We need to go back to the beginning of Elkdom. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was formed by a group of Thespians as a social club back in 1868 because of the blue laws that were strickly enforced and Sundays in New York City was a very dry day. So, these 15 men, known as the Jolly Corks, got together and formed The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. We thought that this might be the right time to list the names of the fine 15 Gentlemen.
E.W. Platt - Frank Langhorne - William Carletfon - William Sheppard - Richard R. Steirly - Charles A. Vivian - John T. Kent - Henry Vandemark - Harry Bosworth - M.G. Ash - G.F. McDonald - W.L. Bowron - Thomas G. Riggs - J.G. Wilton - John H. Blume
Eventually, these 15 fine gentlemen started New York Lodge Nr. 1 which is still in existance today. Of course, The Order only had 1 Lodge. As the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks grew and spread West, a few more Lodges were formed here in California. San Francisco Lodge Nr. 3 was instituted April 11, 1876 and Sacramento Lodge Nr. 6 was instituted December 6, 1885. As more and more Lodges were formed, the California Elks Association was instituted and they created various Districts within the State. In 1910, the Central District was created and was made up of 8 Lodges.
Oakland Lodge Nr. 171 - waiting on information
Bakersfield Lodge Nr. 266 - Instituted June 26, 1893
San Luis Obispo Lodge Nr. 322 - Instituted November 8, 1895
Fresno Lodge Nr. 439 - waiting on information
San Jose Lodge Nr. 522 - Instituted December 9, 1899
Vallejo Lodge Nr. 559 - Instituted April 28, 1900
Salinas Lodge Nr. 614 - Instituted July 25, 1901
Santa Rosa Lodge Nr. 646 - Instituted October 29, 1989
Eureka Lodge Nr. 652 - Instituted February 23, 1901
Santa Cruz Lodge Nr. 824 - Instituted December 27, 1902
Napa Lodge Nr. 832 - Instituted February 14, 1903
Petaluma Lodge Nr. 901 - Instituted April 19, 1904
Berkley Lodge Nr. 1002 - waiting on information
Alameda Lodge Nr. 1018 - Instituted May 17, 1906
San Rafael Lodge Nr. 1108 - Instituted March 2, 1908
San Mateo Lodge Nr. 1112 - Instituted April 21, 1908
Monterey Lodge Nr. 1285 - Instituted june 24, 1912
Watsonville Lodge Nr. 1300 - Instituted March 20, 1913
Hollister Lodge Nr. 1436 - Instituted January 20, 1922
Palo Alto Lodge Nr. 1471 - Instituted July 10, 1924
Santa Maria Lodge Nr. 1538 - Instituted June 25, 1927
As the Membership in our Organization grew in the various Lodges throughout California. In 1938, The California Elks Association created The West Central District and added a few more Lodges to the District.
Los Gatos Lodge Nr. 1857 - Instituted May 15, 1952
Redwood City Lodge Nr. 1991 - Instituted February 25, 1956
Sunnyvale Lodge Nr. 2128 - Instituted June 22, 1959
Lompoc Lodge Nr. 2272 - Instituted January 2, 1963
Santa Clara Lodge Nr. 2347 - Instituted May 7, 1966
Paso Robles Lodge Nr. 2365 - Instituted March 4, 1967
Milpitas Lodge Nr. 2400 - Instituted July 26, 1969
Cupertino Lodge Nr. 2445 - Instituted July 18, 1970
In 1967, The California Elks Association SPLIT the West Central District and created the West Central Coast District. With this split, the following lodges were assigned to the West Central Coast District:
San Luis Obispo Lodge Nr. 322 - Santa Barbara Lodge Nr. 613 - Ventura Lodge Nr. 1443 - Santa Maria Lodge Nr. 1538 - Lompoc Lodge Nr. 2274 - Paso Robles Lodge Nr. 2364
On March 24, 1972, Cupertino Lodge Nr. 2445 surrendered their Charter to Grand Lodge. On April 1, 1985, Milpitas Lodge Nr. 2400 surrendered their Charter to Grand Lodge. On October 17, 2012, Los Gatos Lodge Nr. 1857 surrendered their Charter to Grand Lodge.
With the above Lodges being transferred or surrendering their Charters, the West Central District now has the 10 Lodges listed on the Home page of this site.
We hope you have enjoyed our little trip back into the History of our District. There will be links to the Lodges that have Web Site and links to Grand Lodge in Chicago and a link to the California-Hawaii Elks Association in Fresno. Our District wants to thank you for taking the time to view our site.