Needham History Center & Museum Needham History Center & Museum, Needham Massachusetts 02492

26. the Odd Fellows Hall (1013 Great Plain Avenue)

This extravagant, three-plus story High Victorian retail block was built in 1880, on the northwest corner of Chapel Street and Great Plain Avenue. Numerous businesses were housed on the first and basement floors, including a men’s haberdasher, a printing business, a dentist’s office, a barber shop, and the news offices of the Needham Chronicle. The second and third floors held large rooms that were used for meeting space, as well as the meeting hall and War Museum of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Civil War veterans’ organization.

The Odd Fellows’ Hall burned down in a midnight fire in 1887, a fire so fierce that it completely reduced the structure to rubble, taking with it the properties and equipment of the resident businesses, a considerable portion of Needham’s Civil and Revolutionary War memorabilia, and the wooden Center Station house (Site #30).  The fire was determined to be arson (one of several arson fires that spring), but despite an offered reward, the culprit was never identified.  Rubble from the Hall was pushed into the cellar hole, where it remained – derelict and fenced-off – until the current storefront was built on the site in 1916.

More about the Odd Fellows Fire

Back to Map 2 – Needham Center

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