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As It Was: Eastern Star Chapters Grow Rapidly in Southern Oregon

In the 1880s, eleven Eastern Star chapters were established in Oregon, many of them in Southern Oregon.
The Eastern Star is a branch of the Masonic Order founded in 1850 by Robert Morris.  Its presiding officers are women related to Masons, although the organization’s members include Masonic men, too.

In 1880, the first chapter, the Alpha, started in Ashland; the second in Eugene; the third, Adarel Chapter, in Jacksonville; and the fourth in Cottage Grove.  These were followed in 1883 by Lakeview and Coquille and in 1885 by Roseburg.

A meeting in Roseburg founded a statewide Grand Chapter in 1889.

When Jacksonville’s Adarel Chapter celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1930, Julia Beekman was the only charter member still active in the Jacksonville organization.  In its first year, members Theodore Cameron and Frank Ennis had obtained an organ for the chapter that was played at the anniversary party.

Of those early Oregon chapters, Jacksonville, Cottage Grove, Lakeview/Klamath Falls, Roseburg, and Baker are still active today.

Sources: Britt, Mollie. History of Adarel Chapter #3. Manuscript found in the “Eastern Star” vertical file at the Southern Oregon Historical Society Research Library. Robert, Morris. History of the Order of the Eastern Star. Torch Press, 1917, pp. 387-90. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89060744448;view=1up;seq=11. Accessed 23 Nov. 2017; "Chapter Locations and Maps." Oregon Grand Chapter Order of Eastern Star, Oregon Eastern Star, 26 Aug. 2017, www.oregonoes.org/Chapter_Info_-_by_Chapter.html. Accessed 23 Nov. 2017.

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Alice Mullaly is a graduate of Oregon State and Stanford University, and taught mathematics for 42 years in high schools in Nyack, New York; Mill Valley, California; and Hedrick Junior High School in Medford. Alice has been an Southern Oregon Historical Society volunteer for nearly 30 years, the source of many of her “As It Was” stories.