Carlin Dodrill wrote a history of the Cedar Lodge in 1982. He noted that the club was started ” ….by a group of men who loved to make home brew and drink it, too.” They looked for a place where they could enjoy cook-outs and found an old farm house on Bethany Pike at the foot of Buchanan Hill on the Southwest side of Buffalo Creek. Prior to selecting the farm house, a tent was used to congregate near the farm house. There was a cave in back of the house where the home brew was stored. The farm provided plenty of room for a garden and fishing. In 1932, while at the Bethany Pike location, a charter was written and the club was named the “Cedar Lodge” because of the cedar trees near the farm house. The club moved to Follansbee around 1934. The new location was the Brandt Building located on the West side of Main Street in the 900 block. Cedar Lodge had the entire second floor and Harry Brandt had a barbershop on the first floor.
The first floor was later occupied by Blakley’s Barbershop. About 1938 the club decided to have a basketball team. The uniform colors were turquoise blue and satin black with white leather shoes. Teams were played from local towns. Dodrill explained, the team would meet at the club and drink a lot of beer before the games. “It didn’t make much difference because we only played half the court — the first guy dribbled until he was past the center line, then shot.”
The club remained in the same location until 1945 when the Brandt Building was sold. With many members serving in the war overseas, a move was made to a couple rooms in the back of the old Leon Building, later known as the Dr. DiBiasse Building. Jim DiPasquale, the local distributor for Fort Pitt beer, helped the club move with his truck.
The new location was a failure from the start because the Lodge’s entrance was in the back. No one came in. Within a month another location was secured in the old Linorelli Building, which once stood just south of where the Yacht Club is today. The club gained momentum as army boys came home from the war. In 1946, a house across the street (present club) was for sale. Hearty DiPasquale was living there at the time. The Cedar Lodge was able to buy the place for cash. With Carlin Dodrill acting as the Lodge Secretary, work on the house began including construction of a bar, a new gas line and furnace.
The Cedar Lodge remains in the same location and is one of the most successful clubs in the Northern Panhandle. Since the late 1960s the membership has diversified to include many from the lower end of town.
During its formal years, the Cider Lodge became a symbol for the Orchard section of town where a number of prominent factory bosses resided. For years, the Cider Lodge membership was closed to Lower Enders based on ethic-social-economic lines.
Among the original 1931 charter members of the Lodge were William H. Lake, Brown Lattimer, “Bobby Dobbs” Morris, “Whitey” Glazer, Pete Adler, Sr., “Paddy” Walker, Lou Diller, Tommy Reese, “Heiddy” Heid, “Dunk” Grant, George Shindehetti, “Bobby” Spohn, Jack Keane.
Original Cedar Lodge on Buffalo creek circa 1931. Photo courtesy of the Cedar Lodge.
Picture Cedar Lodge members. Photo courtesy of the Cedar Lodge.
- “History of the Cedar Lodge As Recalled by Carlin Dodrill,” May 1982, (unpublished).