Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ambridge trivia: Did you know...? #3 American Legion post, Elks Temple

The Canady-Hull American Legion Post 341 at 400 Duss Avenue was once the Ambridge Elks Temple.

Canady-Hull American Legion Post 341
June 23, 2013

Elks Temple
Economy Centennial Souvenir Program,
Economy of Old and Ambridge of Today

According to a June 9, 1965, Beaver County Times article about the Elks' 60th anniversary, the temple at Fourth Street and Duss Avenue was dedicated on July 28, 1913. Then, in 1939, the Elks moved to 22 Beaver Street, Fair Oaks, just across Big Sewickley Creek from Ambridge.

Which is rather confusing since an article in the October 3, 1953,  Beaver Valley Times says about the Legion, "the post home was dedicated in 1934."

I hope that I'll eventually find information explaining the overlapping years between when the Legion supposedly dedicated the building at Fourth and Duss in 1934, and 1939, when the Elks moved to Fair Oaks. If anyone has information that can help, please leave a comment.

[Update August 8, 2014: In the Old Economy-Ambridge Sesqui-Centennial Historical Booklet, May 1974, the entry for American Legion Post 341 says the post's first home was purchased in 1934 at the Third Street location that later became the site of the G.A.P.A club*. And it also says that because of swelling membership during WWII, the Post acquired a new home. So, the Legion did not move into the Fourth Street Building in 1934. Confusion about the dates resolved, I guess.]

Just noticed from the photos that the fire hydrant apparently didn't move between 1924 and 2013.

[Update: August 31, 2014:

When I first saw this postcard on eBay, I thought, "Oh, look, another view of the American Legion, with a car parked in front of the building on the 4th Street hill." Then I noticed there was no American Legion sign on the building. And then I did a double-take when I saw the caption, "B.P.O.E. Building, Ambridge, PA."

 postmarked October 2, 1937

So, the large addition on the Duss Avenue side to the original Elks Temple was added by the Elks before they moved to Fair Oaks and sold the building to the American Legion.

I decided I needed to own this postcard despite the fact that it's not in the greatest condition, so I bought it.]

[Update July 25, 2017: Although the Elks had moved from the 4th and Duss building, it was still on the market in June 1942.

Sale of former Elks building
4th St. and Duss Ave.
Daily Citizen ad
June 8, 1942

[* Update September 6, 2014:  The G.A.P.A. (Greek-American Progressive Association) Hall was located at 310 Third Street.]


  1. That's what I call an interesting before and after photo. Never knew it was an Elks temple...even though the cornerstone on the current building reads, "B.P.O.E. 1912", which would have identified it as an Elks Lodge (at one point).

  2. I was told that it was used as a hospital at one time also

  3. Yes, it was used as a hospital during the influenza stated above in the BVT's article.

  4. I heard that during the great flu epidemic it was used as a hospital as well. At least this is what my father told me. He said he heard it from his father who helped bury the dead during the epidemic.

  5. john domansky
    1930s late 40s early, american legion building was across from holy redeemer school, on the hill going up to beaver rd, a great road to test your cars power, from stop to top. recess was on that flat area below building.