Thank you for coming this afternoon. Explore the lives of little-known changemakers who left their mark on the country, The popularity of these secret clubs peaked in the 18th and 19th centuries. [6] While Jackson Street was always the heart of Seattles jazz scene, the nightlight extended to semi-legal roadhouses (freestanding nightclubs located on the outskirts of town) where alcohol and jazz flowed freely. Search, watch, and cook every single Tasty recipe and video ever - all in one place! Times have been hard in recent years for the Black Elks. Initially, should a member die, all brothers of the order contributed a dollar to a members family. After the organization denied membership to Nazis, notably military leader Hermann Goering, Hitler dissolved it, but the order reemerged after World War II, and an American chapter was founded in the late 1960s. Nationally, the Elks raised $343 million in charitable gifts in 2015, and while each lodge pays dues on the national level, most funds remain local. In early jazz styles, all band members played together around one simple melody and jazz bands usually consisted of four to ten members, called combos. The Depression era saw early jazz styles evolve into a more complex swing style, where particular parts of the band traded off playing melodies one after the other, in a call-and-response pattern. Skip to content Call Us: (206) 784-0827 6411 Seaview Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 Brooks was impressed by the stream of successful African-American professionals the lodge brought in for chats, and membership was robust through the early 2000s. This may seem strange, but it is a fact. Today, Nestor, 65, serves as the Esteemed Loyal Knight, a sort of vice president to the clubs Grand Exalted Ruler. I dont want to sit in a rocking chair. Moreover, because public opinion generally sided with the clubs owner and patrons, raids created sympathy and sometimes additional patronage for Jackson Street night clubs. A Rainier Avenue butcher shop offers an eye into Columbia City's roots. At the time, secret societies were banned from Ireland as they were said to have acted in antagonism to the Land League, an Irish political organization, according to Irelands official records on statistics of eviction and crime. We hold major institutions accountable and expose wrongdoing. Although when compared to more prominent jazz cities like Chicago, New York, or New Orleans, Seattles scene was small, it had its own special character. [13] This allowed Black migrants, Asian and Filipino immigrants, and whites to interact with relatively few conflicts. Its a fun place, and a light place, but I wouldnt take it lightly. A member discovered her, but, instead of kicking her out, brought her to the bar. Matt Lutton / Boreal Collective for BuzzFeed News, Steve Larson/The Denver Post via Getty Images, Library of Congress; courtesy Ballard Elks, the only real place for black folks to go. Its stated purpose is "that the welfare and happiness of its members be promoted and enhanced, that nobleness of soul and goodness of heart be cultivated, that the principles of charity, justice, brotherly & sisterly love, and fidelity be inculcated, that its members and their families be assisted and protected, and that the spirit of patriotism is enlivened and exalted.". One proposal involves replacing the waterscape dinosaur sculptures and all with a meadow of native plants. Living or dead, an Elk is never forgotten, never forsaken. . Both organizations are now open to all races, but they continue to operate as separate entities, with little cross-pollination. Oscar Holden plays at the Black Elks Club, and he is kind to Henry and Keiko when he finds them in the read analysis of Oscar Holden. "All of a sudden, I decided to become a member," he says. With this in mind, Smith opened the Ubangi club sometime after 1935 and according to Paul de Barros, it was one of the Jackson Street districts most successful and glamorous black-owned nightclubs.[28] The Ubangi had exquisite African themed dcor, complete with potted palms, and it boasted two large stages, one on each of its floors. Theres Green Lake to the north and the polluted Duwamish River meandering south, and in between all that water, there are neighborhoods: the radical and queer of Capitol Hill, the chichi of Queen Anne and Magnolia, the hippies of Fremont, the pan-Asian enclave of the International District, the aspirational squares of Wallingford and Green Lake, the young families of West Seattle, the historic African-American community of the Central District, and the sleepy, Scandinavian-infused world of Ballard. 1416 seen adjacent to the Rainier Beach Light Rail Station at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Way South and South Henderson Street in Seattle's Rainier Beach neighborhood, Feb. 23, 2019. On November 17, 1898, the first meeting of the Black Elks was held. The Seattle Elks Lodge # 92 was the first Lodge in the Northwest. Roosevelts cash infusions put money in everyones pockets and the Green Dot was just the place for Jackson Streets and Seattles lower-income residents to enjoy jazz music. There was a distinct need and desire for these organizations in Black communities because they were wanted everywhere. Some lodges have a difficult time paying monthly bills. But police raids were common, and highly visible club owners like Smith attracted more attention from the often racist police institution. Elegant and well-spoken, he is passionate . Introduced himself to *RayCharles 16 @BlackElksClub Inspired by his blindness and genius. I believe in the Elks mission, and I believe in the community. He lives in Auburn now, but still treks north to the lodge two or three times a week. Skip to content Call Us: (206) 784-0827 6411 Seaview Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 There was a rapidly growing clientele for the up-and-coming nightclubs like the 411 Club at 411 Maynard Avenue South, just past Jackson Street; the Green Dot at 809 Jackson Street; the Ubangi at 710 7th Avenue South, a few blocks south of Jackson Street; and the Two Pals, the Congo Club, and the Black Elks Club as well. Even before he was named Prince Regent of the United Kingdom, George IV, had been a member of the Freemasons, but as the story goes, when he wanted a relative of his to be admitted to the society without having to to endure the lengthy initiation process, the request was emphatically denied. And in a town where thats no longer the case in a lot of ways, it feels really freeing.. In Ballard, the Elks are a salve for very contemporary syndromes. [24] Even the Northwest Enterprise took notice of Johnsons extended vacation: "A letter from Palmer D. Johnson tells of the success in Shanghai, China, of the colored band organized in Seattle last summer to fill engagaments [sic] in the Orient. Sign up at: This historically Black non-profit charitable, fraternal organization is still operating. Kendall Hicks, leader of the Frederick Allen Lodge, shows an old photo of Saratoga's historic Black Elks Club from when the building housed a restaurant on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, on Beekman . Thats precisely what drew Lauren Zuniga, a reedy 26-year-old who moved to Seattle from rural Kansas when her boyfriend got a job in tech. [28] Ibid., 41. The Elks officially known as the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, the BPOE, or, if you ask an Elk who likes dad jokes, the Best People on Earth was founded in New York City in 1868. But the upstairs is Elks territory, in all its wood-paneled glory. Ive only been a member for three months, and Ive met so many people. The Maguires likely got its name because members used womens clothing as a disguise while allegedly carrying out its illegal acts, which also included arson and death threats. As Schatman writes: These societies were the incubators of democracy, modern science, and ecumenical religion. The paper wrote, "Lord Clarendon has been holding communication with an illegal society in Dublin for upwards of ten days. In truth, Seattles transformation resembles that of San Francisco, Austin, and Brooklyn and is a natural extension of gentrifying processes set in motion more than 20 years ago. Saturday: 3:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. But what is most interesting is the explicit criticism of the American white man as ill-mannered and crazy. Few (if any) Blacks during the Great Depression supported racial segregation, but it was the law. Many white musicians of the 40s and 50s noted the collegial spirit between black and white at the Black Elks. The racial and social mixing seen on and around Jackson Street was remarkable in an era of racial segregation and class tensions. I think it's a generational thing. From left to right, Leon Hutchinson, John Slocum, Glover Compton, and Frank Waldron. Recipients of the Ballard Elks Scholarship Fund. To promote charity, justice, brotherly love, and fidelity. Smith owned numerous nightclubs during the 1920s and 1930s, for which Taylor dubs him the impresario of black nightlife. The Depression hit everyone in Seattlebut not Smith. In places like Kansas City and New York during the Great Depression, the style of jazz and the makeup of the jazz band were changing. The proximity of Seattle to Asia also gave Jackson Street musicians the unique opportunity to travel and perform internationally. [31] Ad for The Green Dot, Northwest Enterprise, 11 January, 1934, p.4. Portrait of the Elks bar while the steak Initiation dinner plays out in the room next door. Jasmine. from Ariel Williams Holloway, Northboun' , 1926, NORTHBOUND' by Ariel Williams Holloway, Street Team INNW, St. Paul, The Tullahassee Mission, and School Opens, An Act for The Gradual Abolition Of Slavery is Passed, Steven Barnes, Science Fiction Writer born, St. Phillips College, (Texas) Begins Classes, Joseph Brant, Slave Owner, and Military Officer born, Americas Articles of Confederation Are Enacted, Court Rules to Desegregate Education in California, Harry Belafonte, Entertainer, and Activist born, The State of Pennsylvania Abolishes Slavery. Find Lodges Near Your Location. [20] Ibid., 39. In this way, the 21st-century version of the fraternal order whose existence once hinged on insularity and exclusion is making its members more empathetic. As late as the 1970s, the lodge was where you went to dance on a Saturday night, to dress up on New Years, to play bridge and hobnob and drink under the auspices of charity. Something for everyone interested in hair, makeup, style, and body positivity. The bad traffic got worse, the city grew even whiter, and it became impossible for most middle-class families to buy a home in the city. Were getting a lot of new blood, but we have to sustain it. John and his partner, Jake, chose bingo, helping run the Memorial Day events and eating monthly steak. Like the Foresters, it set up protections for its members. The Black Elks became the largest African American fraternal organization in the world. Located on 12th Avenue South and Jackson Street, it was know as Seattles most esteemed and longest lived nightclub,[14] and was later the inspiration for Duke Ellingtons famous short film and tune Black and Tan Fantasy. All of its founding members worked for the government in some capacity, and it was the first fraternal order to be chartered by an act of Congress, the ordersofficial website writes. The position entails making critical decisions about the day-to-day operations of the lodge and the yearly budget and, like the rest of the trustees and inner council, wearing a tuxedo to the monthly meetings. People used to be able to cross over Empire Way [MLK Ways previous moniker]. 2023 Cascade Public Media. When Henry first met Keiko what fragrance did she smell like for a brief moment? On the left is a boxy building with a buck-head logo and "ELKS" spelled out in all caps. First, Seattle had a very small Black population, with about 3,500 Black residents out of about 366,000 in total. Portraits of officers of the Ballard Elks on the monthly initiation day. But even the lavish Ubangi continued to deal with problems of police harassment. According to the non-profit African American Registry, the fraternal order was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1899 after two black men were denied admission to the Benelovent and Protective Order of Elks of the World, which is still popular today and, despite questions raised on discriminative practices, now allows any American citizen, 21 years or older, who believes in God tobe invited to join its ranks. In 1891, the Sons of Americarefused to delete the word whitein its constitution, defeating a proposition that would allow black men to apply. Kalama Harbor Lodge; Kennedy School; Old St. Francis School; Olympic Club; White Eagle Saloon & Hotel; Weddings; Meetings; . The specific lore of the early Elks has filled books, but the bare facts, as presented during a recent Ballard new member orientation, are easier: Some actors wanted to drink on Sundays, which wasnt allowed at the time, so they put together a private club so they could succeed at that. Raffle tickets and drinks at Ballard Elks Club. Two years later they relocated to Seattle, where Edythe's quintet performed at venues like the Copper Kettle and the Black Elks Club. If you are able please consider a donation to the lodge. As Putnam argues, the history of civic engagement is not simply one of decline: Its a story, he writes, of collapse and of renewal. The Elks, and organizations like them, are attractive not when they become cool, but when their absence starts to reveal itself as a lack as something like sorrow. Its like home, in a time when that notion is very much in flux. The invitation to the Portland Elks initiation, 1908. [4] Black migrants brought with them jazz and musical traditions from around the country and, by the 1910s, Seattles culture of legalized corruptionsupported venues for music. Prohibition, which began in Washington in 1916, prompted the need for underground clubs and speakeasies and city officials were all too eager to look the other wayand even encourage viceupon receiving cash payment. I heard about the club through Rob Casey, because he surfs my tugboat wake.. Our expansive club on the first floor is open for members and their guests to gather indoors in the Club Room or outdoors on our covered patio or open-air waterfront terrace. "So we just have to keep showing them success.. Riggs agreed but never returned to Birmingham. But will the Seattle Landmarks Board sign off? Dr. Quintard Taylor's book, The Forging of a Black Community, chronicles Seattle's Central District and Jackson Street community from 1870 to the 1960s. Follow him on Twitter @mdseely. Johnson stayed in and around China for the next three years, returning to Seattle in 1937. She was previously the assistant web editor, humanities, for Smithsonian magazine. Theres a similar cult of personality around Nestor Tamayao, a retired Army communications officer who, along with his brother, Felix, joined the Elks in 2012. I tell people that Im part of the Elks and they give me funny looks, Ben Braden, who sits on the Ballard Elks executive committee, told me. The guy Im seeing, hes a member too, she continues, stuffing her phone into her Louis Vuitton purse. In 1887, Reverend T. De Witt Talmage wrote his sermon on the moral effect of Free Masonry, Odd Fellowship, Knights of Labor, Greek Alphabet and other Societies. The reverend, who said he had hundreds of personal friends who belonged to orders used Proverbs 25: 9 "discover not a secret to another to ask his audience to questionwhether or not being a member of a secret society would be apositive or negative decisionfor them. Jackson Street became the hotbed for Seattles jazz scene primarily because of its proximity to the Black community and because of the underground nightclub scene that developed during the Prohibition years. Within months, shed joined the Elks as well. [4] Ibid., 108. [29] Smith spared few expenses, flying in musical and dance acts from Los Angeles, and as a result most of the patrons attracted to the club were white. Today, most lodges have diversified: While many, especially in rural areas, remain largely white, there are dozens of clubs whose membership is almost entirely black; in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Elks Club has become the only real place for black folks to go.. The period of inter-fraternal strife was rendered closed. [27] Clearly, the Jackson Street jazz clubs had only continued to multiply during Palmer Johnsons extended absence. ", Like Spearman, Blacknall was exposed to an Elks lodge as a child and stuck with it. The unique racial makeup of the Jackson Street area and the political context that licensed illegal activity made Jackson Street, as the Northwest Enterprise claimed, the citys playground., Seattles jazz scene thrived but showed some marked differences from jazz elsewhere in the country. Any amount is greatly appreciated! [17] State Liquor Offices Raid Black and Tan, Northwest Enterprise, 3 January, 1935, p.4. Lodge Address: 6411 Seaview Avenue NW Seattle WA 98107. [13] Taylor, 154. As multiple studies have shown, the more you drink and eat and do philanthropy work and live with people unlike you, the more likely you are to treat them as people, whether in your voting patterns, public speech, or willingness to help them in a time of crisis. And they said no way just dont cuss in front of the girls, and dont drink before the meetings.. The steaks especially good this week, according to Lois, because Felix is using a demi-glace. I like to remind people that once youre an Elk, youre an Elk for life.". These interests intersect in a little cloth bag. . Theatre Arts during the Great Depression, special section, Culture and the Arts during the Great Depression, special section, "[I]t attracts persons from all sections of the city and numerous migrants who are attracted by the bright lights and other allurements. Franklin D. Roosevelt was an Elk; so were Truman and MacArthur and Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. So many changes since then, Nestor told me over lunch at Rays Boathouse, the fancy seafood restaurant next door to the Elks, whose cocktails cost three times as much. Sunday, April 02. Mr. Okabe. A steady stream of immigrants and migrants swelled Seattles population from 3,533 in 1880 to 80,671 in 1900. The Lodge is a short distance from downtown Seattle, South Lake Union, and the Ballard neighborhood. Transcripts, University of Washington Manuscript Collection. Hit the button by the side door, though, and you'll be buzzed in. What the Elks provides varies from person to person, but the overarching gift remains the same: Its like home, in a time when that notion is very much in flux. Wednesday: 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Go to events, see what we do, and find one that appeals to you or create one. Local jazz musicians encouraged Johnson to develop his skills and nurtured his passion. 2023 Smithsonian Magazine The Ballard Elks Lodge #827 sits on the shores of Shilshole Bay in Seattle overlooking beautiful Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains. Item Description. 1) The Black & Tan Club: 404 12th Ave. S. Seattle's most esteemed and longest-lived jazz nightclub operated from 1922-1966 under various names, and was the backdrop to greats like Duke Ellington, Ray Charles, and Charlie Parker. The swing era attracted new listeners to jazz music, particularly young people. (They would go on to lose to the Los Angeles Rams.) There's a lodge that's younger, but they're not growing. This small difference was enough, and in 1918, the BPOE officially ended its opposition to the IBPOEW. There are myriad reasons for the decay in social capital and civic investment: women moving full-time into the workforce, suburbanization and resultant commute time, television, globalization, changes in the family unit, and a general distrust and disillusion with politics and efficacy of civic engagement. The couple recently sold their sprawling home in the suburbs and downsized to a condo on the waterfront, where they walk to work and compete for the most steps on their Fitbits. Join Facebook to connect with Seattle Elks and others you may know. The community was bound by its common culture a Nordic Heritage Museum, a yearly parade celebrating Norwegian independence, lefse at the local grocery store, and dozens of middle- and working-class fraternal organizations: the Sons and Daughters of Norway, a robust VFW, and outposts of the Eagles, the Odd Fellows, the Moose, and the Elks, who owned an ornate building in the center of Ballard before moving to their current location, right in the elbow of Shilshole Bay. In this country, there are two distinctive strands of Elks Club. Johnson started playing music at age seven and was playing professional jazz gigs by 1924, only ten years later. [15] Taylor, 147. [14] de Barros, 3. Turnham was a charismatic musician who next led her own big band. Amid all this, we encounter Brooks, sipping on a glass of Crown Royal poured by bartender and Daughter Ruler Gaye Spearman. Fraternal organizations have always met specific cultural needs. Today, there arent barriers like that. As late as 1989, there was only one black member at the three Seattle lodges; today, lodges do not collect statistics about the racial makeup of their members, but a normal night more or less mirrors the makeup of Seattle: around 68% white, 14% Asian, 7% Latino or Hispanic, 8% black, and 3% biracial or other races. And she said, I dont want anyone to know its my birthday. So we put up these signs that said, Celebrate Lois, and people came in and said, Oh my god, did Lois pass away? But no, she was alive., Very much so! Lois interjects. [11] Carlos Bulosan, the Filipino American novelist and poet, remembered that noisy jazz music kept him awake as a child while he stayed in a rundown hotel on King Street, the heart of Seattles Filipino community. In aseries of criminal trials, 20 Maguires weresentenced to death by hanging. Shes come out to the deck to remind Ben Braden that hes got 10 minutes until the house council meeting. "State liquor law enforcement officers staged a spectacular raid on the Black and Tan Cabaret, 12th Ave. and Jackson Street, early Sunday morning to the discomfort of 200 guests. Tape Recording, University of Washington Manuscript Collection. Any Elks club in the world, when the clock strikes 11, we recite the toast.. A former lawyer, Mr. Okabe is a first-generation American and is very devoted to his country. [23] From then on, Seattle was home for Johnson and he found little shortage of work in Jackson Streets many jazz clubs and in the roadhouses outside of townthat is, until the depths of the Depression. View Map (253) 300-8759 Contact Us. "This year has been a banner year . : Zipcode: State: District: [12] Carlos Bulosan, America is in the Heart, (USA: Originally published by Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1943; reprinted by the University of Washington Press, 1973), 99-100. We rely on donations from readers like you to sustain Crosscut's in-depth reporting on issues critical to the PNW. Two unidentified women are standing on either side of a man in uniform at the Black Elk's Club, 600 Jackson Street. Jake and John joke during the steak initiation dinner. Two years later, the Elks revoked Austins charter due to lack of dedication, lack of interest, lack of knowledge of Annotated Statutes, and lack of respect for duly constituted authority. Today, the once-new members have regrouped as The High Road, a nonprofit with a waiting list, access to the pool, and none of the hassle or legacy or an entrenched organization. Instead of Central Park, theres Lake Union, filled with floatplanes and houseboats. Ive only been yelled at to go home, gentrifiers once! When you purchase Crown Royal at the store, it comes in a regal-looking purple bag with gold stitching. The lodges median age, 52, is the lowest in the country and a figure that, if current trends hold, will only continue to fall. You are listenin My research of the Seattle Times historical archive for mentions of the Panama Hotel yielded stories of a colorful past. That is, until Amazon and its estimated $5 billion citywide impact and 24,000 Washington employees happened, and every neighborhood seemingly transformed into an amalgam of overpriced condos with living roofs, hot yoga studios, CrossFit boxes, bars with $7 microbrews on tap, and transplants willing to pay for all of it. KIRO 7 News Team; Submit a news tip; KIRO 7 TV Schedule The guy who did the interview, Bronco, he told us, 'Do not join anything. But Im not a transplant! he says. Johnson claimed that in the multiracial milieu of Shanghai, the American white man was the most ill-mannered, a claim that most Chinese agreed with. For Blacks, these organizations also provided a boost in self-esteem. Following in the footsteps of The Sons of Liberty, the Order of United Americans and Guards of Liberty, the Patriotic Sons of America, which later added the word Order to its name, became one of the most progressive, most popular, most influential as well as strongest patriotic organizations in the United States in the early 20th century,theAllentown Leaderwrotein 1911. But then I take people here and theyre like, Do I have one of these in my neighborhood?. [27] Ibid., 43. (All photos by Matt M. McKnight/Crosscut). Black Rabbit Red! Paul Brice, an exalted ruler, says his lodge hopes to revitalize itself, which is now down to about 50 members. The citys geography most resembles Manhattan: the urban core attenuated thin with Puget Sound on one side, massive Lake Washington (past which lies Microsoft and the ritzy, suburban Eastside) on the other. Lodge meets 2nd & 4th Tuesdays at 7:30 pm. Download and print this Membership Application or find an application form in the Lounge during business hours. Sadly, some Elks and auxiliary members say some young people aren't fit for their groups, and others say drug use is unacceptable. May 24, 2016.Matt Lutton / Boreal Collective for BuzzFeed News. They were determined to form an organization that granted membership to all qualified individuals without regard to race, creed, or ethnicity. The official website of the order, however, traces the clubs origins all the way back to 1066. The Elks were officially desegregated in 1973, but black members were routinely denied membership through the 1980s. The woman in the fleece just biked over from her job at the University of Washington, where she heads up Title IX compliance, specifically with sexual assault and violence. If you're driving southbound on Martin Luther King Jr. Way at night, Sound Transit trains rumble alongside you, and the strip malls, gas stations and salons give way to an industrial abyss at about South Henderson Street. He folds and unfolds a scrap of paper where hes doodled the major themes of orientation: Heres what you pay in dues ($99, paid every April), heres the good we do (thousands of dollars every year to various charities), heres your commitment (The Elks is whatever you make it). Were in the womens bathroom of the Ballard Elks Club, decorated with white wicker furniture and a tray of drugstore lotions and hairspray. A place for members to socialize. [22] While the popular national names like Duke Ellington and Count Basie could get work in the wealthy all-white clubs, local musicians were usually barred. Here are just a few: In 1907, the Seattle Republican reported on the Order of Elks, writing that "it is claimed by members and officers that it is one of the most thriving secret societies among Afro-Americans of this city." Making lasagna for 150 is totally normal for me, she deadpans. The route to the Elks is choked with new condo developments, their siding painted tasteful, bold colors (turquoise, mustard yellow, brick red) and lined in white trim. WWII. 1416 in Seattle's Rainier Beach neighborhood, Feb. 23, 2019. [1] Paul de Barros, Jackson Street After Hours: The Roots of Jazz in Seattle, (Seattle: Sasquatch Books, 1993), 10. So what is the attraction? And the relatively small size of the Jackson Street jazz scene allowed the musicians, club owners, and club patrons to develop a sense of community. KIRO 7 Apps; Newsletter Sign-ups (Opens in new window); About Us. Seattles Black population numbered only 406 in 1900, but the following decades saw a sharp increase in Black migration. As times changed, the lodge's importance waned. Ruler GayeSpearman tends bar and speaks with member Doris Johnsonat Cascade Lodge No. Self care and ideas to help you live a healthier, happier life. Monday: 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Organizations like the Elks span age groups, political orientations, sexual identities, classes, and, increasingly, race; in so doing, they foment bridging social capital that is, connections with people who are not necessarily like you.