An exceptional example of a fraternal lodge from the mid nineteenth century, this important two-story twenty-by-fifty foot structure reflects the handsome yet characteristically austere, Greek Revival finish that was popular during the 1840s and 1850s.
The focus is the large semi-circular fanlight that occupies the tympanum of the east pediment. Especially dramatic when viewed from the vaulted second-story interior, the window is composed of twenty panes held by slender molded mullions. It was designed with hinges along both sides so that the top could be tilted inward for ventilation. Other important exterior elements include Greek Revival surrounds with corner blocks and the original double leaf entrance.
Much of the building was resided during the early twentieth century, original weatherboarding remains along the side elevations now covered with extensive shed additions.
The interior of the original downstairs store has undergone considerable changes. A delightful staircase, carried by superb sawn slat balusters, rises to the impressive second story lodge chamber. The vaulted ceiling is especially dramatic, drawing the eye to the fanlight on the north and to a trio of small windows (boarded over on the exterior) on the south.
For which fraternal organization this building was erected is not certain, although all research points to the Anchoree Lodge Number 14 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Their chartering in 1847 coincides with the popularity of the Greek Revival style. The building’s original location is unknown.
While tradition places it at the nearby corner of Fearing and Road, where the lodge later built the existing brick building in the 1890s the lodge did not buy the property along Fearing Street from Road to Elliott streets until 1882. In about 1910 the building was moved to this lot by Lemuel Sowell Blades, Sr. (186-1954) and converted into a storage barn. It has since been associated with the adjacent L. S. Blades, Jr House.
BIRDSEYE VIEW OF ELIZABETH CITY B&B