Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

* [ FAQ is Under Construction – Being Edited –
Facts To Be Corrected] *

Q: What is the official name?
A: Oustomah Lodge IOOF #16.

Q: What does “Oustomah an “IOOF” in the lodge name mean?
A: The local Maidu natives named the area ‘Oustomah’ meaning ‘Near the Settlement’. ”
“IOOF” means the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Q: What does the number #16 Mean?
A: This one is the 16th lodge founded in California, some went out of existence with the end of the Gold era, others more recently.
Many like ours are now experiencing a revitalized resurgence

Q: When was it built?
A: The front brick & iron half on Broad Street, 1865, the back timber and steel half in 1916

Q: Who can join?
A: Anyone in good standing in the community who has attended at least three informal meetings and has formally applied and been accepted, and on paying of dues.
Odd Fellows are complaint with current laws about non-discrimination and disability, stemming from traditions that preceded any such legal requirements.

Q: What goes on there?
A: The 2nd floor Rear Hall is a venue for music, dance and film festivals and performances, and can be hired for weddings, conferences and the like. Member socials & potlucks are also held here.
The actual ‘Lodge’ or formal second floor towards the  front is  for members only and their proceedings.
Front rooms at the second and third story that look onto Broad Street may be open to the public at times, exhibiting features of the Odd Fellow’s long history.
Street level on Broad Street is leased as an art gallery,
Street level behind on Spring Street houses  a framing shop.

Q: Regalia?
A: The Odd Fellows has a long tradition of interesting old costumes and regalia: Capes, gowns and headgear.
Swords, medallions and banners.  Many are over a hundred years old (one of our members figured this out from the labels as the company that made them went out of business over 100 years before)
A Middle-Eastern theme seems to pervade the original ceremonies, many of which were only open to members of a certain ‘degree’ (level).

Q: Traditions
A strongly Judeo-Christian set of traditions pervaded the original organization, which was not in fact even as all-inclusive as that suggests in that Catholics were not at one time necessarily welcomed or invited for all sorts of historical reason-
This is no longer an issue, as the rules and traditions are being willingly adapted to the unmistakable presence of the 21st century.

Q: History
A: a whole section of this site is upcoming as we uncover more & more details.
At one time up to a third of the population of Nevada City belonged to this lodge, before Social Security took over many of the welfare functions of these many lodges & orgasnizations
Old photos of parades in our area showed prominent presence by the various lodges, Not jsut Odd Fellows, finely costumed and with great pomp & circumstance.

— More To Follow —


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