Our History

Large group of people at a picnic in 1922. They are sitting in rows facing the camera.
Elks organizing committee, 1922. 13 men dressed in suits face the camera in two rows.
1930s automobile covered in yellow flowers with an Elk head mounted on the front. It is a parade float.


A history of the Elks can be found on the Grand Lodge website.

Elks Lodge #1450 in Puyallup was founded in 1922 by three Elks members who were living in the area. They submitted a list of 90 possible charter members to the Grand Lodge. A committee of 13 members was chosen to organize the Lodge, which opened June 10, 1922. In the first year, there were 353 members, who met at the Masonic Temple.

The foundation was laid for the charitable activities that have remained one of the principal features of this Lodge, as well as every Elks Lodge. Long before social services were ever heard of, it was the Elks who provided for needs in the community.

In the first year or two, the Purple Bubble Ball was instituted and has continued ever since as a source of revenue for the charitable activities. These dances, which were held in the old Civic Auditorium, became the leading social event in Puyallup.

The members decided to construct their own Lodge building on Meridian Avenue in downtown Puyallup. The dedication of the building on June 10, 1924, the third Anniversary of the Lodge, was a part of one of the most elaborate celebrations ever held in the Puyallup Valley, an event spread over five days and nights. Eighty-nine men (the membership was all male at that time) were initiated as members that week, bringing the Lodge membership to 600.

During the Great Depression, the Lodge faced challenging times. At one time the Lodge had no money in the treasury. Lodge leadership decided to borrow some money, and volunteers were asked to endorse the note. The response was so great that there was not room for all the signatures on the back of the note.

A group of men dressed in suits smile as they watch another man shovel the ground.

World War II and Mid-Century

During World War II, the Lodge arranged dances and parties for United States service members stationed at Fort Lewis (the site of the State Fairgrounds) and provided a piano to McChord Hospital. The Elks also provided entertainment to service members at Madigan Hospital and Christmas gifts for those who were hospitalized.

The Lodge was able, through hard work, to pay off the mortgage for the building in 1945. After a dip in membership during the Great Depression, it grew to 910 members by 1952, 1114 in 1957, and 1351 in 1962.

Our Christmas in July tradition began in 1949 (it was then “Christmas in June”) to cheer the children of Rainier School. A group of members assisted by their wives took them gifts, candy, nuts, and fancy food. They set up a complete carnival, with ponies to ride, games to play, a Ferris wheel, etc. This tradition continues to the present time, with a dinner event at the Lodge complete with an appearance by Santa and gifts for the children.

Urged by Past Exalted Ruler Bro. Carlson (1955–56), the Lodge competed in Ritualistic Contests. During the convention in Tacoma in 1956 officers of the Grand Lodge Ritualistic Committee used them to demonstrate the fine points of operating in competition. In 1961, the team represented the State of Washington at the National Finals, taking 5th place.

A New Lodge

The Lodge constructed and dedicated a new building in 1964, the site where it is now. The beautiful building featured a restaurant, a bar, a large lounge rooms, meeting rooms, tennis court and an outdoor swimming pool with locker rooms. In its heyday, the Lodge hosted many dances, parties, and entertainment events.

During the Vietnam War, the Lodge continued to support service members by sending Christmas greetings.

In 1969, a baseball field was constructed behind the Lodge and is now used by Cal Ripken Baseball. The tennis court was converted in 2019 to another ball field, which is used by the visually impaired to play “Beep Ball.”

We offer hospitality to visiting Elks in the form of a 24-space RV park in front of our Lodge.

Charitable work is always at the heart of everything Elks do. In the fall of the year for over 20 years, our lodge has held a dinner to support therapy for children with disabilities, on top of our regular contributions to that cause, the Washington State Therapy Program for Children. We also visit the Veterans’ home and provide scholarships for local students.

The Covid pandemic closed the Lodge for the first extended period in its history, but as soon as we could, we reopened and are now reviving our programs for the benefit of our members and our community. Our membership is growing each month. We are working on improvements to the building and RV park.

On June 11, 2022, the Lodge held a Centennial Ball celebrating 100 years of success.

We look forward to seeing what the coming decades hold.