By L. K. H. Lane
The Exeter News-Letter
January 10, 1896
At left is presented a perspective view of the new Odd Fellows' building in Hampton now in process of erection by Rockingham Lodge, Number 22. This lodge, which is one of the most flourishing in the state, was instituted at Hampton Falls in 1848, and in 1883, removed to Hampton where it leased for lodge room purposes, the upper floor of the Hampton Academy building which it has since occupied. The lodge numbers one hundred and seventy members. Winnacunnet Rebekah Lodge, and Hunto Encampment, connected branches of the order, were instituted in Hampton in the years 1885 and 1886 respectively. Owing to the rapid and constant growth of these lodges, the fact has for a long time been plainly obvious that, as a matter of necessity, more extensive quarters would have to be provided for their accommodation. In 1893, it being evident that the building of a hall could not much longer be deferred, a committee was chosen to select and purchase a suitable site. In executing this commission, it displayed admirable judgment, securing a lot the Perry estate, near the depot and business center of the town. The price paid was $1,000.
In June last, a vote was passed to build a hall and arrangements to that end began immediately. A building committee was appointed which invited and considered plans from several well known architects, those by H. S. Paul, of Portsmouth, being accepted. The contract for erecting and completing the building was awarded to Abbott L. Joplin, of Hampton, for $4,000. Work was begun in September and has since progressed rapidly.
Description Of The Building
The building, which is of Colonial style of architecture, is 82 feet, extreme length, 47 feet in width, and three stories high. A tower, 14 feet square, on the northeast corner rises to a height of 45 feet and affords entrance from the street by means of broad stairways to the lodge room and banquet hall above. The entire lower floor is to be rented for a store and will be finished to suit the taste and requirements of the tenant: this room is 46 feet long, 37 feet wide and 11 feet high. There is a cellar under the whole which is to be rented with the store. The lodge room is on the second floor and is 46 feet in length by 37 feet in width and 13 feet in height connecting from, or connecting with it are five anti-rooms suitably arranged for lodge purposes. The third floor will be devoted to a banquet hall and its accessories of kitchen, closets, etc. The lodge rooms and ante-rooms are to be finished in cypress, the stairs to be of birch. In appropriate places on the outside as well as inside finish of the building are to appear characters emblematic of the order. On the glass transom over the main entrance are to be the letter I.O.O.F. When completed, the edifice will be a credit to the lodge, and ornament to the town, and a fitting temple in which to exemplify the work and promulgate the grand principles of the fraternity, the precepts of which are fiend ship, love and truth, to the use of which it will be dedicated.