The Mojave Lodge #2059 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks was instituted at 2 PM on December 07, 1957 with a compliment of 273 Charter members. The Institution corps of officers, led by Grand Exalted Ruler and PDDGER Clyde M. Jackson, was filled with dignitaries from around the state as can be seen by a copy of the program both on our lodge page and Grand Lodges’ history. The initiation of the charter members, conducted by the officers of our sister Lodge in Ridgecrest #1913, was held at the local High School Gymnasium.
Shortly after Lodge formation, the Lodge obtained property at our present location because the previous owners, AT&T were building a new facility for the emerging modern direct dial systems; this began the transition for our lodge to take over the buildings. The current Clubroom building was the old maintenance garage and the lodge room was where the communications center was located. While conducting some modifications in 2017, we even uncovered an old phone booth that had been sealed into the wall.
For the first few years, we made modifications to the communications room for use as both a clubroom and meeting room. Later, when AT&T completed their new building, we took over the maintenance garage and converted it to a Club Room.
During the early years, we purchased 20 acres of land from an owner who wished the land to be used for nonprofit purposes and this fit well with the Elks mission to serve as it was subsequently developed into a Trap Range. At the time, an adjacent 20-acre property existed that was used for Horse training, stalls, and occasional rodeo functions operated by the “Circle M Riders”. Some 20 years ago they went out of business and deeded over the property to the Elks. This 40-acre parcel now serves us for additional lodge and community activities as well as continuing as a local Trap and Skeet Range.
When the Elks first formed, the town of Mojave was at least twice the current population. Early in 1959, the Federal Government shut down the Marine base that was located at our local airport as part of the base closure programs. This had a dramatic effect on the community and also the Elks leaving a large number of empty homes. The membership suffered but economic times improved over the next few years in Mojave and the Elks survived.
Over time, the Mojave Elks has been a mainstay in activities in our tight-knit community. Each year we have conducted many programs for Youth & Adult activities including Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas Toy parties, Easter Egg hunts, financial & coaching support for our local Football, Basketball, & Baseball sports teams.
Recently the renewable energy activities in our area have allowed us to obtain grants from the taxes received from these sources. These monies have been used to paint and repair our buildings, add new windows, and share our pride with 2 painting of Elks Logos & a beautiful mural adding to the curbside appeal of our little town further demonstrating “Elks Care…Elks Share”.