Originally the regular meeting dates of Chico Elks Lodge were the first and third Fridays of each month. The initiation fee has varied from $1 per new member to $100 per member. The membership dues were originally, $1.00 per month.
Currently and for the past several decades, regular meetings of the lodge have been conducted on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, with the first, third and fifth Wednesdays designated as “club nights”. The third Wednesday is always reserved for the birthday celebrants of that particular month and a complementary New York steak dinner is served to honored birthday members. These members may wish to include friends and family to celebrate with them.
In the beginning, the jurisdiction of Chico Elks Lodge extended from Sacramento north to the Oregon border. Through the years, that jurisdiction has been divided by forming new districts consisting of many new local subordinate lodges. Not withstanding the fact that the creation of lodges in these adjacent localities, particularly Oroville, Marysville, Paradise, Willows and Red Bluff, resulted in many dimits from the Chico Lodge as members transferred their membership to the city or town where they lived. However, Chico lodge kept pace with the growth of the community and prospered.
In the early days of Chico lodge’s Friday night meetings, often times the meeting would last well past 11 o’clock. This made it necessary to conduct the traditional 11 o’clock toast. In regard to the Elks’ 11 o’clock toast and it’s origin… It would almost be mandatory the pre-1900 Elks would be expected to compose a beautiful toast extemporaneously at will, and the custom is as old as the Order of Elks. However, that is another story…
By Charlie Carroll, PDDGER—Lodge Historian