It all began with the “Jolly Corks.” Starting as as a group of actors and entertainers bent on having fun AND avoiding a New York Excise tax in 1867 (Sundays were the ‘dry’ day), this convivial group called themselves the Jolly Corks (for a clever trick with corks they performed on the uninitiated to win rounds of drinks). That same year as membership grew, some members saw the vision to become more helpful in the community. Alas, two feuding factions split the group over different philosophies. Fortunately, the latter faction moved forward with their new ideals and in February of 1868, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was chartered–and with a great new spirit and direction, began to help Veterans, Scouting, Scholarships and more–wherever Charity, Justice and Brotherly Love were needed!

And… Happy 57th Birthday to the Watchung Hills Elks!

On February 9th, 1962, Grand Secretary Lee A. Donaldson announced that the number for Warren Township’s “Watchung Hills” lodge would be 2252. It would later merge with Lodge 885 in 2015, which incidentally was founded on December 2, 1903.

Interested in More History?

You can learn more about the history of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks by visiting the Elks History Project here: Also available is a brief history of the founding of Lodge 2252 on our website, here:

Happy Birthday BPOE, founded in February 16, 1868

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