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The History Of The Elks Lodge

Learn how the Elks Lodge came to be and what they do

Charles Vivian was a successful comic singer and dancer in London and moved to New York City in November of 1867. Many other actors and entertainers befriended Charles and began a theatrical group under his leadership. They called themselves the Jolly Corks, named after a trick started by Charles where the uninitiated purchased a round of refreshments. 

     Just before Christmas in 1867, a member passed away leaving behind a wife and children. Because of that, the Jolly Corks decided that in addition to social gatherings, they wanted to help those in need. On February 16, 1868, they established the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. They held social activities and benefit performances that quickly grew popular. They started traveling to other cities to spread the word of the Brotherhood of the Elks and eventually, there were requests for Elks Lodges in these other cities. 

     Now, there are over 2,000 Elks Lodges throughout the country and the Elks Lodge serves as a place for the community to come together and gather. They give back to the community through many programs, help children grow up drug-free and healthy, and help meet the needs of our veterans. 

     The Elks National Drug Awareness Program (DAP) is the largest volunteer drug awareness program in the United States. Their dedicated group of volunteers teach children and parents about how dangerous drugs are and show what a drug-free life looks like. Each year the Elks Lodge also gives away millions in scholarships for students. 

     The Elks Lodge is also passionate about serving our veterans. Every month, the Elks Lodge serves thousands of veterans in over three hundred VA Medical Centers, State Veteran Homes, transitional centers, rehabilitation clinics, and other veterans facilities across the country. Locally, Elks Lodge members serve food at the VA Nursing Home, donate guitars to veterans taking lessons at the VA Hospital and the Elks Lodge, host a special needs dance every year, and so much more. 

     The Fraternal Order was founded “To promote and practice the four cardinal virtues of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity; to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its members; to quicken the spirit of American Patriotism and cultivate good fellowship.” The Elks Lodge #205 is located at 205 Elkdom Ct. in Augusta. The Elks Lodge hosts many social events throughout the month that are open to both guests and members. To see the calendar of events, visit their Facebook page at Augusta Elks Lodge #205. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Elks Lodge, please call 706-726-2070. For more information about the history of the Elks Lodge and to see what they are doing now, please visit