THE FIRST FIFTY YEARS OF LODGE #1492
On June 21, 1924, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks instituted Lodge #1492 in the City of Inglewood, California, with a total enrollment of 78 members. Of this number, 24 were demits from other lodges and 54 were initiated that night. While it is doubtful that the lodge number of 1492 was given much thought at that time, this historic number was destined to have considerable influence in the future of the lodge.
The new lodge was sponsored and instituted by Redondo Beach Lodge #1378. Ceremonies were held in a large tent, rented for that purpose, as there was no facility in town large enough to accommodate the crowd of dignitaries and visiting members who were in attendance.
Efforts had been made a couple of years previously, to organize a lodge by a group of 24 interested Elks but their application was rejected by Grand Lodge as the population was below the required minimum. When the charter was finally granted, the lodge was given jurisdiction over practically all of the territory south of Slauson Avenue and west of Main Street.
From 1924 to the fiftieth anniversary of the Lodge, six other lodges were instituted. The formation of these lodges had a direct influence upon the size of territory under Lodge #1492 jurisdiction and our membership roll.
For most of the first ten years of its existence, the Original Lodge and Club Quarters were the rooms upstairs above the Spaulding and Malloy Drugstore at Market and Queen Streets.
The lodge grew and prospered accumulating a sizable building fund. With the aid of a loan by one of the members, Barney Delmar, it was able to acquire the property and build a home at 317 South La Brea Avenue, which was dedicated and the New Lodge was occupied in 1938. All indebtedness was paid off and the mortgage burned in 1943.
The Officers of 1939-1940 won the National Ritual Contest at Grand Lodge in Houston, Texas. The first California Lodge to do so.
The building was later enlarged and improved in many ways. The upstairs ballroom and the basement clubroom were added doubling the floor space. Much remodeling was performed on the inside.
In keeping with the lodge number 1492, the lodge authorized the Former clubrooms on the main floor to be designed to resemble the inside of' a ship. The results of this remodeling was designated the Columbus Room. The unique feature of this room is the painting on the west wall, depicting two of the ships of Columbus' little fleet, the Santa Maria, the Niña and the Pinta (One has to imagine being below decks of the third ship and looking out from the stern.). An automatic control of lighting behind and in front of the painting changed the scene every few minutes from night to day.
Following along with the Columbus motif, the dining room was redesigned and decorated to resemble the inside of a sailing vessel and it could be divided into two rooms named the Santa Maria and the Pinta Rooms. Later the lobby was remodeled to bring it more into the same theme.
The lodge room had some outstanding features, also. A bank of light switches made it possible to turn on the clock chimes automatically, turn a spotlight on each officer's station individually, raise and dim the house lights, and so forth. The lobby contained two unusual features, the Memorial Niche where the name of each departed brother was inscribed on a metal plate and the Archive which was built in honor of our member, Brother R. Leonard Bush, who served the Order as Grand Exalted Ruler in 1965-66. It contained a picture done in oil and a display of memorabilia most of it acquired during his term as Grand Exalted Ruler.
Through the years, the lodge acquired other property. The lot across the street on Kelso was purchased and converted into a parking area and a storage room. The property next door on La Brea was purchased and has since been sold. Also, a lot on Aerick Street was acquired, mostly by donation. A small home was built which was occupied by one of our disabled members during the last years of his life. It was sold after his death.
From the very beginning, Inglewood Lodge made its presence felt in the community, by its participation in civic programs and projects and for charitable and benevolent activities. The list is far too long to mention in detail, but there are few facets of community life that have not been aided in some way by Inglewood Lodge of Elks #1492.
Each of the 50 administrations that went through the chairs had a part in the many, many programs and activities that made it successful. In addition to the staggering number of hours that went into this work, nearly $1,000,000 was spent for charity, aid to handicapped children, scholarships, youth activities, sponsorships of community activities, veterans rehabilitations, et cetera.
All of the Exalted Rulers, their corps of officers, their committees and the so-called side line members contributed and here, again, it is impossible to give each one the credit that is due them, for the enviable record compiled during The First 50 Years Of Lodge #1492.