Pamola Lodge History

The History of Pamola Lodge 211

The origin of Pamola Lodge is shrouded by the fog of time, as dense as the swirling mists that cloak the peaks of Mount Katahdin, from which the lodge derives its name and legend. While it is known that the lodge was first chartered in 1941, not a great deal is known of the people or events of our earliest years. A study of the old records and genealogy continues, but as of yet little new information has come to light.

What knowledge we have about the Lodge, dates from the late 50's and early 60's. During these years Dr. James Mallott and Mr. Clayton Theriault, both of the Bangor-Brewer area, invested their enthusiasm, commitment, and energy into a rejuvenation of the Lodge. They did so with a passion and zeal that survive to this day.

It may be appropriate that the beginnings of the Lodge are obscured in the shadows of the past. The legends of Pamola himself alludes only to half-known, half-believed stories of the god-beast that inhabits the upper slopes of Mt. Katahdin. The locals of this region both feared and revered this mountain deity who possessed the head of the moose, wings of the eagle, and the body of man. The Lodge that has come down to us from this ancient Lodge is a worthy descendant.

Pamola Lodge comprises the largest area of any Lodge east of the Mississippi, and is the most northerly Lodge in the contiguous 48 states. Our great size and the dispersal of our members are both a blessing and a curse. While the difficulty of getting together is a problem, it often seems to make our meetings more memorable.

Over the years our remoteness tended to encourage chapter activity before it became common place with others. Our North Star Chapter, located in Aroostook County, has conducted its own end of summer induction. Wappinook Chapter in the Washington District has a Native American culture emphasis. There are also chapters in Penobscot Valley (PV Chapter), Hancock (Wichagowick Chapter), Penquis (Penquis Chapter), and Waldo Districts (Wawenoc Chapter).

Records indicate that Pamola got a slow start - a Vigil ceremony was not held until 1961. By the mid 1970's, however, the "Boys from Pamola" were making their mark. Also significant of their impact was the fact that members of Pamola Lodge held Section, Regional, and National Leadership positions in the Order. Some were instrumental in forming the Ceremonies Advisory Group (CAG) at the 1972 National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC), which restructured the basics of the ordeal ceremony.

Balancing a need for tradition with this willingness to break new ground is shown by the fact that Pamola is the only Lodge in the Section (and maybe the nation) that has retained its original lodge flap design. Consistent with our heritage of service, the Lodge continues to make a substantial commitment to the funds be raised to expand the camp's land holdings and programs.

As we enter the 21st century, many changes have come to pass. Our membership includes many men and women leaders among our Ordeal, Brotherhood, and Vigil members. Our membership records are electronically managed through a National OA database and we use email, the Lodge website and Facebook to reach out to our members. These developments continue even while our feet mark trails and the trails mark our lives. Pamola Lodge 211 remains respectful of its past, proud of its present, and committed to its future.