Elks Lodge
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The Elks Lodge
Picture by Julia Vann

The Ouray Elks Lodge is important because they raise money for our community. Elks believe in charity, justice, fidelity, and brotherly love. The Lodge began in 1898, even though they didn’t have a building of their own. The Ouray Elks Lodge helped to start all the other lodges in our area. In 1902, they stated raising money for a building of their own. They began to build the lodge in 1904. It took 11 months to build. They laid the cornerstone and placed a flag, precious coins, and newspapers inside. They celebrated their grand opening in 1905. They decorated with purple and white. The elk heads in the lodge room had purple and white lights decorating the antlers. These light bulbs are still here today. The Elks colors, purple & white, mean favor of the people. They brought an old wooden bar back from Ironton. It sits behind the bar in the lodge today.

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Drawing of the Elks Lodge
Picture by Kaisa Simon
In 1911, they bought the land next door & made it a park. Before this, the Delmonico Hotel was there, but it burned down. By the time of 1928, the Santa Claus tradition started. If families leave their porch light on at Christmas Eve, a Santa from the Elks will leave Christmas treats. This tradition is still making children happy today. Today the Elks provide scholarships for students. They have an Easter egg hunt and a Halloween haunted house. The Elks lodge is very charitable.

by Kaisa Simon and Orlando Rascon-Yescas

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