This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Weekend adventures

My plan for Saturday was to float down the Iroquois River as part of the fun float organized by the Jasper County Soil and Water Conservation District. I arrived early and waited as more people showed up. Then we all waited together. And we waited some more.
 Finally we learned that the truck bringing the canoes and kayaks had broken down in Chicago. Since rain was in the forecast, there was a consensus that we should cancel and not wait who-know-how-many hours for the truck.

It was time for plan B. The Masons were hosting an open house and I have always wondered what was in their big building on West Washington. I arrived to find that the rain had not put out the fire but certainly had discouraged people from attending. I wonder if any kids used the bounce house.
 The Masons have survived over the years while other fraternal organizations have not. Gone are the Odd fellows and the Knights of Pythias, both of which were once active in Rensselaer. Their lodge in Rensselaer dates back to the 1850s, but their building is not nearly that old--I think it was built in the 1950s. There are about 140 members of the Rensselaer branch, but some of them no longer live in Rensselaer.

The building has two floors. They were serving hot dogs and chips in the basement and I did not take a picture because there were people there. I did take a picture of their billiard table, which is over century old, a table built by the Brunswick Balke Collender Company.
 There were a couple of small rooms at the front of the upper floor. This one looked the more inviting--the other one was a TV room.
 Most of the space on the upper floor was taken by a large meeting room. There was a video playing for anyone who wanted to watch.
 Below is a better shot of the big chair on the right of the picture above.
 Here is a picture of the big chair in the center of the picture of the hall.
 There was one more big chair, at the back of the room and not visible in the picture of the big hall.
This was their first open house. I suspect that they were a bit disappointed with the turn out, but I think people just wanted to stay inside and avoid the rain.

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