A Moose member is a man belonging to the Loyal Order of Moose, or a woman belonging to the Women of the Moose. These members, over 1.5 million strong, make up the two components of the fraternal organization known as Moose International. Their membership is held in any one of 2,000 Lodges and 1,600 Chapters throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain (for more on Moose in the U.K. visit our links page or "http://www.mooseintl.org.uk")and Bermuda. Moose International headquarters is approximately 38 miles west of Chicago at Mooseheart, Illinois. Men and women join the Order for a variety of reasons, including Family Activities, Community Service projects and member sports programs, just to name a few. While these activities offer each Moose member a valid reason to join, the main endeavors of the fraternity remain Mooseheart, the 1,000 - acre Illinois home and school for children in need, and Moosehaven, the 65-acre Florida retirement community for senior members in need. These residents, entrusted to the care and support provided by membership in the Moose, are constant living reminders of the humanitarian efforts of Moose members. Compiled in this website are the goals and missions of both the Loyal Order of Moose and Women of the Moose. Ever since 1888, these men and women have been proud to serve local communities and fellow members of the fraternity known as the Moose.
It was over 100 years ago that James J. Davis joined the Loyal Order of the Moose. The organization was struggling at the time with only 246 members in two chapters.
But Davis didn't let that deter him as he laid out his plans for reviving the Moose and creating a place where children from destitute families or without anyone to care for them could live in peace with plenty of love, food and warm shelter.
He had gone to work in the Pennsylvania steel mills as a child of 11. Through the years he had seen many men die in steel mill accidents and watched their families soon become destitute because their breadwinner had died.
This was long before Social Security, welfare or other government aid programs came along and Davis thought it a preventable tragedy.
The Loyal Order of the Moose could establish a place where "the fatherless are fathered by all the men who have heard their cry" Davis told his fellow Moose members the night he was inducted.
Davis Soon launched a six-year effort to build up the Moose organization and establish the child city. Membership soon soared and two dairy farms totaling 1,000 acres were purchased near the Fox River south of Batavia. In 1913 Mooseheart was formally dedicated and opened with 11 students.
Since then, about 12,000 children have passed through Mooseheart's gates.
Moosehaven is a 70-acre community owned and operated by the Moose organization for its members and their spouses. It is located on the banks of the St. John's River in Orange Park, Florida, 15 miles south of Jacksonville, Florida.
After the 1913 founding of Mooseheart, the Moose organization's famed "Child City" for children in need, the fraternity turned its attention to plans for a home for its dependent retired members. Before Moosehaven was established, a number of elderly persons resided at Mooseheart, for a short period, but this was deemed an unsatisfactory solution.
The Moose originally bought a resort hotel on 26-acres at Orange Park; and, on November 1, 1922, Moosehaven was formally opened. The first 22 residents were those who had been living at Mooseheart. They set up housekeeping in the hotel which had been renamed Aid Hall.
From the beginning, much of the work necessary to keep Moosehaven running has been done by those who live there. And still today, as they are able, residents serve as their own gardeners, housekeepers, kitchen helpers, mail carriers, dining room helpers, and maintenance crew.
With land purchases, Moosehaven essentially grew to its current acreage by the 1960s. Since World War II, all of the original buildings have been replaced; during the 1990s most residential facilities were again thoroughly renovated or rebuilt - notably by the Ohio and Florida/Bermuda Moose Associations and the Women of the Moose. The physical plant today consists entirely of modern buildings designed and built to provide pleasant and comfortable accommodations, recreation, and care.
Each of the buildings in which Moosehaven people reside is a self-contained home with its own sleeping and living rooms, kitchen, and dining room. The $16 million Life Care Center, completed in 2002, and designed and equipped for the needs of senior care, provides space for 170 beds and has its own therapy department, x-ray, laboratory, and pharmacy. It also boasts six day rooms, a chapel, library, beauty salon and barbershop, and arts and crafts room. It is a four-building, interconnected, 130,000-sq.ft. complex offering state-of-the-art assisted-living care at various levels.
Thanks to the New York State Moose Association, Moosehaven residents also enjoy the fully equipped New York Exercise Center, completed in 1997, with indoor pool and bowling lanes, and worship in their own beautiful New York Chapel, built in 1972 at the center of campus. The bright, gracefully designed house of worship is served by Moosehaven's own Catholic and Protestant chaplains.
Celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2012, Moosehaven, the "City of Contentment," makes every effort possible to provide security, comfort, and peace of mind to qualified Moose men and women of retirement age.