History from 1960 to 2002
Rising from the ashes of the explosion and fire that destroyed their beautiful home at 50 North Sierra Street, the Reno Elks began a new chapter in the history of the Lodge with the ground breaking on their new facility at 597 Kumle Lane.
Built "out of town" on five acres of property donated by Raymond I. "Pappy" Smith, the new Reno Lodge was at the time of its completion, among the finest buildings of its type in the west. The Lodge was dedicated on February 5, 1961.
The new Lodge is a ranch-style building for family participation in Elk affairs. The property still has the largest volume public pool in Reno.
The Reno Lodge of the B.P.O.E. rose to its greatest numbers during the years between 1960 and the present. The new facility attracted many members and was, ultimately, the reason for the decline in membership to the current level. Men's and women's athletic facilities were built in the mid 1980's and the resulting cost caused a significant increase in the annual dues of the membership. As a result, many members chose not to continue in Elkdom. Money woes actually almost caused the Reno Elks to close in 1987. Despite this hardship, the lodge survived and continued to prosper.
Although smaller in numbers, the Reno Lodge is in as good shape as it has been in many years. After a potentially disastrous fire in 1987, Reno Lodge has re-built and revitalized its building and grounds through effectively targeted renovation and hard work. The membership is committed to helping the Lodge regain lost glory.
The Reno Elks continues its tradition of service to the community. The tradition of charity exemplifid by "Uncle Dan" Wheeler in the early 20th Century is as visible today as it was then.
The Lodge gives thousands of dollars each year to enhance the quality of life in the Truckee Meadows, but, per-haps more importantly, the members of Reno Lodge give their time and energy to the people of Reno and Sparks.
The current Officers, Past Exalted Rulers Association and Members of Reno Lodge #597 of the B.P.O.E. proudly carry the virtues of their ancestors in the 21st century.
Past Exalted Rulers of Reno Lodge #597
Christams Food Basket preperation for delivery.