The Ark, and Odd fellows’ western magazine : a monthly … V9-10 1852-1853. Page 378
We have a few words of advice to members and petitioners trying to organize new Lodges.
There are instances where Lodges have been started in flourishing and business towns which have barely survived by having only the occasional initiation. They don’t prosper although in the heart of a good community. The cause is obvious. Almost every time, the Lodges had the wrong members leading the lodge from the beginning. There are other cases where the smallest village has a large and prosperous Lodge. The best people of the community are members and the lodges are always well attended. This will always be the case when lodges are begun as they should be: to gain the trust and confidence of the community.
Another difficulty in starting up a new Lodge is the extravagance of decorating Lodges, obtaining regalia and wardrobe, etc. Everything like extravagance should be avoided. Comfort, convenience and neatness should be the priority. There is no need for tapestry, paintings, wall hangings and the like. To save expense, a small stand or pedestal in front or to the side of the N.G. or V.G. is all that’s needed. Let the chairs be elevated one or two steps and comfortable chairs for the officers.
As to regalia, it is possible to procure the entire wardrobe and regalia at home (sometimes even local stores—editor). Borrow examples of things from other Lodges and base your regalia on that and sew and construct your own. As much as possible make everything needed at home. Of course some items must be gotten from SGL. But please: have some Odd Fellow respect and avoid these disasters:
When a lodge has become prosperous, you can procure other nice things.