Moose Lodge mystery solved
by Sam Matthews
Aug 01, 2013 | 2997 views | 0 0 comments | 247 247 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Charter members of the Tracy Moose Lodge were photographed on July 15, 1972, in what was then the Odd Fellows Hall. Photo courtesy of Henry Schmidt
Charter members of the Tracy Moose Lodge were photographed on July 15, 1972, in what was then the Odd Fellows Hall. Photo courtesy of Henry Schmidt
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Last week’s Remember when mystery photo was a real mystery — for a while.

And then several members of the Tracy Moose Lodge reported that the photo of a good-sized group of men showed the charter members of the lodge in 1972.

Joe Terra, governor of the Moose, pinpointed the date as July 15, 1972. He also brought in a copy of the same photo with numbers on each person. This augmented the original photo brought in by Jim McLeod.

Joe was able to identify 18 of 50 people in the photo and hopes that more will become known as others take a look at home.

It is indeed a photo of historical significance, since the Moose Lodge has become an important part of the Tracy social scene since its founding 41 years ago.

The fact that the photo was taken in what was then Odd Fellows Hall on Sixth Street adds significance. Four years after it was founded, the Moose Lodge purchased the building from Sumner Odd Fellows Lodge, which once was Tracy’s leading fraternal organization and had dwindled in size to a dozen or so members.

The building, now the Moose Hall, was constructed in 1899 and is the oldest commercial building in Tracy. It replaced the original Odd Fellows Hall on the same location, which burned in the massive fire of 1898.

“It’s an old building, and it takes a lot of work to keep it in usable shape,” Joe told me. “We don’t use the old Odd Fellows lodge hall on the second floor for safety reasons and keep our meetings and events on the ground floor.

Installation of air-conditioning units to replace swamp coolers was a big improvement.”

A key part of the ground-floor layout is the bar. It’s open seven days a week and has become a hub of gatherings of lodge members, especially on hamburger and taco nights and when Friday night dinners are held.

“The bar took on its present shape in the 1970s when Larry Grebil closed the Central Club (where the parking lot for the Great Plate is now),” Joe said. “They rolled the bar down the street to the lodge hall.”

He noted that the Moose have solid support from some 400 members, including men of the Moose Lodge and Women of the Moose.

“The women have been a major asset,” he said. “They pushed for the installation of awnings and a new look to the entry area,” Joe reported.

So, who do we know is in the photo? Starting on the top row, left to right: 2, John Moran; 3, Frank Lake; 4, Bernard “Corky” Canale; 6, James Culver Jr.; 7, James Culver Sr.; 11, Larry Neeley; 13, Stanley Mize; 18, Richard Neff; 23, Charles Bailor III; 24, Bobby Neeley; 25, Carl “Dutch” Danner; 26, Robert “Bobby” Sullivan; 32, Ed Norton; 34, Charles “Rick” Lloyd; 36, John Shirley; 46, Milt McGinnis (Vallejo); 48, Ray Otto (Stockton); 49, Jimmy Gallagher (Vallejo).

• Sam Matthews, Tracy Press publisher emeritus, can be reached at 830-4234 or by email at shm@tracypress.com.
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