Standing quietly next to Forestvale Cemetery is Helena’s Odd Fellows Cemetery, formed in 1895 when several local lodges banded together to create a cemetery for its members. Most visitors to Forestvale probably think of this cemetery as just an extension of Forestvale but it is very much its own place, with ornamental plantings and an understated arc-plan to its arrangement of graves.
Compared to Forestvale, there are only a handful of aesthetically imposing grave markers, although I found the sole piece of cemetery furniture, the stone bench above, to be a compelling reminder of the reflective and commemorative purpose of the cemetery.
One large stone monument, erected in the 1927 by the Rebekah lodges (for female members) of the town, marks the burial lot for IOOF members who died in Helena’s Odd Fellows Home, a building that is not extant. The memorial is a reminder of the types of social services that fraternal lodges provided their members, and how fraternal lodges shaped so much of Helena’s social and civic life in the late 19th and early twentieth century. Helena’s Odd Fellows Cemetery is a significant yet overlooked contributor to the town’s and county’s historic built environment.
Where do I send money to donate to the IOOF CEMETERY in Helena, MT??
The nearest lodge is in Great Falls:
Montana – GE IOOF
109 Riverview 5 W
Great Falls, MT 59404-1419 Secretary: Don Scott
Phone: (406) 788-7604