What is an Odd Fellow?

heart in handThe Independent Order of Odd Fellows is a Fraternal organization whose mission is:

  • To improve and elevate the character of mankind by promoting the principles of friendship, love, truth, faith, hope, charity and universal justice.
  • To help make the world a better place to live by aiding each other in times of need, and by organizing charitable projects and activities that benefit the less fortunate, the youth, the elderly, the environment and the community in every way possible.
  • To promote good will and harmony amongst peoples and nations through the principle of universal fraternity, holding the belief that all men and women regardless of race, nationality, religion,

Our roots are said to date back to the trade guilds of the Middle Ages. While most guilds were composed of persons belonging to a single trade, i.e. masons, in some cases, people from an odd assortment of trades banded together and became known as “Odd Fellows”.
Odd Fellows and other fraternal orders performed an important role in the lives of their members through the 19th and early 20th centuries, providing a social safety net and support for those in sickness or distress. The need for these benefits declined after *Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, and membership gradually dwindled.
We are now seeing an increase in Odd Fellow membership in California, as our efforts to update our activities to be relevant in modern society are beginning to bear fruit.
San Pablo Lodge #43
Our lodge was founded in Vallejo, CA on August 18, 1855. It is named after the adjacent San Pablo Bay. We built San Pablo Hall at 342 Georgia Street in 1872. The Lodge’s fortunes have always been closely intertwined with those of our home town. The Mare Island Naval Shipyard closure and subsequent Great Recession and Vallejo Bankruptcy hit the lodge hard, and maintenance of our historic building lapsed during those years.
Much of the lodge’s current energy is focused on fundraising to address the deferred building maintenance of prior hard times. Once our building is restored, its ample ballroom, meeting rooms, game room, dining hall and kitchen facilities will better support both the lodge and the community.
We fulfill our mission to aid the community as much as possible by donating space to community and educational groups such as Poetry by the Bay and On The Fringe Children’s Theater.
Lodge Membership
We happily accept applications for membership from persons over 18 years of age of any race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. We seek people of good character and integrity who share our values to make the world a better place, and who accept all others as equals regardless of their social station in life.
Members may be as active in the Lodge as they wish; by taking on the duties of officers and running the lodge; by joining or forming committees to work on projects that benefit the lodge or community; or by simply maintaining an annual membership as a gesture of support. All levels of engagement are welcome.
Applications may be picked up at the lodge or downloaded from our web site. An application fee of $50 and a first year dues payment of $65 should accompany the application.
Public Activities
The Lodge schedule and activities have been impacted by the “pandemic years”, and we are now rebuilding our activities as things open back up. Events will be posted on our calendar, Facebook, and here as they develop.

  • Open Lodge Wednesday evenings: Members and Guests gather to shoot some pool or just hang out at the Lodge, or gather for group activities elsewhere.
  • Occasional Social Activities: Game nights, film nights, and other social gatherings.
  • Occasional Volunteer Activities & Events: we annually participate in the Mad Hatter’s Parade, and help with other activities.

*FDR was an Odd Fellow.

IOOF Membership Application