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[graphic] Cheverton - I.O.O.F. Block
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[photo]
Cheverton - I.O.O.F. Block - the original 1889 building (four window bays on the right) was enlarged in 1910 (three window bays on the left)
Courtesy of Lorraine Draper

William Frost constructed the eastern portion of this two-story quartzite building in c.1889. A few years later, in 1896, Frost sold the building, at a cost of $6,000 to the International Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) which had been renting the second floor. Upon purchasing the building, the I.O.O.F. removed the Cheverton Block stone atop of the building and replaced it with the I.O.O.F. initials, which still grace the building today. The I.O.O.F. was a fraternal organization that began as a convivial society and mutual benefit organization. The I.O.O.F. used elaborate rituals to form a network of kinship ties through which the organization practiced its mutual aid, and also acted as a form of social club.


[photo]
Sketch of Cheverton Block, 1889
Courtesy of Pipestone County Historical Society

The I.O.O.F. purchased the adjoining lot to the west in 1910 and constructed a nearly matching building, except for the segmented arches over the second floor windows. The original east arches were constructed of sandstone, while the newer west ones are gray pink Sioux quartzite. Like many commercial buildings throughout the Midwest, the building housed two stores until the Ben Franklin store moved in and combined them. In the late 19th century, the building also accommodated an opera house on the second floor. I.O.O.F. remained in the second floor until the early 1970s. The first floor facade has been altered several times, removing recognizable traces of its original character. The second floor, however, still retains much of its original historic fabric, including oak trim and the original pressed tin ceiling.

The Cheverton-I.O.O.F. Block is located at 115 W. Main St., Pipestone and is open to the public during regular business hours as the Hobby Shoppe.

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