Tuesday, October 12, 2021

The Eagles Building in Milton Pa

Fraternal Order of the Eagles No 1208

In October of 2021, The Milton Art Academy opened in the old Eagles building on South Front Street in Milton.  Here's a look at what the space has been over the decades.

In 1859, the Odd Fellows Hall at Milton was destroyed by fire.  The structure "stood on the side not occupied by the Dreifuss block, and as far North as the Riverside Hotel."

Henry Huth built the Riverside in 1869, at the location that is today the Eagles building.   In the 1870's, an Oyster Saloon operated out of the basement of the Riverside.   A fire began in the Riverside Hotel in 1875.  The building was either repaired or rebuilt after that fire.

Map published in the Miltoninan after the 1875 fire.

  In 1880, the entire town of Milton burned.  Out of the 700 buildings that stood downtown, only 60 survived that fire.  It's unlikely that the Riverside was one of the 60 that survived. The newspapers at the time filled pages with damage reports, a little searching could confirm the damages - but it's extremely unlikely the building survived that fire.
Photos & Stories from the 1880 Fire that Destroyed The Town Of Milton

The Riverside Hotel
Read more about the Riverside, and Huth Bakery, here:

The Eagles Come to Milton

Williamsport Gazette, September 1905

The Aerie Eagles at Milton was instituted in 1905.   They began by meeting in the Post Office Building, which at the time was the large brick building by Lincoln Park, at the corner of Broadway and Front Street.

Nov 1912
In November of 1912, the Eagles purchased a "handsome electric piano".  Unfortunately, there is no mention of where they put this new piano.

 Zooming in on that photo, in the bottom left window, men's suits can be seen on display.  The Riverside Closed in 1920, and the building had been purchased by the F.O.E sometime prior to that closing.  This photo, shown in full at the top of the page, was taken by Swanger, a Milton Photographer.  When first seeing it, I guessed that it was taken sometime around around 1918, for the parade that welcomed the soldiers home from WW1.  That is only a guess.  Swanger was working in Milton at that time.

In December of 1920, the building was the property of the Fraternal Order Of The Eagles, and the storeroom of the Riverside Hotel was available for rent.  William Springer, proprietor of the Riverside, planned to go out business, and not renew his liquor license, on December 31 1920.

In May of 1927, work began on the new $100,000 club house of the Milton Fraternal Order Of The Eagles, at the site of the former Riverside Hotel. 

A newspaper article about the new building states: " It is the intention of the Eagles to occupy the building during building operations, using one-half while the front half is being erected, and moving in the front section while the rear is being completed."
(Article in full below)

The new building was constructed in 1927, at a cost of $100,000, the equivalent of 1.5 million today. The original building, replacing the old Riverside Hotel, included bowling alleys, several kitchens, an electric elevator (dumbwaiter) and a roof top garden.

 Building Operations For Modern Hep-Lodge Home And Club House To Start Early Week On Present Site On South Front Street 

Another chapter was written into the history of local fraternal circles yesterday, when it was officially announced by Milton Aerie No. 1208, Fraternal Order of Eagles, that the contract for the erection of a new and modern lodge home and club house has been let, and building activities will begin early next week. The new home will be erected on the site of the present club house on South Front street, formerly the old Riverside Hotel, and building operations will be entirely in charge of the Dresser Co., of Cleveland, O. and Williamsport, Pa., architects, designers and contractors.  

The building will be a three-story structure of a combination of Gothic and Grecian style, and will be a monument to the progressiveness of the local organization.

First floor, prior to the Academy Of Art Renovations in 2021

The plans call for a stone front, arch windows and door for the first floor front, surmounted by stone columns with a brick background, supporting a conical triangle bearing the emblem and initials of the order.   The front of the building will be 27 feet wide, extending back at this width for a distance of 58 feet, and widening at this point to 43 feet to a total depth of 138 feet, the present site being ell-shaped.

The stairway, 2021

There will be a Gothic vestibuled entrance of marble, with stairways leading to second flood and to mezzanine and basement.

This room, in the front of the building "to the north", was possibly where the ladies lounge was originally located.

  A ladies lounge, 15x12.6 will be north of the entrance, in connection with a rest room, 6x12.6.  The ballroom and auditorium, 40x49, will be located on the first floor, in connection with a rostrum 13x30 which will be equipped with a complete dressing room, 5.6x6.6.  Two large check rooms, 9x14, will be available for use with the auditorium.  

The kitchen, 2020

A men's lounge 8x56, to be equipped with large chairs and ornamental settees, will be located on this floor, and also a kitchen, 14x16.

The second floor, 2021

On the second floor will be located a men's lounge, 12.6x18: the secretary's office, 12.6x19; a billiard room, 24x24, and a grill and café 40x58. A balcony 6x22 will be erected on this floor, giving a wonderful view of the Susquehanna river.

The 3rd Floor, 2021

The plans for the third flood call for a committee room, 12.6x20.6; kitchen 6x15; ante-room, 7.6x12.6; lodge room, 23x52, and a roof garden, 36x40, the garden to be enclosed by a four foot ornamental side wall.

Door to the boiler room in 2021

 And even the basement has not been overlooked! Provision has been made for two bowling alleys, and a shower room, 18x32; tunneled under these courtways on the south.
In the basement, 2021

 A kitchen, 8x18; vault, 13x20; storage room, 37x20; ice storage room, 5.6x8.6; boiler room, 10x14, and a coal hopper, 10x14, conclude the basement plans.

The dumbwaiter - or "small electric elevator system"

 A small electric elevator system will connect each floor, and every floor will be accessible from a stairway, both in front and at the rear of the building.  A complete system of lavatories for each floor is also planned.

View from the roof, 2021

 It is the intention of the Eagles to occupy the building during building operations, using one-half while the front half is being erected, and moving in the front section while the rear is being completed.

The contract calls for a completion of eight months at an an approximate cost of $100,000. 

 The building committee in charge of construction is composed of the trustees of the Keystone Social Club, the social branch of the F. O. E.: Wheeler Adams, chairman; Chas. Brautigam, John S. Mertz, and the following members: E. H. Warg, Frank Rhoads, Clyde F. Sticker and Charles Miller. 

In the Foyer, 2021

Brief Sketch of Organization 

The Milton Aerie of the F. O. E. was organized September 12, 1905, in the post office building, with a charter membership of 100 men. 

In the Foyer, 2021

The keystone Social Club, the social branch of the order was organized in 1906, in the Buoy building on Broadway,  later moving into the Lewisson building on South Front street.

Second floor landing, 2021

In 1920 the present building, the Riverside Hotel, was purchased as a cost of $20,000, and the FOE and K.S.C.  immediately took possession.

In the foyer, 2021

At the present time, with a membership that reaches nearly the 600 mark, it was realized that the present quarters were inadequate, and it was unanimously voted to erect a new home on the present site, and judging from the layout of the plans, the Milton Aerie will have one of the finest and most modernly  club homes of any organization of its size in this section, and one of which they and the community may feel justly proud. .

At the Academy Of Art Open House


Find More Of Milton's History Here

And An Index To All Of My History Tidbits Here:


1908 Eagles Baseball Team

A gift to the Milton Pa Eagles 1208 from Mr & Mrs Paul Hendricks, Louiseville Ohio Aerie



From 1889-1896 Lochman's advertised as being located "opposite the Riverside Hotel"

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'll read the comments and approve them to post as soon as I can! Thanks for stopping by!