Last fall, The McConnell Foundation finalized the purchase of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) Hall from Redding Lodge No. 271 on Nov. 15. The Italianate building, built in 1888, is the oldest remaining brick building in downtown Redding. Today the bricks are covered by stucco.
The McConnell Foundation intends to keep the building, and plans to take care in determining the proper use for the space. “The building is beautiful and it has cultural and historical value,” said John Mancasola, president & CEO of the Foundation.
The first step in this process is to learn more about the history of the place. To that end, The McConnell Foundation asked Laura Christman to spend a few hours exploring the Shasta Historical Society archives, archival newspaper coverage and more to brief us on the building. Here is what she found.
Enjoy these historic photos of the building over time:
The Redding Odd Fellows Hall is one of several buildings highlighted on a map from the late 1880s titled, “Birds Eye View Redding.” Map displayed in the upstairs of the Odd Fellows Hall and also at Shasta Historical Society. Date of map is likely 1889.
The two-story Odd Fellows building was designed with the lodge meeting room and offices for the fraternal organization on the upper floor. Retail space was on the ground level. Image from Shasta Historical Society’s collection.
Men in suits parade by the Odd Fellows Hall in 1903 photo. Image from Shasta Historical Society’s collection.
The Redding IOOF Lodge hosted the Grand Encampment of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of California in October 1900. The event drew an estimated 500 people to Redding. Image from Shasta Historical Society’s collection.
Mark Firth was proprietor of a long-running general merchandise store on the ground floor of the Odd Fellows Hall. Image from Shasta Historical Society’s collection.
Firth Brothers dry-goods store had a reputation for being packed with an eclectic mix of merchandise. The store served Redding customers from the early 1890s until June 1944. Image from Shasta Historical Society’s collection.
Harry Thompson, Russell Thompson and Gus Gronwoldt are pictured in this photo, circa 1926-30, of Thompsons’ Clothing Store. Image from Shasta Historical Society’s collection.
Thompsons’ Clothing Store started in 1926 in the Odd Fellows building. The store had display cases, boxes and bins filled with menswear merchandise. Image from Shasta Historical Society’s collection.
Employees of Thompsons’ Clothing Store are shown in this 1969 photo. Image courtesy of Jay Thompson, library and store manager for Shasta Historical Society
This photo shows the current look of the Odd Fellows building. Photo was taken June 2018 by Jeremy M. Tuggle of the Shasta Historical Society.
This week, members of The McConnell Foundation staff and board had the opportunity to tour the IOOF Hall with Janice Cunningham of Cox Real Estate Consultants. Here is the group in the basement of the property:
Photo credit: Shannon Phillips
For more, check out this previous post: