The Seven Stars Tavern
The Seven Stars Tavern, 2nd Street, Baltimore, 1819
Birth place of Odd Fellowship in America
An institution such as the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, whose object is continuity, must have a permanent place. A change of residence is never more injurious than when it befalls a public institution and more so, if that institution looks to success by constant intercourse with the public. This was in one sense settled by limitations in the first charter to an ordinary or drinking saloon but such a provision from its nature could only be transitory. The first meetings were held in Baltimore on the south side of Second Street between Frederick and Market Space at the Sign of the Seven Stars.
The first host was William Lupton. The house had two stories and an attic. It was located in a part of the city mostly occupied by oyster cellars and saloons. Many respectable restaurants were there at this time and for many years afterwards in basements called cellars. The use of this house by Washington Lodge must have consisted of the occupation of an upper room furnished with benches and several rush-bottom chairs. There was a rough table and a number of tin sconces garnished with candles hung around the wall. A few course prints of sea fights and domestic animals with pictures of Washington and LaFayette also hung on the walls. There were also pictures of other great men of the Revolution which they thought added greatly to the effect.