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PANAMA CITY LODGE NO. 1598
(Meets 1st & 3rd Mondays)
101 W. Beach Drive
Panama City, FL 32402
Do you know that Lodge 1598, (our Lodge) has a fine bit of American history pinned to the front of the building? Do you know that it is authentic history and not a :replica?" Do you know that it is over half as old as the United States, dating from the Civil War days? Well, that's the truth.
Go around to the Beach Avenue side of the building, look up at the entranceway and you will see mounted above the steps a large sign with these letters and words: B.P.O. ELKS.
This is the very sign, not a replica, that was mounted over the first Lodge in the United States, Lodge #1 in New York City, which was established February 16, 1868.
So how did it get attached to Lodge No. 1598? In this fashion: When the building of Lodge #1 began to grow old, it was replaced with a new edifice and all new furnishings. So the old furnishings, including the sign were offered for sale and the Tallahassee Lodge bought the entire lot. But, they had no need for a sign so No. 1598 bought the sign from Tallahassee Lodge.
Now, the next time someone asks you, "What is that large object over the entrance to your Lodge," just act nonchalant and say, "Oh, merely a bit of American history 131 years old."