and
members of the local lodge were on hand in every room to receive the
guests and to show them about the spacious Elks” home.

The Elks long have played an important part in the life of Rock Hill
because fo their generosity in an ever increasing program of charity and
benevolences. With their new home, they have met another need in the
community by throwing the building open for use by women”s clubs and
organizations as a meeting place. Card tournaments and other functions are
held regularly in the club.

Coming on the heels of the opening of their new home was the Elks” 25
birthday party, a brilliant ladies” night dinner and dance affair with
John S. McClelland of Atlanta, prominently mentioned as a future grand
exalted ruler, as speaker, and with J. Clayton Burke, secretary of the
Atlanta club and former head of the Elks association in Georgia as special
guest along with officers and representatives from other lodges of the

Another community service, unique so far as this part of the country is
concerned, has been offered by the Rock Hill Elks through the
establishment of a potential blood bank. The almost 200 members have had
their blood typed and stand ready on a moment”s call to give blood
transfusions whenever needed. The list of potential blood donors has been
placed at the disposal of local physicians and hospitals.

Here are the present officers of the Elks lodge: R. P. Schultz, exalted
ruler; E. H. Carroll, esteemed leading knight; J. T. Neely, Jr., esteemed
loyal knight; E. R. Swaim, esteemed lecturing knight; James E. Parker,
Jr., secretary; Roger Brooks, treasurer; H. P. Garrison, tiler, and L. D.
Boyd, V. L. Rice, and John R. London, trustees.

The lodge was founded March 19, 1915, with Sidney J. Poag, now deceased,
as the first exalted ruler. Every past exalted ruler now living is a
regular member of the lodge, believed by members to be a record equaled by
by few, if any other lodges.

Evening Herald, Centennial Edition, May 3rd, 1952

“R. H. Elks Lodge Is Second Largest In S. C.; Started With 39 Members”

Thirty seven years ago when Rock Hill Lodge 1318 of the Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks was formed, its charter members had little idea
that today the lodge would be second largest in South Carolina with 852

The growth of the lodge has not been marked only by an increase in the
number of members. There has been a big increase in community service
until now the yearly contribution to charity amounts to more then $10,000,
and the Lodge is ever alert to an opportunity to serve the needs of the

Among projects now included in the program of the organization are: The
ownership of 72 wheelchairs which are available without charges to
residents of York, Lancaster or Chester Counties; The establishment of a
four-year college scholarship with $2,000 for a boy and the establishment
of a scholarship to Winthrop College for a girl; Assistance in a major way
for the Orthopedic School for crippled children which is located in Rock
Hill; Supplying school lunches for needy children; A Christmas program
which each year provides for the distributions of hundreds of dollars
worth of food, fuel, etc., to needy families; A program designed to
promote better citizenship among students of high school age. Prizes are
awarded to the best citizens and a large group from among the outstanding
students are guests of the lodge at a banquet; Providing for a group of
boys to be entertained for a week at the Police Worthy Boys Camp near Rock

The Rock Hill Elks Lodge No. 1318 was formed March 19,
1915, following the dissolution of the old Palmetto Club. The first
Exalted Ruler was the late S. J. Poag. The first meeting place was the
second floor of a building on East Main Street which also housed
Patterson’s 10 and 25 cents store. Others among the first officers to
serve the Lodge were: T. W. Huey – Leading Knight, B. W. Craig – Loyal
Knight, George Jenkins – Lecturing Knight, I. B. Cauthen – Secretary,
James P. Poag – Treasurer, F. E. Cross – Tiler, and J. L. Phillips, Julian
Johnson, and Harry Ruff as Trustees.

The Elks later moved to the third floor of the Rock
Hill Hardware Building, and then to the quarters over the old Periwinkle
Tea Room. At the time, there was a walkway over Elks avenue to the old
Masonic Hall and both halls were used. In 1924 a fire in the Masonic Hall
building caused the Elks to move into temporary quarters, but later they
returned to the old Masonic Hall building.

The next move was to the second floor of the building
which is now the offices of the Rock Hill Telephone Company on Elk Avenue.
In April 1938, the Lodge moved to a building known at the time as Little
Love Home on Caldwell Street. The building stood on the site that is now
occupied by the Huey Building which houses several stores. In January,
1940, the Elks, tired of moving and with membership booming, bought the J.
E. Reid Home on East Main Street. The mortgage on the property was burned
in 1943.

In 1947, the Elks undertook an extensive expansion and
remodeling program which cost $35,000. The new home had a dining room
capable of accommodating 75 persons, a well-equipped kitchen, a meeting
hall on the second floor, and a game room which occupied the basement
floor. There was also  a spacious parking lot adjoining
the Home for the convenience of the members and their guests.

Through the years of moving and climbing upwards, there
have been many loyal and active members who have worked especially hard to
see the Lodge move forward.

Handwritten Note – Lodge Photo Album (1966)

In June of 1961, The Lodge moved into its new building
on Main Street. The Reid Home was removed to make room for a parking lot.
Several homes in the rear were purchased and the ground converted to a
parking lot. This gave the Elks entrances on Black Street, Orange Street,
and Main Street.

With Membership booming to 2,100 during 1966, the need
for future expansion is already felt. The corner lot, occupied by
Stephenson Finance Company, at Orange Street and Main Street has been
purchased and will be used in future expansion.