Welcome to Main Street in old Half Moon Bay

Thank you, Tony Pera, for the photo. Tony, almost single-handedly returned the Ocean View Lodge in the IOOF building on Main Street, back to its former glory. You can’t imagine how many hours and days of his private time he gave up to complete this major project. He’s so special, a rarity, the kind of community-minded fellow who was more prevalent in earlier times, when people got together to help a family in need, or to rebuild a house that had burned–Tony’s a man who really cares about his community, and all I can do to show my appreciation is to honor you in this blog space.

Want to know more about the Ocean View Lodge and the IOOF Building? Click here

Half Moon Bay Is Still A Small Town With A Great Big Heart

This afternoon, Burt and I attended the 140th anniversary celebration of Ocean View Lodge #143, Independent Order of Odd Fellows in their newly renovated building at 526 Main Street, HMB.

(Apologies for not remembering all the official titles. From L-R: Tony Pera, Dorene Pecoraro, Noble Grand Judi Engel, and Clara “Chris” Alves.)

If you dig into the history of the lodge and the IOOF, you’ll discover that their role a hundred years ago, before public welfare, was to take care of the elderly, the sick and the poor. They built comfortable housing for the elderly—did you know that Ocean View Plaza in downtown Half Moon Bay is theirs? An extremely nice place; lots of love goes into the upkeep of Ocean View Plaza.

Judi Engel is, I believe, the first woman to reach the top post of Noble Grand. All the members worked long hours to return the building to its former glory, especially Judi and Tony, both of whom worked “above and beyond.”

Former Half Moon Bay Marina Fraser

was present to congratulate the group and to tell them that current Mayor Bonnie McClung will be honoring the Ocean View Lodge at a future public meeting. Marina, who is president of the Spanishtown Historical Society, gave the lodge a check for $5000 in acknowledgment of outstanding work.

(Photos 1 & 2, Dignitaries came from San Francisco and the East Bay; (3) Judi Engle, at left, gives a big hug to Patti Schwartz of Special Event Catering.)

140 Years Later, the OddFellows Building Still Holds the Unknown History of Half Moon Bay

Hi June-
This is the Odd Fellows Building, 526 Main Street, then & now, top & bottom

(further down) Across from City Hall

next door to the HMB Bakery. M.Coffee and Tokenz are on the ground floor.

The Ocean View Lodge has been active, but many people in town have never seen the upstairs, which remains close to the way it was in 1870.

Before there was a city government, the fraternal organizations ran most towns, including Half Moon Bay. All five of the original city councilmen in HMB were members. The city government was formed right in our hall.

The hall was also the social center of town, hosting dinners, meetings of various groups – Mason, Son of Italy, Scouts, 4-H, etc. I remember quite a lot of activity there as a boy. San Mateo County History Museum Founder Dr. Frank Stanger writes about it in his book, “South from San Francisco,” published in 1963.

The Half Moon Bay lodge was chartered in 1868 (when the town was called Spanishtown), the same year that the first church arrived in town. I have been compiling a lot of information about all of this for some time.. There are meeting minutes

dating back to the beginning- a whole history of Half Moon Bay– still unknown.

Take care,

Tony

During this month, April 2008, Ocean View Lodge celebrates its 140th anniversary.

(Photo: Tony Pera points out items of historical interest.)