The Fort Howard Community Association most sincerely appreciates The Independent Order of Odd Fellows’ donation of the use of their Lodge hall for community meetings. It is Lodge #4 located at 9401 North Point Road, Fort Howard Md 21052.
The Order was founded by Thomas Wildey (1782-1861), who in 1817 sailed with his wife settling in Baltimore. Securing a Charter from the Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows in England, Washington Lodge #1 was assembled and is recognized as the first chartered Odd Fellows Lodge in America and is still in existence.
Lodge #4 is a legacy over 100 odd years old bound to the original officers of the Lodge #4 who were the soldier’s manning the gun batteries protecting the Baltimore, Harbor at the original “Fort Howard.”
Like the Order being one of the oldest fraternal organizations in the United States, Lodge #4 is the oldest organization in Fort Howard.
Lodge #4 Odd Fellows lead the Memorial Day Ceremony at the Fort Howard Veterans Park whose name is in memorial of the servicemen and women of the Community of Fort Howard.
Within the war memorial Park stands a war memorial monument immortalizing in granite the names of those men and women that served in World War II from the community of Fort Howard.
That ground was first hallowed by that granite monument in 1946 and was solely paid from the pockets of the then residents of the community of Fort Howard and is still maintained by the Lodge #4.
After the Memorial Day Ceremony Lodge #4 celebrates with refreshments to all attendees, members and non-members of the Order.
On the first Sunday in May every year Odd Fellows from North American jurisdictions and from all over the world travel to Arlington Cemetery placing wreaths on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Much like the mission of the Veterans Administration to fulfill President Lincoln’s promise “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s Veterans, the call of their (Odd Fellows) order is to “Visit the Sick, Relieve the Distressed, Bury the Dead and Educate the Orphan”.
Their three link logo stands for, “Friendship, Love and Truth”.
Lodge #4 secured non- perishable food and items needed by a soldier, and with the help of local Cubs, Webelos, and Boy Scouts to name a few, packaged and shipped over 4,000 “Marine Mail,” (named after a member serving in Iraq) packages to our best and bravest in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lodge #4 received countless letters of thanks.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows is the largest non-corporate contributor to the Arthritis Foundation, fund a research chair at the Wilmer Eye Clinic at Johns Hopkins, sponsors UN Pilgrimage for Youth annually bringing students from all over the world to Philadelphia where they come through Baltimore, visit Fort McHenry, travel down the Star Spangled Banner Trail and are given a talk on the Battle of North Point buy the guides provided by the Grand Lodge of Maryland. Dine at Lodge #4 then tour Washington D.C. before returning home.
Locally, the Order donates to needy scholars of Sparrows Point High School and assists the physically needy.
This is a prestigious Organization that does a lot of good in our Community, we are very proud of them and being associated with them.
As sponsor of the Fort Howard Community Association members and as sponsor of good works we most sincerely give thanks for the generosity of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Living in Fort Howard is living daily in American history from Captain John Smith’s sail up the Chesapeake Bay, to the British Landing in 1814 in the Battle of Baltimore, to the Fort Howard Batteries of the Spanish American War, to Fort Howard VA Hospital with General MacArthur’s presence, to the World War II memorial park of Fort Howard Veterans Park.
Thank you again Odd Fellows Lodge #4!
Kathleen M. Labuda
Fort Howard Community Association, Inc.