Eastern Star Villa
The orphanage was built by the Masons, and the Grand Chapter
of Michigan,O.E.S. or "Order of the Eastern Star". The order is
dedicated to "Charity-Truth-Loving Kindness" and established the
Villa Fund in 1913 with a per capita tax of five cents to support an
orphanage for orphans of its members. In 1918 the Villa was
established in Adrian. The number of children residing in the Villa
averaged between 30 and 40, ranging in age from birth to sixteen
years. The cost of the operation was approximately
$14,000 per year.
Children were sponsored by a Chapter or a Lodge, and they paid
a stipend of fifty cents per week, plus clothing, as long as the child
resided at the Villa.
Special contributions made to the "Happiness Fund" by the
Chapters and individuals provided monies for additional needs
of the children. The Villa Fund still exists to help children and
grandchildren of the OES members, but in 1971 the Villa
orphanage was closed.
This information was provided from the Eastern Star Law Book
and "The Eastern Star in Michigan" pamphlet, 1855-1942.
Our building was situated to the left. In the back was another
storage building of sorts and a basketball court. After the
orphanage closed, it appears that the building next door was
torn down. Our building became the headquarters for
AAA of Michigan, and had one or two owners after that.
We purchased the building in 1993, and it currently houses
our office as well as the Parkside Family Counseling group.
Over the years, we have had a number of persons stop by to
visit and tell us that they were once residents of the Villa.
The building we occupy had kitchen facilities, a living room
with a fireplace, and dormitory style bedrooms in the basement,
and on the first and second floors.
Check back for historical updates.