KHS to Dedicate Historical Markers about Odd Fellows, Masons and Baseball
The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) will dedicate three new markers this month that commemorate fraternal organizations and baseball.
Odd Fellows Washington Lodge, noon, Aug. 19, 32 S. Main St., New Castle
When the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows started in the United States in 1843, virtually all other fraternal organizations were open only to whites. GUOOF admitted both black and white members. After the Civil War, GUOOF provided vital support to its members and the local black community. Its work continues.
Former slaves founded Washington Lodge #1513 in 1872 in New Castle. It is one of the oldest African American fraternal organizations in the state, and the only active GUOOF-affiliated lodge in Kentucky. Lodge #1513 has owned its building since 1886. It is one of the few remaining 19th-century facades in New Castle.
Baseball at Central Park, 1 p.m., Aug. 19, 1700 Lexington Ave., Ashland
Organized baseball in Ashland began with the Ashland Colonels, a minor league team, which played at Armco Field from 1939 to 1942. Games then moved to Central Park.
In 1955, Ashland joined the Little League program. Babe Ruth League baseball started in 1957 and Junior American Legion baseball in 1959.
The two original Central Park fields were CP-1, a large diamond where older boys and men played, and CP-2, a smaller field for younger boys and softball games.
Hundreds of boys played at Central Park every summer. Eventually, more than a dozen of them received pro baseball contracts. Don Gullett, Drew Hall and Brandon Webb, and umpires Charlie Reliford and Greg Gibson went on to have successful Major League Baseball careers.
Freemasonry in Versailles, 5 p.m., Aug. 26, 141 1/2 N. Main St., Versailles
The Grand Lodge of Kentucky, Free & Accepted Masons chartered Landmark Masonic Lodge #41 on Aug. 27, 1817. In its first 200 years, Landmark Lodge has seen three of its members—John McKinney Jr., William Brown Jr. and Christopher L. Stout—rise to the rank of grand master for the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, Free & Accepted Masons.
Landmark Masonic Lodge #41 has provided services to help the youth of Versailles for more than two centuries. Past members include former Major League Baseball commissioner and Kentucky governor A.B. “Happy” Chandler and country music star John Conlee. The lodge originally occupied one of the oldest buildings in Versailles. It moved to its current location in 1986.
More than 2,400 historical markers statewide tell Kentucky’s history. Information about the marker application process and a database of markers and their text is available online. The Explore Kentucky History app is a source of supplemental information about marker topics and virtual tours of markers by theme. KHS administers the Kentucky Historical Marker Program in cooperation with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.