West Shore, PA 2257

West Shore, PA Lodge News

West Shore and Harrisburg Lodges Dedicate Detweiler Memorial Statue

On an idealistic autumn morning, members of Harrisburg Lodge #12 and West Shore Lodge #2257, along with supporters, gathered to officially dedicate the Mead D. Detweiler Memorial Statue.

This majestic, life size bronze elk is on loan to the WSE from the Harrisburg lodge and welcomes all those as they enter the WSE grounds

“Good morning Elk brothers and sisters and guests. What a great day to gather as an Elks family and to dedicate this beautiful statue,” said David D. Maceiko, exalter ruler of West Shore Lodge. “Today we gather for a few moments to honor this statue from our Elk family from Harrisburg Lodge #12. They have entrusted us to care for this and it is right and fitting that we acknowledge the kindness expressed to us from our fellow elks.”

The statue has been around since 1906, originally standing in Reservoir Park in Harrisburg. In the 1960s, it was moved to the Harrisburg Lodge’s building and then, when that building was sold, was moved into storage. Now, it stands again, majestic, to welcome all Elks.

“It’s looking at every Lodge member that comes up through there (the driveway). Be proud that when you come up through, you can give it a smile because he’s smiling back. I’m very proud that this came to fruition. It’s something to see. It’s a beautiful monument,” said Robert “Bullit” Martindill, exalted ruler of Harrisburg Lodge #12.

Moving the more than 100 year old statue was no small task, as Jim Catlin explained to those gathered for the dedication. It all started when Catlin approached the Harrisburg Lodge to ask if West Shore could store the statue for them, ensure it would remain safe. The conversation then turned to displaying the Elk. However, the statue still had to be moved to the WSE, a trip of nearly 6 miles.     

“We had no money, so I figured I would just nickel and dime my way through it,” said Catlin.

Great neighbors and supporters stepped up to the plate, including Inch Company, who provided an untold amount of labor and materials to build the pedestal for the statue, and the Cumberland/Perry Vocational Technical School, who’s students assisted with the brick work.

“It all started by asking if they (Inch Co.) could dig us a hole. Then I asked if they would be getting in any stone. I told them what we were doing and then next thing I know, we have stone. Then I asked it they would be getting any cement. I showed them what we were doing and they said, ‘We’ll take care of it,’” said Catlin.

Also attending the dedication was Crystal Skotedis, who embarked on a journey to find this statue after discovering a photo of her great-grandmother sitting on it.

“I’m so excited to be here and to see all of you so interested in this elk. I think it’s a great tribute to Mead Detweiler and what he meant to the Elks,” said Skotedis. She explained that when visiting family in North Carolina last summer, she was looking through old photo albums.

“I found a photo of my great grandmother sitting on top of this elk,” said Skotedis. After doing some research and driving to Reservoir Park, and then to the former location of Harrisburg Lodge #12, Skotedis took a side road back to the park and there it was.

“I just knew that was it,” said Skotedis. The statue has a long history in the Harrisburg area. In 1906, it was installed in Reservoir Park as a memorial to Meade D. Detweiler. A Harrisburg attorney, Detweiler served as the Grand Exalted Ruler of the Elks for two terms, which was unheard of. After the disbanding of the first Harrisburg lodge, Detweiler recruited officers for the new lodge and fought for a low number. In June of 1904, just when national officers were arriving to Harrisburg to celebrate the new Elks Lodge #12, Detweiler passed away around age 38. The elk stood in Reservoir Park until 1966 when it was moved, eventually ending up in the storage yard, where it was found by Skotedis last year. Now, thanks to so many, this Elk has risen again.

 “As we drive up that small hill after a long day, you will now be greeted by the emblem of our order, as this elk stands as a welcoming beacon to all who come and know that they are welcomed here at 2257,” said Maceiko