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Sanhican Lodge #2

Early History

George Washington Council


This history is by Hugh Callahan, Jr, Historian

Note: This is one view of Sanhican history. This information was provided to me by Sanhican Lodge members.  I have never been a member of Sanhican Lodge, but only wish to provide this information to whomever may be interested as reference material.

The Trenton Lodge of the Order of the Arrow was first formalized in February 1919. William Durling, along with Harry Biles, Edwin Fisher, Frank Groom, and J. Oliver Smith went to Philadelphia Council's Scout Reservation, Treasure Island, in the Delaware River near Frenchtown, New Jersey for induction into the Order of the Arrow by Unami Lodge #1. These five men and a few members of Unami Lodge #1 assisted in inducting six more candidates into the Ordeal Honor, on August 6, 1920, on Park Island in the Delaware River, across from Sanhican Drive, Trenton, New Jersey. A business meeting followed, during which officers were elected and the lodge was named Trenton Lodge. It was decided that candidates must spend fourteen nights at camp with at least eight boys from his troop. Later a few more candidates were inducted into the lodge.

In 1922, a constitution and by-laws were adopted, and a totem was designed (Rattlesnake). The lodge name was changed from Trenton Lodge to Sanhican Lodge (along the water). On October 16, 1922, William Durling was the lodge's first member elected to Vigil Honor. By 1926, the total membership of Sanhican Lodge was 105.

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 Cermonial Grounds". That name is still used. In 1929, the annual summer pilgrimage and banquet during Christmas was started. The Lodge House on Rotary Island was sold to a Boy's Club. Local ourdoor work of the lodge was then conducted at Toad Hollow, Hamiton Square, N.J, where J. Oliver Smith lived as caretaker.

In 1954, the membership voted to build a permanent building at Pahaquarra Scout Reservation. The membership decided to use this lodge home for OA summer activities, and for winter camping for the Council's troops and Posts. After many months and hours of work clearing a site--where the old camp kitchen stood--our lodge house was finally built and dedicated in 1960 as the Pop Keller Cabin.

Spring election of 1965 gave the ceremonial team quite a workout. Because of such a great number, they not only used the Durling Ceremonial Grounds, but also had to hold ceremonies at another selected site. Two such ceremonies were held at each place.

At the Fall Meeting of 1965, the lodge voted that each chapter conduct their own Ordeal Ceremony, allowing one chapter to host and conduct their Ordeal at the annual pilgrimage. This proved successful, until 1968, when the quota was changed and a greater number was allowed to be elected. At the 1968 summer meeting at Pahaquarra Scout Reservation, the membership voted that all Ordeals will be held before the pilgrimage weekend.

Over the years the lodge donated various office equipment along with Cheerful Service. In 1965, the council was given its present building for a service center. Many donated their services and needed equipment to make it suitable for better scouting and service. The Lodge Executive Committee asked the Scout Executive, Leroy Brown, what contribution the lodge could make to the Service Center. He suggested a sign to identify the George Washington Council Service Center would be appreciated. After many months and many different designs, one was finally approved by the Council's Executive Board. The new sign was installed on Saturday, December 24, 1966 in a heavy snow storm, with Advisor Hugh Callahan and Lou Tarcza assisting.

In 1966, the lodge's executive committee approved a triangle (approximately 4"), with appropriate arrows and Indian name painted on face, for future Vigil Honor members. This is to be given to Vigil Candidates on the morning, following their last ceremony.

The fall of 1968, the council's Executive Board approved a portion of the George Washington Scout Reservation to be used for ceremonial uses of the lodge. This area was a site where stone had been quarried. Much of the stone used at the main entrance, Kerney Lodge wall, fireplace, and including the McIntosh building was obtained from this area.

Sanhican Lodge #2 had been very active within Area 2C, having had five of its members elected Area Chief. They included:


    In 1953, Phil Robins, who later became national secretary of the Order of the Arrow.

    In 1954, William Guthrie.

    In 1959, George Renwick.

    In 1963, Joseph Zaderaki, and

    In 1967, Douglas Remer.

    In 1969 (?), Ronald Rupp (also served as Region 2 Chairman), and was awarded the OA's Distinguished Service Award 


The present Area 2C Area Leader (when this was originally written) , Leroy "Curley" Edwards, was also Lenape Trail's Chapter Leader. John Woodard, Assistant Scout Executive of our Council, is serving as the Professional Advisor.

Pahaquarra Scout Reservation has been host to Area 2C Conferences in 1954 and 1961, and will be in 1969. Sanhican Lodge #2 has had attendance at all National Conferences.

Over the past 50 years, the lodge had had five Lay Advisors:

William Durling

1919 - 1940

Harold Keller

1941 - 1960

William Guthrie

1961 - 1965

Hugh Callahan

Jan. 1965 - 1966

Lou Tarcza

Jan. 1967 - ...


Sanhican Lodge #2 had five chapters, set up by districts of the council. During the last 50 years, the lodge has had many fine scouts and scouters in its membership, who have given cheerful service for the lodge, the council, the districts, and the local units.

Sanhican Lodge #2 Merger History

Sakuwit Lodge #2 was chartered in 1999 in the Central New Jersey Council (#352) located in Trenton, New Jersey. In 1999, Sakuwit Lodge #2 was formed in the merger of Sanhican Lodge #2 and Narriticong Lodge #9. The Sakuwit Lodge totem is the raccoon.

    Sanhican Lodge #2 was chartered in 1919 in the George Washington Council located in Trenton, New Jersey. The Sanhican Lodge totem was the coiled rattlesnake.

    Narraticong Lodge #9 was chartered in 1969 in the Thomas E. Edison Council located in Edison, New Jersey. Narraticong Lodge #9 was formed from the merger of Cowaw Lodge #9 and Sakawawin Lodge #287. The Narraticong Lodge totem was the mosquito.

      Cowaw Lodge #9 was chartered in 1922 in the Raritan Council located in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. The Cowaw Lodge totem was the Pine tree.

      Sakawawin Lodge #287 was chartered in the Middlesex Council located in Highland Park, New Jersey. In 1948: Sakawawin Lodge changed name from Kit-Chee-Ke-Ma Lodge. The Sakawawin Lodge totem was the Beaver.

        Kit-Chee-Ke-Ma Lodge #287 was chartered in 1945 in the Middlesex Council located in New Brunwick, New Jersey. The Kit-Chee-Ke-Ma Lodge totem was the Beaver.



Bill Griesmyer -- Last updated 05-September-2014