Monument City Blog

Branches of Baltimore History

James Ridgely Monument in Harlem Square

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The James Ridgely Monument was commissioned by the Sovereign Grand Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Designed by artist Alexander Doyle and completed in 1885, the statue stands in West Baltimore’s Harlem Square.

James Ridgely joined the American Odd Fellows in 1829, ten years after the North American chapter was founded by Thomas Wildey. As a well-educated man and member of the Maryland Bar, Ridgley quickly moved through the ranks of the friendly society. He was elected Grand Sire, the highest position of the Order, in 1936. In 1941 he stepped down to become Grand Secretary, a post he held for the remainder of his life.

James Ridgely wrote manuals, pamphlets and books for and on the secret group, his body of work representing forty years of American Odd Fellows history. He is buried in Green Mount Cemetery.

I haven’t been to the monument yet, but I have seen it from a taxi. When I get the the chance I’ll travel down there and photograph the statue, as well as any adjoining plaques or inscriptions. Hopefully this will help confirm the information I’ve read about Mr. Ridgely.

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Location

1500 Edmonson Avenue (Street View)

GPS: 39° 17′ 45.70″ N 76° 38′ 31.70″ W

Written by monumentcity

September 20th, 2010 at 8:44 pm