Instituted on Nov. 28, 1846, The Independent Order of Odd Fellows had two lodges in Salem.
Essex Lodge was the first group of Odd Fellows in Salem, founded in 1826. That group originally met in Lynde Hall.
The later group, Fraternity Lodge (No. 118) grew to more than 1,000 members and in 1882, built the Kinsman Building next to City Hall.
These lodges performed charitable and community services for the sick, orphaned and unfortunate. They started a relief fund to help the residents injured or burned out after Salem's Great Fire of 1914.
In recent years, the lodge has handed our scholarships to high school students, supported the Challenger Little League for handicapped children, and helped with the renovation of Pioneer Village.
"Odd Fellows celebrate 150 years of service" Salem Evening News, Nov. 1, 1996, p. C3