A “flock” of Eagles landed in downtown Ticonderoga on September 14th. No, it wasn’t the winged kind but the human type. Members of the New York and Vermont Fraternal Order of Eagles came here to help the local Aerie (#4410) celebrate their 15th Anniversary.
Not unlike the mythological Phoenix that regenerates itself, the Ticonderoga Aerie has re-organized itself a few times. The first Ticonderoga Aerie was organized here in March, 1905 with more than thirty birds (as they were called at the time.) The new officers were well represented by the leading members of the business and professional community: W.T. Bennett, George Luther, C.A. Wheeler, Ralph Powers, W.J. Hayes, Daniel Ryan, I. Rothschild, I. Ledger, Louis Forcier, A.A. Gallant, Frank Blanchard and Thomas Corbett. Dr. E.F. Preston, one of Ticonderoga’s foremost Physician and Surgeon of the time was also a charter member.
Their Lodge rooms were located in the Maxwell Block, South Main Street. (Today, roughly across the street from the US Post Office located on Champlain Avenue.) At this time, our files do not show when the first Aerie disbanded, but we do know that it rose again and was re-chartered in July, 1998 with over sixty members, and again about three years ago. The current Lodge rooms are located on the second floor of the Knights of Columbus Building on Montcalm Street.
The FOE is an international fraternal organization founded in 1898 at Seattle, Washington by a group of six theater owners. There are over 1,400 Aeries located in the US and Canada. “The Eagles are hometown builders.” They support those that protect and serve and fund several areas in medical research, including diabetes, spinal cord injuries, kidney disease and Alzheimer’s. Their organization “founded” and promoted Mother’s Day in the US and served as a driving force in the” founding of Social Security Program.” A few of the noteworthy members have been: Presidents – Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Warren Harding, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Other well knows: Max Baer, champion boxer, Tony Stewart and Sam Hornish, race car drivers and Billy Ray Cyrus and Tony Orlando, musical performers. The Women’s Auxiliary had enrolled members of note also: Bess Truman, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Virginia Graham.
Ticonderoga Historical Society President, William Dolback, toured the town with the NYS President Garrett Smith, Aide Joseph McConnel and local Aerie President, Arnold LaFountain with a “show and tell” presentation of the town’s rich historical past.
After the tour, the gathered group feasted on a delicious barbeque and honored Edward “Bud” Dolback, past local Aeire President, as a newly elected NYS FOE Trustee.