This building, which still stands at the corner of Broadway and School streets in Rockport, was originally built in 1855 as the chapel of the Second Congregational Church. By that year, attendance at the First Congregational Church (whose steeple you can see in the far right on this picture) had grown so large that the building could no longer seat everyone. For this reason, the church authorized 16 of its members to form the Second Congregational Church. At first, the members of this new church held their services in the vestry of the First Church. Later that year, they built this chapel (at a cost of $4,000).
By the time of the Civil War, the Second Church grew to some 80 members. But the combination of the war and the resignation of the church’s longtime pastor caused attendance to decline. In 1868, the church dissolved.
When the church dissolved, it sold the building to the Y.M.C.A. Later, the Y.M.C.A. sold the building to Granite Lodge, No. 127, International Order of Odd Fellows. An 1884 map shows the building as belonging to the Y.M.C.A., while the 1888 History of the Town of Rockport describes it as belonging to the I.O.O.F.
When the I.O.O.F. acquired the building, they raised it from its foundation and added another story underneath the main floor. They also added the iron fence you see here.
The I.O.O.F. was first organized in Rockport in 1848 with 20 members. by 1888, it had 230 members. Its purpose was to promote good morals and to watch over and provide for the needy.
Note also the building to the left of the hall. This building also still stands, albeit with some modifications, and is home to the Lantana House bed and breakfast.
This postcard was published by The Rotograph Co., New York City, and printed in Germany. It is not dated, but Rotograph published only from 1904 to 1911, and this card is from somewhere between 1907 and 1911.
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