CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY

EAGLES HALL
413-415-417 BROADWAY

The Eagles Hall -1914
CLICK ON PHOTO FOR ENLARGED VIEW

The Eagles Hall at 413-415-417 Broadway was built by the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie No. 65 in 1908. The building, erected by East Camden contractor George Bachmann Sr., was occupied in January of 1909. The Eagles were (and are) a fraternal organization not unlike the Masons, Elks, and Moose. In the era before radio and television, such groups were among the primary sources for social activity and recreation. Besides the Eagles, the Elks and the Improved Order of Red Men all had magnificent buildings in Camden. The hall featured an auditorium on the 2nd floor, with a 20 foot ceiling, a stage and hardwood floors, and finished basement with a bar, pool tables, and bowling alleys.

Prior to the opening of this building, the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie No. 65 held functions at Turner Hall, which was located at 516 Pine Street.

In 1938 the Eagles Hall made the front page of the June 1 edition of Camden Courier-Post when the hall was the subject of a police raid. The hall apparently had been rented out to a group that put on a "smoker" in the second floor auditorium, with a dice game going on and a "lewd movie" being shown when the police arrived.

By 1942 the Eagles Hall, along with the Labor Temple, a union hall that stood on the east side of Broadway at Royden Street, had been taken over by the City of Camden for non-payment of taxes. The buildings were put up for sale in November of that year. The Eagles Hall was purchased by the Borstein Electric Company, which sold electric supplies, and gas appliances, air conditioning, and heating equipment  until the mid-1950s. The Borstein firm evolved into the National Electric Supply Company, located at South 7th Street & Kaighn Avenue in Camden.

On August 12, 1968 the building was damaged by fire.

Philadelphia Inquirer * February 13, 1906

Cornerstone Laid
for new hall
February 12, 1908

Camden Courier-Post * January 5, 1909

Philadelphia Inquirer - January 24, 1911
...continued...
...continued...
Charles G. Garrison - Frank Ford Patterson Jr. - Charles VanDyke Joline Lawrence Doran - Samuel Flick - Isaac Shreve - Francis J. McAdams
James Smith - Thomas Noland - Abraham L. James - John Broome
Albert Shaw -
James Lewis - John Golden - William C. Parker 
Daniel Woods -
John H. Carroll - Harris D. Stow
Henry S.Scovel
- Martin Carrigan
Aerie No. 5, Fraternal Order of Eagles 

Philadelphia Inquirer - July 5, 1912
Allen Jarvis - Frank J. Hartmann Sr. - William Jann - State Street
Elks - Moose - Owls - Eagles - Tall Cedars of Lebanon

Camden Post-Telegram * August 23, 1913

James F. Carey

400 Block of Broadway - 1914

Camden Post-Telegram * January 9, 1922

TABLET ON EXHIBITION

The magnificent and massive bronze tablet unveiled in honor of Eaglesí World War heroes, living and dead on New Years Day, has been placed in the parlor window, of the Aerie, 415 Broadway, for public view. Hundreds of promenaders passing up and down Broadway to admire the tribute to the soldiers of Camden Aerie.

Camden Courier-Post - June 12, 1933

OFFICERS INSTALLED BY CAMDEN EAGLES
Francis J. McHugh Takes Over as Head of Aerie Here

Newly elected officers of Camden Aerie, Fraternal Order of Eagles, will take over their official duties at the next meeting of the organization. The staff was installed Wednesday night by Grand Worthy President Henry J. Berrodin, who was assisted by deputy grand officers. The impressive ceremonies were followed by a buffet luncheon. 

Francis J. McHugh was Installed as worthy president. Robert Connor was installed as worthy vice president; John Granahan, past worthy president; Charles Gengenbach, chaplain; James L. Cahill, conductor; James V. Connors, secretary; George H. DeMelian, treasurer; George Tuttle, inside guard, and Joseph Middleton, trustee for three years. 

After the ceremonies, McHugh announced the list of his appointments for committee members. The list follows:

House- Patrick J. Cunningham chairman; Peter J. McGuire, John Granahan, William Huff and William Davis. 

Investigating- David L. Visor, chairman; David Luckoff, Seth Foster, Philip Marlow and Granahan.

Sick- Charles Schock, chalrman; Granahan, Harry C. Keeny, Thomas Glann, and Marlow.

Finance- Thomas E. MacNamara, chairman; Robert Connor and Foster. 

Auditing- MacNamara, chairman; Jesse Goldenberg and Foster.

Entertainment- McGuire, chairman; Luckoff, Joseph D. Middleton and Harry F. Laxton.

Bowling- Laxton, chairman; Luckoff, and James W. Conner

Welfare- McGuire, chairman; George H. DeMelian, James W. Conner, Middleton, Luckoff, Laxton, A.J. DFougherty, Robert Connor, Davis and Huff.

Publicity- Visor, chairman. 

Membership-Robert Connor. chairman; C. Guy Ross, Huff, Alfred Zimmerman, Jacob Reese, Charles W. Sutton, Laxton, Clinton B. Smithers and William Von Reiche.

Delegates to state convention: Visor and Granaban. . 

Camden Courier-Post - February 26, 1936

REPUBLICAN CLUB DANCE ARRANGED FOR FRIDAY

Eagles Hall, 415 Broadway, will be the scene of a leap year dance to be held by the Tenth Ward Republican Club, Friday evening. The committee is headed by George Dolan.

The Penn Troubadours will supply the music. 

Camden Courier-Post - February 8, 1938

500 PLAYERS ENTER S.J. DARTS TOURNEY
List Closes With 50 Teams Attracted; Play Will Start Feb. 21

Officials of the South Jersey Golden Dart Tournament last night announced the completion of its entry list.

A total of 50 teams will compete in the event, which will Include 10 to a team, making a total of 500 contestants who for the next few weeks will be sharpening their game for the coming classic.

The tournament will get under way on Monday, February 21, which will include preliminary rounds. The finals of the event will be held at the Eagles Hall near Broadway and Washington Street.

The winning team at the finals will be recognized as champions of South Jersey as will also the individual who proves skillful enough to annex the singles crown. 

Camden Courier-Post - February 15, 1938

EIGHTH WARD GROUP SPONSORS 'BIG APPLE'

A "Big Apple" contest will feature a ball and show sponsored by the Eighth Ward Beneficial Association, February 25 in the Eagles Hall, Broadway near Benson street, with dance music on each of three floors.

Jimmy DeMuro and his 12-piece Country Club Orchestra will play in the main ballroom, where he will direct a score of entertainers, including June Collier, of radio and stage fame, and "The Trumpeteers."

Al DiGiacomo is chairman of the ball committee. Henry Konopka is treasurer. 

Camden Courier-Post - February 16, 1938

CLUB ESQUIRE SPONSORS CABARET PARTY MONDAY

The Club Esquire, a Negro civic organization, with headquarters at 907 Kaighn avenue, will hold a cabaret party Monday night in Eagles Hall, 415 Broadway.

Funds will be used to aid Negro students obtain college educations. J. Maxwell Griffin is president of the organization.

 

Camden Courier-Post February 21, 1938

Eighth Ward Beneficial Association
Jimmy DeMuro Orchestra
Henry Konopka- Thomas Griffith
Al Konopka - Frank Russo
William Marino - Maude Marino
Ralph Bantivoglio
John C. Downes
Anthony Ragone
Theodore Messaro 
John Russo - Anthony Russo
Alfred DiGiacomo
Albert DiGiacomo
Frank DiGiacomo
Nicholas Carmonna
Anthony Carmonna
John Baj
Anthony Marino - Roxie Merlino
Eagles Hall
Broadway

 

Camden Courier-Post
February 24, 1938

Eagles Hall
Washington Street
Broadway

 

 

Hi-Hat Club - Bridge Cafe - Kernan's Cafe- Harry's Taproom - Clancy's Cafe - Big Ed's Place
Larry's Cafe - Lynch's Cafe - Morgan's Cafe - Nittinger's Cafe
Big Horn Cafe - Jack's Grille - Cooperson's Auto Body - Scotty's Thist'es
Vari's Cafe -
Davalo's Cafe - Bush's Cafe - La Victoria - Shantytown Cafe - Billy's Cafe
Phil Hart's Cafe -
Pavonia House - White Owl Inn - George's Grill - Dick's Rendezvous
Dragon Inn - Royal Inn -
Bismark Cafe
Ginger's Cafe - Daly's Cafe - Kenure's Cafe - Knauer's Cafe - Oaklyn Inn - Bellevue Inn
Fourteenth Ward Democrat Club - Blanche's Cafe - Duke Gartland's - Regan's Cafe
Bettlewood Cafe - Mulvihill's Cafe - Barrington Cafe - Chews Landing Hotel - Blackwood Cafe
Laurel Inn - Starr's Cafe - Gruber's Inn - Welcome Inn - Somerdale Bowling Alley

The Eagles Hall -1942
CLICK ON PHOTO FOR ENLARGED VIEW

Camden Courier-Post
November 1942

One of three large auditoriums in the Eagles Hall

 

Invoice from Borstein Electric - 1954

Fire
at
413-417  Broadway

August 12, 1968

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Click Here to Supersize

Photo by Bob Bartosz

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Fraternal Order of Eagles

The magnificent watch chain shown above is made from woven human hair, most likely contributed by a wife or girlfriend.  Though some Nineteenth Century hair pieces marked the death of a loved one (mourning pieces), many, likely including this one, commemorated living relationships.

The watch fobs with eagle talons such as those shown here were made in the days long before eagles became a protected species.  The pieces shown here date from the late 1800ís and early 1900ís. 

On February 6th,1898 the Fraternal Order of Eagles was founded by six theater owners sitting on a pile of lumber in Moran's shipyard in Seattle Washington. Competitors in the theater industry, they met to discuss a musicians strike. After deciding what to do on that issue, they decided to bury the hatchet and and form an organization dubbed the "Seattle Order of Good Things," the constitution passed a month later renamed the group and asked its members to "make human life more desirable by lessening its ills and promoting peace, prosperity, gladness, and hope."  Within ten years the Eagles had 1,800 lodges scattered throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico, boasting a membership roll that exceeded 350,000.  Members received free medical attention (as did the individual's family), weekly payments in case of sickness, and a funeral benefit--all valuable services before the widespread availability of medical, disability, and life insurance. 

The first meetings were held on the stages of various local theaters and after the business was settled a keg of beer was rolled out and all enjoyed a few hours of social activities.  A few weeks later as their numbers grew they chose the Bald Eagle as their official emblem and changed the name to "The Fraternal Order of Eagles." The membership formed a Grand Aerie in April 1898, secured a charter, drew up a constitution and by-laws and elected it's first president, John Cort. 

Most of the first Eagle members were connected with the theatre, actors, stagehands, playwrights, etc., and as they went on tour they carried the story of the new order with them across the United States and Canada.  This is the reason the Eagles grew so quickly and all the way across the country.  Many cities in the east have low aerie numbers such as New York #40, Philadelphia #42 and Buffalo #46.

Fraternal Order of Eagles stated mission is to unite fraternally for mutual benefit, protection, improvement, social enjoyment and association, all persons of good moral character who believe in a Supreme Being to inculcate the principles of liberty, truth, justice and equality, to perpetuate itself as a fraternal organization and to provide for its government as it's Constitution, Laws, Rituals, by-laws or other rules and regulations may from time to time provide, and to promote the general welfare, the Fraternal Order of Eagles ordains this constitution. To promote and raise funds for duly authorized Fraternal Order of Eagles charities and contribute to worthwhile charitable causes.

The officers of a Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie are: Worthy President, Worthy Vice President, Junior Past Worthy President, Secretary, Treasurer, Worthy Chaplain, Worthy Conductor, Trustees, Inside Guard, and Outside Guard.

Over the years, the Eagles have fought and won many battles for a Workman's Compensation Act, Mothers and Old Age pensions, Social Security laws and "Jobs After 40" and are still fighting to liberalize present social benefits along with combating vicious diseases plaguing mankind through their sponsorship of the Art Ehrmann Cancer Fund, Max Bear Heart Fund, Jimmy Durante Children's Fund, "Doc" Dunlap Kidney Fund and the Diabetes Fund.

Many great social and political leaders have belonged to the Eagles.  President Theodore Roosevelt was one of the many who joined and praised the order for its humanitarian accomplishments, as did a later President and Mason Franklin Delano Roosevelt with President and Grand Master Harry S. Truman who often reiterated that the Eagles were his type of organization - one founded by, and for the common man.

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