St. Luke and Odd Fellow Hall Museum Tour
St. Luke and Odd Fellows Hall
1:00 - 5:00 PM
Event Types: Arts & Theatre, Speaking Engagements
The Town of Blacksburg has preserved the Odd Fellows Hall to create a museum and community space that will work in conjunction with the Blacksburg Museum at the Alexander Black House. The restored hall reflects the importance of New Town as the hub of social activities for the African American community. There are many fond memories of the dinners, dances, fashion shows, bingo parties, mock weddings, Easter egg hunts, ball games, and a host of activities that occurred on a weekly basis in the hall from the beginning of the 20th Century through the mid 1960’s.
Exhibitions, programs, and collections also highlight the Hall as a sacred space for benevolent organizations such as the Odd Fellows and the Independent Order of Saint Luke. These groups provided support and opportunities for the Black community otherwise unavailable during segregation. The second floor of the building was off limits to the public, designated as meeting, ceremonial and archival storage space for sacred artifacts. Many of the artifacts and historical records were intentionally destroyed by a local business person who was given permission to use the first floor for storage space. However, some artifacts remain and provide valuable insight into the ceremonial activities that took place in the Hall.
The St. Luke and Odd Fellows Hall has strong sentimental meaning to the African American community and for all of Blacksburg. It reminisces of a time when the Black community was strong and self-sufficient. There were numerous Black businesses that lined Main Street, College Avenue, Progress Street, Roanoke Street and streets adjacent to Virginia Tech. Members of this community were instrumental in the successes of Blacksburg as a town and of Virginia Tech as an educational institution.
The museum exhibit is free and open to the public. Open hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 1 pm to 5 pm. Group tours may be scheduled by appointment, call 540-558-0746 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.