Sanhican Lodge #2 History
George Washington Council
An early lodge history written by Hugh Callahan
and adapted by Dr. Larry Gering (page 2)
In September, 1926, the Lodge built a Lodge House on Rotary Island. About the same time, the Lodge ceremonial grounds at the Council's new camp, Camp Pahaquarra, was named the 'Durling Ceremonial Grounds'. In 1929 the annual Lodge Pilgrimage (in June) and the annual Lodge Banquet (during Christmas week) were started. Also in 1929, the Lodge House on Rotary Island was sold to the Trenton Boys Club. Local outdoor work of the lodge was then conducted at Toad Hollow, Hamilton Square, NJ, where J. Oliver Smith lived as caretaker.
In 1954 the membership voted to build a permanent building at Pahaquarra Scout Reservation. It was decided by the membership to use this lodge home for OA summer activities and for winter camping for Council's troops and posts. After many months and hours of work clearing the site where the old camp kitchen stood, the new Lodge House was finally built and dedicated, as the Pop Keller Cabin in 1960.
In the 1950's the Lodge was divided into five Chapters; these corresponded with the five districts within George Washington Council. Lenape Trails, Stony Brook, Hunterdon Arrowhead and Jenny Jump. Chapters aligned with their district. However, Sanhican District would have resulted in Sanhican Chapter of Sanhican Lodge. This problem was resolved by naming the chapter 'Yapeechen Chapter'. The word yapeechen means long the bank, a synonym for sanhican.
In 1966, the Lodge Executive Committee approved the use of a wooden triangle as part of the Vigil Honor Ceremony. These triangles (approximately 4 inches on a side) were painted red with white arrows and were worn on a leather thong by Vigil Candidates during their vigil. The triangles were replaced the next morning with similar triangles which included the addition of the Indian name of the new Vigil Honor Member.
In the fall of 1968 the Council's Executive Board approved a portion of the George Washington Scout Reservation to be used for ceremonial use of the Lodge. This area was a site where stone had been quarried.
In 1969 the Lodge celebrated its 50th anniversary. A brief history of the Lodge was written by Hugh Callahan Jr. for the occassion (ref. 1) and later appeared in the Trenton Times newspaper (ref. 2)
In 1977 the Lodge established the Joe D'Angelo Memorial Award (ref. 3). This award was created to recognize those Scouts and Scouters who best live up to the high ideals of Joe D'Angelo's Vigil Honor name: 'To Show Someone' and the Order of the Arrow theme: 'Unselfish service to others'. Together they represent our brother, Joe D'Angelo: To show someone though unselfish service to others.
Sanhican Lodge hosted three Area 2C Conferences at Pahaquarra Scout Reservation: 1954, 1961 and 1969. The Lodge also hosted two NE Section 4B Conferences at Yards Creek Scout Reservation: 1977 and 1984 and the NE Section 4A Conference at Kittatinny Mountain Scout Reservation in 1999.
In 1999 the Lodge celebrated its 80th anniversary. It was a time to reflect on a past that included sixty five Lodge Chiefs (ref. 4), twelve Lodge Advisors (ref. 5) and thousands of brothers who helped Sanhican Lodge survive rough times and enjoy good times. And it was a time to look ahead to a new challenge.
Earlier in the year, two councils - George Washington Council and Thomas A. Edison Council - merged to form the Central New Jersey Council. In a similar process on September 25, 1999, two lodges merged - Sanhican Lodge No. 2 and Narraticong Lodge No. 9 This resulted in a new lodge - Sakuwit Lodge No. 2.
It is still true that in the valley of the Delaware a mighty lodge of the Order of the Arrow continues to thrive. Even though the rattlesnake and the mosquito totems have been replaced by the raccoon, we are still bound in brotherhood.
Sanhican Lodge 2 History, page 1