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Genealogy society to visit Odd Fellow Hall, museum
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DARLINGTON - Lafayette County Genealogy Society's June meeting will be a field trip starting at 1:30 p.m. June 28 at the Odd Fellow Hall/Rebekah Museum, 112 Front St., Mineral Point.

The meeting is open to the public.

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows is a fraternal organization of men and women who stand for family values and meet socially while working to help others. It is not a religion and welcomes any man or woman who believes in a Supreme Being who created and preserves the universe and made all mankind as brothers.

The fraternity began in England in the early 1700s when a number of working men saw the need for a "safety net" to help working families in cases of illness, injury or death. Odd Fellowship was brought to the U.S. in 1819 by Thomas Wildey.

This is the first Odd Fellows Lodge established in Wisconsin, and it is the first such lodge west of the Allegheny Mountains. The building was built in 1838 and the museum was set up in 1927. The Mineral Point museum is the only one in Wisconsin devoted to Odd Fellow/Rebekah artifacts and memorabilia.

The 174-year-old building received a new addition in 2012, including its restrooms, kitchen and meeting room separated from the old portion by a hallway and side entrance.

The tour guide will be Loren Farrey, secretary of Justitia Lodge #13 in Shullsburg, and an associate member of the lodge in Mineral Point. He has been an Odd Fellow for more than 53 years.

For more information, contact Susie Hillison at 608-558-9797.