Change in Lodge Number Usage

Practice of Numbering Lodges Discontinued

Lodge numbers were issued from 1926 until 2004. While it was a long tradition of the Order to use lodge numbers, they eventually became outdated and problematic. For all other purposes the national office was using council numbers. Lodge numbers were confusing and a relic of the past. Furthermore, the numbers had lost a great deal of their meaning by 2004. While the original numbers were given out in the order the lodges received their charters that practice had changed. The change was the result of councils and their lodges merging. In early years when two or more lodges merged together they would typically retain the lowest number. That way the number represented the order in which the OA had first come to the council.

But sometimes disagreement occurred within the new lodge over which number to use. Starting in 1972, new lodges formed because of a merger were given three choices on selection of their number. They could use one of the numbers of the merging lodges or they could use the next number not already in use or they could request the re-issuance of a number that was no longer in use. The first such example of reusing a number was the re-issuance of the number eight to Mascoutens Lodge of Racine, Wisconsin.

By 1990 a new option for lodge numbers was used, the lodge could use their council number if it was available.

With the diminished meaning and usefulness of numbers it was decided in 2004 to no longer issue lodge numbers. All records are now kept by the national office using the council number and lodge numbers are not used. It should be noted that the council number did not replace the lodge number and the local lodge may still use lodge numbers, but they have no official national usage and lodge numbers are merely historical artifacts of the early days of the Order of the Arrow.