District No. 1120

Serving Elkdom since 1956

September 1956
The Elks Lodge No. 2011 signed a rental lease for $150 per month on the property at 347½ 3rd Avenue, Chula Vista. The bill for San Diego Gas & Electric for one month in 1956 was $13.84. When we moved in November of 1966 we were paying $275 per month on the property.

We started having steak fries with a charcoal grill in the kitchen. We did not have an exhaust fan so we put a fan in front of the window to get rid of the smoke. After the neighbors called the fire department Brother [and Bartender] Claude Nadeau came up with the idea to hang ½ metal barrels over each side of the fire escape and we cooked on those for a year before an exhaust fan was put in the kitchen.

In August 1959, Speedy Nutz, as Antlers President, recommended we purchase The Sweetwater Valley Sandpit on Sweetwater Road near the old Bonita Golf Course. The actual purchase was completed in December of 1960 at the cost of $37,000 and included about 8 acres of land and 6 acres of pond.

Helen Nelson cooked the first Luau Dinner. She planned for about 100 people and 200 arrived. The Grocery Store Brigade went into action and the whole 200 had a good meal at the cost of $1.00 per person. Francis Santel was in charge of the program. Our helper that night was Fire Chief George Lee and his wife Mildred who washed and dried all the dishes in a two-compartment sink. After 1960 James Mike Michael became the unofficial Lead Chef of 2011 for many years.

In April 1965, the state had indicated that our land on Sweetwater Road was going to be needed for a future freeway right of way. PER Dale Nelson was chairman of the negotiating team. They wanted to wait to purchase it but after being informed we were going forward with building permits and building a Lodge they decided to purchase it then for $76,188 and we still owed $16,000 on it.

In August 1965, after several months of intensive search of National City, Chula Vista and county sites the land procurement committee made up of PER Dale Nelson, chairman; PER John Tracey, Harold Fay of County Planning, Ken Lee of Chula Vista City Planning, Harold Foster of National City Engineer and Lowell Milligain, Trustee and Architect. The recommendation was made that we purchase 9.39 acres on Telegraph Road at a cost of $37,500 from the mayor of National City Kyle Morgan and his wife.

The land consisted mostly of one huge drainage area that ran from Naples Street to Telegraph Canyon Road with hills occupying the rest of it. The real estate agent handling the sale, the wife of an Elk, thought we were crazy. The membership voted to purchase it and after grading we had about 4 acres of flat land ready to build on with no drainage problem for $50,000 total cost.

The actual building was started and completed during the term of ER E. G. Guy Rowell. The architect was Earl Biggins of National City, who became a member after the building was done and the builder was Robert Weeks of La Mesa.

The building committee was PER Dale Nelson, Harold Fay, Lowell Milligian, Robert De Lude and Wally Von Gotlberg. Dale was named chairman of the committee after the previous chairman decided after one meeting to go with his wife on a tramp steamer around the world. The committee needed to go outside the membership to borrow $75,000 to complete the project without creating a cash flow problem for the Lodge. That mortgage was paid off during the term of ER Harvey Tedder in 1969, just three years after we moved to the property. The membership applied every drop of paint inside and out and laid 73,000 square feet of 12 inch tiles throughout the whole building. The grounds committee under the direction of chairman Bud McAuley planted all of the trees and bushes on the hillsides.

In 1967, a storeroom was added on the southwest corner of the building.

Storerooms were added on the southeast corner of the building. This work was contracted to Fred Cuen.

During the term of ER Jim Fergus the Lodge room ceiling was lowered and a new lighting system was installed. Brother Jim was the guiding force in getting the city to dedicate our drive as Elks Lane and give us our unique address.

The land for the park was purchased in two parcels of 1¼ and 2½ acres for a total of $26,500. Trustee Mel Morell was the trustee who brought it before the board.

Nationally the Elks National Foundation, providing educational help across the country, is our principal project. In 1978-1979 we were 2nd in the nation in per capita contributions.

A park committee was formed with Brother Salvadore Baldino as chairman and Eddie Capitumini as his assistant. They got all the Italians and the wanna be Italians to start by laying out a bocce ball court, shuffleboard and horseshoe courts. Bob Phelps and Frank Pantol were the perennial horseshoe champs. Eventually it evolved to include a playground, parking lot, barbeques, bar, restrooms and seating for about 200 people with much of it covered.

In 1993, the new dining room was added, along with other rooms and facilities. This brought the building to over 10,000 square feet for about $330,000. Building Chairman Dale Nelson acknowledged and thanked member Clay Gingrich for his time and expertise spent in seeing that the construction of this addition was properly done and conformed to all codes.

A Chula Vista landmark was created in 2003 when Ron Reid and Roger Hawker spent the summer assembling an American Flag made of washed crushed stone at the bottom of Elks Lane. The project was aimed at honoring veterans as well as beautifying the neighborhood. City, State and National Representatives were present at a formal dedication ceremony.

2005 ~ A unique project was undertaken by the Lodge in response to a request from the Chula Vista Fire Department for fire hazard abatement on the steep slopes of the property. Natural thinning by 225 goats offered the fire protection desired to help secure life and property while minimizing the effect on a healthy environment and ecology. This was a pilot project for the area and required extensive environmental and legal review before the City of Chula Vista granted permission to proceed. The goat project was covered by both the newspaper and television media.

As of the 2005-2006 Lodge year we can account for $2,218,275.00 in cash donations. Our Major Project for California/Hawaii is the Purple Piggy Bank Program, to which we are a consistent major contributor.

2006 ~ Chula Vista Lodge #2011 celebrates 50 years in Elkdom. At a celebration held over two days, many members and friends join in the festivities, including our first Exalted Ruler Frank Humphrey.

2008 ~ Chula Vista Officers win the South Coast District Ritual Contest held in Oceanside, CA.

2010 ~ Cyndi Price is elected by membership and makes history as the first female Exalted Ruler for Chula Vista.

Chula Vista Officers win the South Coast District Ritual Contest held in Oceanside, CA. They go on the compete in the CHEA Ritual Contest held in San Diego, CA and finish third in the Grillo Division. Esteemed Lecturing Knight Ashley Munoz and Candidate Faith Ugricich take All State honors at the competition.

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