EUGENE, Ore. — A more than century-old organization in Eugene officially said, “Good-bye,” to the community this weekend. The local Moose Lodge held an estate sale to clear out its most recent location.
Sale organizers say fraternal organizations all over are experiencing a decline in membership. So while this location was only open for about five months, it wasn’t too surprising to see it close its doors.
An estate sale isn’t your average yard sale. Sale coordinator Darryl Cabral said, “Part of the adventure of going to an estate sale is actually getting inside of a property you’ve never been to before.”
This weekend folks got to take a look inside the Eugene Moose Lodge. From bingo game pieces, to a wooden piano and even a glass window, it was selling off everything it could. While to many sale patrons all this was just some old stuff on a good deal, for others they were memories of another time.
“It’s not like a garage sale where you go to their yard or garage. You get to go through a person’s life or how they lived. Every one is different,” said Cabral.
Jim Roberts has been a part of the Moose Lodge community in several different cities since 1961. He says the spot used to be pretty busy.
“At one time, this place had about 3,500 members. It’s just sad that statewide fraternities are just going to pot because people have a lot more other things to do. So they just don’t participate in the fraternities like they used to,” said Roberts.
Members say declining numbers and dwindling funds have forced many groups like this to shut down. But while the weekend sale signified the close of the chapter, Moose Lodge members say there’s still hope.
“The younger crowd needs to come in and be members to get them going again,” said Cabral.
The Eugene location may be gone, but the chapter isn’t, at least not completely. The remaining members have joined forces with their brothers in Junction City.