The Junior Herd

The Junior Herd of the Conestoga Elks Lodge poses for the camera in front of their lodge at 452 South Duke Street in Lancaster Fraternal organizations have formed for various reasons over the years – from doing charity work to sports and recreation to military service to just getting together with your friends and neighbors for a cold beverage and a good time. In some cases, all of the above. The Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World was established in Cincinnati in 1897 as an African-American fraternal order modeled after the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. The IBPOEW, as they’re known, was more than just a social club for the local African-American community. In 1926, the national organization established a civil liberties department that advocated for the desegregation of schools and equality in the workplace. Today, the IBPOEW has nearly 500,000 members and 1,500 lodges making the largest African-American fraternal organization in the world.

Lancaster’s Conestoga Lodge No. 140 opened its doors at 319 South Duke Street in 1915. They later moved a few blocks down to the lodge’s current home, 452 South Duke Street. For the teenagers of Conestoga Lodge No. 140, there was the Junior Herd. The well known marching band, seen above in uniform in front of the South Duke Street lodge in the 1950s, had serious parade skills and participated in many local and national events. From socializing to solidarity, the IBPOEW provided it all. An evening at the Elks Lodge, circa 1950s

From PhotoBlog