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Order Sons of Italy in America. Grand Lodge of Maryland records

Identifier: IHRC1807


The Order Sons of Italy in America, Maryland Grand Lodge was founded in 1920. Records (1925-1987) consist of Supreme lodge records, convention booklets (1965-1983), Birth Defect Campaign reports (1968-1975), and Supreme Council minutes (1975-1980). Grand Lodge records consist of convention minutes and reports Grand Council minutes (1970-1987), district meeting minutes (1975-1977), reports of the culture committee, Italian Festival, social activities, and corresondence (1965-1985), state lodge ledgers and financial reports (1965-1985), mortuary fund records 91948-1972), Amenitar Awards programs, copies of The Forum newspaper and its business records (1970-1986), local lodge records including membership and officers lists and correspondence. Also included are photographs, non-OSIA publications such as Il Giornalino, the Italian Times of Maryland, and Agenzia Ansa.


  • 1925-1987


Language of Materials

Mainly in English; some items in Italian


Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.


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Biographical / Historical

The Maryland Grand Lodge was founded on July 18, 1920, the eight state lodge chartered by OSIA. The first local lodge in the state, Guglielmo Marconi #183, was organized in 1913 in Baltimore. Since that time an additional 85 local lodges have been chartered in Maryland.

In 1921 the Maryland Grand Lodge created a Mortuary Fund (Fondo Unico Mortuario) which had 1415 subscribers by 1924. At that time the fund paid $450 to the family of a deceased husband/father and $200 upon the death of a wife/mother. The grand lodge also maintained a fund to assist needy families during the 1920's.

In the early 1930s a Grand Lodge Temple was acquired at 806 St. Paul Street. Better known as the Italian Gardens it was for many years the focus of OSIA and other Italian American activities in Baltimore. In the 1970's the Grand Lodge moved its headquarters to a building at 410 West Fayette Street, also in downtown Baltimore. this facility has displays of OSIA artifacts and murals depicting events in Italian American history.

The Maryland Grand Lodge sponsored a variety of cultural activities and in recent years has been very active in Baltimore's City Fair and All Nation's Festival. OSIA has sponsored annual outdoor Italian Festivals in summer and Carnivale celebrations in winter. The grand lodge has been involved in large Columbus Day festivities since its earliest days.

The Grand Lodge has traditionally been active in supporting OSIA charity programs, such as Cooley's Anemia, Birth Defects, and relief programs for flood and earthquake victims in Italy. Scholarships are annually awarded to students entering college, and the Grand Lodge has formed at least one junior lodge for Italian American youth.

Membership in the post World War II era has increased from 378 in 1959, to 619 in 1969, to 1820 in 1977, and 4852 in 1982. maryland is one of the two grand lodges that has elected a woman as State President - Lucy Thomas served in this office from 1985 to 1987.


29 Linear Feet

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