Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

New Clubhouse for the Iroquois Tribe No. 476 of the Improved Order of Redmen in North Peham in 1929

On Thursday, November 4, 1909, three hundred members of the various Lodges of the Improved Order of Red Men from Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Port Chester, and Mamaroneck gathered in Firemen's Hall in the local firehouse on Fifth Avenue in the Village of North Pelham for a solemn, yet grand occasion.   That evening, the Lodge from Port Chester formally installed a new Lodge in the Village of North Pelham:  Iroquois Tribe No. 476 Improved Order of Red Men.  

The Improved Order of Red Men is a fraternal and charitable organization established in 1834.   Its rituals and regalia reportedly are "modeled after those assumed to be used by Native Americans."   Although membership in the organization reached a high of about half a million in 1935, its membership today reportedly has declined to "a little more than 15,000."

I have written before about the early history of this fraternal and charitable organization established in the Village of North Pelham.  See Fri., Oct. 21, 2016:  Iroquois Tribe No. 476 of the Improved Order of Redmen in the Village of North Pelham

By the end of the Roaring Twenties, in 1929, the ranks of the Iroquois Tribe No. 476 Improved Order of Red Men had swelled to 90 members.  Additionally, the group began a membership drive to expand its membership to 150 members.  It was time for the group to acquire a clubhouse.

Only a week or two before the Great Stock Market Crash of 1929 that began on October 24, 1929, the group formed a corporation named the Iroda Building Corporation, obtained a certificate of incorporation from the New York Secretary of State, and purchased a residential property located at 20 Third Avenue for renovation to create a new clubhouse.  (The home that stands at that location today is not the same structure, having been built in 1945.) 

The Iroda Building Corporation had a capitalization of $20,000 in $10 shares.  Its directors were North Pelham residents Louis Kurtze, Irving J. Wallach, and George Lambert.  

In early December, the organization announced that it expected to have its new clubhouse ready for occupancy "in about a month."  The building committee planning the work was led by Irving J. Wallach of North Pelham.  Renovation work was scheduled to begin in mid-December to turn the second floor of the structure into a meeting hall.  Plans for the first floor included rest rooms, a parlor and a reading room.  A "modern kitchen" was planned for the basement. 

The clubhouse was completed as planned.  Meetings, dinners and events were held there throughout the 1930s.  By at least 1941, however, the Red Men were holding their meetings in the local Masonic Temple and, by 1945, another residence was built on the site of the structure that once had served as their clubhouse.

Once again, the face of Pelham was changing.

 Example of 1889 Membership Certificate of the Improved Order
of Red Men. NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

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Certificate of incorporation was issued this week by the Secretary of State for the Iroda Building Corporation of North Pelham.  This organization recently purchased a dwelling house at No. 20 Third avenue, which will be used as a clubhouse for Iroquois Tribe, Order of Redmen and Degree, of Pocahontas.

Capitalization is $20,000, in $10 shares.  Directors are:  Louis Kurtze, No. 518 Fifth avenue; I. J. Wallach, No. 212 Fifth avenue; and George Lambert, No. 52 Sixth street."

Source:   CORPORATION WILL OWN REDMEN'S CLUBHOUSE, The Pelham Sun, Oct. 18, 1929, p. 5, col. 3.

Purchase Jackson Residence for Pelham Quarters

The Iroquois tribe of Red Men of Pelham will have its new home ready for occupancy in about a month.  The building purchased by the Pelham Red Men recently, was formerly the Jackson residence at 20 Third avenue.  Work will be started next week on the alterations and additions necessary to convert it into a modern club house. 

The second floor will be turned into a meeting hall.  On the first floor will be rest rooms, a parlor and a reading room.  A modern kitchen will be fitted up in the basement.  Irving J. Wallach is chairman of the building committee.

A membership drive has been launched by the Pelham tribe under the direction of membership chairman, Louis Kurtz.  The present membership of 90 will be swelled to 150 if the plans of the tribe are realized.  The Pelham Red Men will hold their next meeting on Thursday night when reports will be heard on membership and on the progress of the building committee."

Source:   RED MEN WILL HAVE NEW HOME -- Purchase Jackson Residence for Pelham Quarters, The Daily Argus [Mount Vernon, NY], Dec. 3, 1929, p. 12, col. 3.

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