On March 25, 1856 the Odd Fellows’ Festival was held at West’s Hall in the West House in downtown Sandusky. The floor managers were John Youngs, Warren Smith, and Jerome Monroe. Twelve Sandusky men served on the Committee of Arrangements, including John W. Holland, a well-known local sign painter and businessman.
Clock’s Band provided music for the evening’s entertainment. Rev. Samuel Marks addressed the Daughters of Rebekah, the women lodge members, who attended the festival in full regalia. An article in the March 26, 1856 issue of the Sandusky Daily Commercial Register reported that the Odd Fellows’ Festival was “one of the most brilliant and admirably conducted entertainments ever given in Sandusky.” After Rev. Marks’ address, the crowd enjoyed a dance and music. Several amateurs sang throughout the evening. Dinner was served at eleven o’clock p.m. One hundred seventy people attended the banquet, which featured three tables “loaded down with all the luxuries and substantials the most craving appetite could demand.” The Independent Order of Odd Fellows is a fraternal organization. The I.O.O.F. symbol features a three link chain, which represents Friendship, Love and Truth. The I.O.O.F. building in Sandusky was dedicated on March 18, 1890. Several attorneys and businesses are now located in the I.O.O. F. building on Washington Row in downtown Sandusky.