Elks Lodge recognized as historical site

Elks Lodge, once known as Club Baron, is now recognized as a historical site. (photo courtesy of Nashville Mayor’s office)

The Elks Lodge located at 2614 Jefferson Street was recognized as a historical site by the city of Nashville and the Historical Society.

The Elks Lodge was once the old Baron Club where great artists such as Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Bobby Blue Bland, Al Green, Jimmy Hendrix and many other blues artists performed in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

Rev. Howard Jones opened with a prayer and blessed the occasion. Brother Navery Moore, Exalted Ruler of the Elks gave the welcome and a brief history of the Elks Lodge. “The Elks organization started in Nashville in 1946 and was originally housed in a building on 14th Ave. N.,” Navery said. “When the city built the Interstate through the Black community, the organization was forced to move to its present location in 1968.”

“This is a part of my continued commitment of preserving the history of Jefferson Street, and I’d like to thank the Elks organization for taking care of the building,” said Mayor David Briley.

“I can remember when we also use to skate in this building. Back then it looked so huge but today, I can’t see how we skated in this small space,” said Councilman Ed Kendall. “One of the best things that the Interstate did for this community was to force the Elks to move to this site, which today is historical. Thank God for the Interstate.”

“I attended all the shows at the Baron Club,” said Lorenzo Washington, director of the Jefferson Street Sound Museum. “It was a great time. I have gathered as much history from that era and have it in the museum to keep the history of the blues on Jefferson Street, which is a rich part of the Jefferson Street experience.”

“I am glad to be a part of this historical experience,” said Sharon Hurt, Councilwoman-at-Large. “Although I was not here during those historical days, I am glad to have assisted in having the mural painted on the Elks building, and I am glad to be a part of this historical moment.”

The Historical Marker was made possible through the Office of the Metropolitan Historical Commission. Jessica Reeves read the plaque from the commission.

Brother Moore and the Brothers of the Pride of Tennessee Elks Lodge No. 1102, along with the Daughters of Spencer Jackson Temple No 763, extend an invitation to everyone in the city to come by the Elks Lodge location at 2614 Jefferson Street and take a picture near the historical marker. The event ended with a brief reception.

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