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Cartwright, Carol Lohry; Shaffer, Scott; Waller, Randal / City on the Rock River : chapters in Janesville's history
(1998)

11. Social and political organizations,   pp. 189-207


Page 194

new facility at 2100 N. Washington St. (Musical Memories, RCHS files; "Elks Plan New
Clubhouse" RCHS files)
None of the historic locations for the Elks Club is extant. Their modem location at 2100 N.
Washington St. is not potentially individually eligible for the National Register of Historic
Places.
Other Fraternal Groups
Two other currently active fraternal groups in Janesville were founded in the early twentieth
century. The Janesville Eagles Club, founded just after the turn of the twentieth century,
originally met at 101 E. Milwaukee St. (not extant), then at 22 S. River St. (West Milwaukee
Street Historic District). Their current home is 414 W. Milwaukee St. (West Milwaukee Street
Historic District). The Janesville Moose Lodge was founded in the 1910s and met at various
locations in the downtown commercial district, including 14 N. Main St. (North Milwaukee
Street Historic district). Between the 1920s and 1950s, the Moose Lodge was located in three
different downtown buildings. Currently, the group has a clubhouse at 2701 Rockport Rd. (City
Directories)
Because the Eagles Club and Moose Lodges did not build their own buildings and were not
associated with historic buildings for any length of time, the locations of these lodges are not
individually historically significant and are not potentially individually eligible for the
National Register of Historic Places.
The Knights of Pythias, an important historic fraternal group in Janesville, is no longer in
operation. Some of the most prominent men in Janesville organized the Oriental Lodge No. 22 of
the Knights of Pythias in March 1878. The group had an opulent meeting place known as Castle
Hall (not extant) in downtown Janesville. Although popular in the nineteenth century, the
group did not survive in the city beyond the 1920s. (Butterfield 1897:582; City Directories)
There were a number of temperance fraternal groups active in nineteenth-century Janesville, but
few lasted long into the twentieth century. There were also many benevolent groups that
flourished in the city, providing insurance and social services to their members. These
benevolent lodges are not historically significant, but they are of historical interest. They
include St. George's Benevolent Society, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, Memorial
Lodge No. 318 Knights of Honor, and Badger Council No. 223 of Royal Arcanum. (Butterfield
1879:579-582)
Myers Opera House, once the home of masonic organizations. Razed.
Social and Political Organizations
194


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