Bowie Elks Lodge

1506 Defense Hwy, Gambrills MD 21054

(410) 721-3880

Bowie Elks Lodge 2309 History

Bowie Lodge No. 2309 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was organized through the efforts of our neighboring lodges, Glen Burnie and Annapolis.

Organization of the Bowie Elks Lodge began in February 1964. By June of 1964 fifty applications for membership had been processed, and on the 26th of June 1964, seventy two Charter Members were present at the Institutional Ceremonies held in Saint Mathias Church Recreational Hall, Route 450, Lanham, Maryland.

In March of 1965 our present lodge site was purchased. It had a small one bedroom cottage and a storage shed as the only buildings on the property. The buildings were in poor conditions. The membership, under Maryland State Laws, sold $3,000 worth of bonds to charter members. The Belair Bank of Bowie, Maryland, advanced a construction loan under the guidance of our building chairman P.E.R. Luther Elkins, and with the help on many dedicated lodge members, the lodge building was constructed and occupied. In 1970, additional construction added the 60’x100’ hall to the lodge building.

General Character of the Order

The Order of Elks is an organization of American citizens who love their country and desire to preserve its cherished institutions; who love their fellow man and seek to promote his well being; and who love the joyousness of life and endeavor to contribute to it, as well as to share it.

It lures no man to its doors by any promised material benefits which might appeal to his self interest. It pledges no support to the furtherance of personal ambitions. It teaches that it is nobler to serve than be served; that laughter is better than tears, a kind word is more potent than a frown; and that life is all the sweeter for a song. It therefore seeks to draw into its fraternal circle only those who delight in wholesome associations with congenial companions; who are deeply imbued with the spirit of patriotic loyalty and devotion; who recognize the obligations of human brotherhood; and who desire, without the fanfare of the trumpets of publicity, to share with their associated in the endeavor to feed the hungry, to shelter the homeless, to relive those in distress, and to proved themselves true friends to all in need.

With such a membership, holding such ideals, the Order has grown from a modest but purposeful group of organizers into a great and powerful fraternity, whose patriotic services have won for it a high place in national esteem and whose benefactions have smoothed the pathway of countless thousands.

Formal Organization and Name

The Order of Elks was formally organized on February 16, 1868, in the City of New York. Its full corporate name is “Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America.” Its declared purposes are to practice its four cardinal virtues, 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 to cultivate food fellowship.

The animal from which the Order took its name was chosen because a number of its attributes were deemed typical of those to be cultivated by members of the fraternity. The Elk is distinctively an American animal. It is habitually lives in herds. The largest of our native quadrupeds, it is yet fleet of foot and graceful in movement. It is quick and keen of perception; and whit it is usually gent and event timorous, it is strong and valiant in defense of its own.


Copyright 2017