Held at: Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area [Contact Us]204 Church St., Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, 19460
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The Knights of the Golden Eagle (K.G.E.) is a fraternal organization with rituals based on those of the Crusaders. It was founded in 1873 in Baltimore, Maryland, and by the late 1890s its membership was at almost 60,000. As of 2012, the organization had approximately 2,000 members, and was functioning in only three states: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.
"Organizationally, regions were divided into districts under a District Grand Chief. Castles were limited in that they could not be named after a living person or have a name similar to another district castle. Dues for membership were $3.00. Members also contributed to funeral expenses and could be fined for absence, smoking or drinking while the castle was in session. Members dressed in regalia according to their rank. There were three levels--Pilgrim, Knight, and Crusader. Officers wore caps, swords, belts and white gloves when in session."
The first Knights of the Golden Eagle branch in Phoenixville was Stratford Castle no. 667, established around 1887. It met on the third floor of Sturgis' Store at Main and Prospect Street. The second castle in Phoenixville, Washington Castle, met at 19 S. Main Street. It dissolved in 1970.
Quoted text from: Ertell, Jack. "Information About the Knights of the Golden Eagle." Document found in Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area subject files.
This collection consists mostly of minutes and membership records of the Washington Castle No. 45, Knights of the Golden Eagle, with some financial and other records. There are about six minute books, 1885-1936. The membership records include a Book of Oaths, circa 1890-1940; membership, dues, and attendance books, 1915-1967; and sickness and death benefit committee reports, 1940-1963. The financial records include treasurer's reports, 1886-1969, and treasurer's receipt books, 1935-1969. In addition, the collection includes scattered documents such as doctors' certifications of sick members, correspondence, loose financial records, and other papers. There are several printed booklets of the constitution, by-laws, and annual reports of the Phoenixville castle, as well as several items from the state Knights of the Golden Eagle organization.
An inventory of the items in this collection exists in a database on-site.
Gift of Mrs. L. MaBelle Haynie, 1984 (accession #1984.80).
Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.
In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area directly for more information.
- Knights of the Golden Eagle. Washington Castle No. 45 (Phoenixville, Pa.)
- Knights of the Golden Eagle
- Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Faith Charlton through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
- This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- Access Restrictions
Contact Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area for information about accessing this collection.