Organization of the Bowie Elks Lodge began in February 1964. By June 50 applications for membership had been processed, and on the 26th of June 1964, 72 Charter Members were present at the Institutional Ceremonies.
In March of 1965 our present lodge site was purchased. It had a small one bedroom cottage and the present storage shed as the only buildings on the property. To us who were so enthused about having our own lodge home it looked beautiful. However, when the county officials examined it as a potential temporary lodge home the best recommendation they could give was that we be given a fire permit to burn it down.
Disappointed, yes, discouraged, no. The membership organized the BPOE No. 2309 Building Corporation, obtained a charter under Maryland State Laws, and sold $3,000.00 worth of bonds to charter members. The Belair Bank, Bowie, Maryland also had faith in us for they advanced a construction loan and under the guidance of our building chairman, P.E.R. Luther Elkins and with the help of many dedicated Brother Elks the original lodge hall was constructed. This is the portion which now serves as the bar and lounge.
Due to the increase in membership the Lodge Hall was quickly outgrown and a second building program developed. In November 1970 the 60 x 100 foot addition, our present Lodge Room and Ballroom, was completed and the first major affair held in the "new" building was the Seventh Annual Charity Ball.
Since then a number of improvements have been made to the lodge to include the additions of a gameroom with two offices, an enclosed entrance to the ballroom and a chair and table storage area. A new heating and cooling system with electronic air cleaners was installed in 1988. The loading dock has been enclosed for additional storage and security. In January of 1989 the ballroom was completely renovated to include wallpaper, paneling and carpet.
The lodge has grown and prospered due to the commitment and hard work of its members and we all are proud of Bowie Lodge #2309.