Moosehaven is an active retirement community exclusively for members of The Moose. This residential community has served members of The Moose since 1922.
Moosehaven, a beautiful 63 acre campus located on the St. Johns River in northeast Florida, has been home to members of the Loyal Order of Moose and Women of the Moose since 1922.
During Mooseheart’s first five years, a small number of independent Moose seniors were provided residence at Mooseheart, “The Child City” on a somewhat experimental basis. However, providing a home for both children and seniors on the northern Illinois campus proved impractical. In 1918, Director General James J. Davis proposed to that year’s International Convention to find “a home in a warmer climate for the aged members and their spouses.”
Supreme Secretary Rodney H. Brandon purchased the historic four-story Hotel Marion and its eight acres, located on the St. Johns River in Orange Park, Florida. He named the property “Moosehaven” and the new residents renamed the hotel, “Brandon Hall.” The original concept of Moosehaven was to “organize the residents so that they might help each other and help themselves, and provide from their own energy the major part of the cost of their keep.”
Moosehaven was dedicated on October 3, 1922, and the first 20 residents arrived (mostly from Mooseheart) on November 1. During the first six months of operation, over 50 residents were admitted. By 1926, there were 144 residents. Known initially as the “City of Endeavor,” Moosehaven residents performed all of their own work and operated a successful dairy and farm. At various times, as many as 500 Moose members resided at Moosehaven.
The Moose is a fraternal and service organization founded in 1888. There are approximately 900,000 members across the US, Canada, and Great Britain.
You may have heard the saying, “A burden heavy to one is borne lightly by many.” This is at the core of the Moose organization and what makes us unique in our Lodges, local communities and charitable “cities” that we support. Our roots can be traced to 1888 and the founder of the Moose, Dr. Henry Wilson, who successfully established the first Lodge in Louisville, Kentucky.
In the early years, the Moose was to serve a modest goal of offering men an opportunity to gather socially, to care for one another’s needs and celebrate life together. Since those early years, our fraternal organization rapidly expanded to include valuable service to our communities, care for children and teens in need at Mooseheart Child City & School , a 1,000-acre campus, located 40 miles west of Chicago and care for our senior members at Moosehaven, a 70-acre retirement community near Jacksonville, Florida.
With a combined membership of nearly 900,000 members, our presence is felt in over 1,500 communities across all 50 states and four Canadian provinces. The Moose organization contributes between $75 to $100 million worth of community service (counting monetary donations, volunteer hours worked and miles driven) annually.
In addition to Mooseheart and Moosehaven, the Moose fraternity’s Heart of the Community effort is multifaceted with internally developed programs like Tommy Moose. Tommy Moose aids in helping children overcome fears and anxiety during times of stress. Donated to law enforcement, fire fighters and other emergency workers, Tommy Moose plush dolls are presented to children in various traumatic situations.
The external focus of our service is directed towards many worthwhile national charities, a few of which are: Special Olympics North America, Salvation Army, Safe Surfin’USA Foundation, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, and St. Jude.
In local Lodges, you will find a wide array of activities to participate in both as an individual and as a family. From holiday parties, dances, sports, themed dinners and live entertainment, the Moose has much to offer.
Membership can mean different things to different people. You are the one determining what you want to get out of the organization, and what you want to give back. The Moose is about celebrating life together, serving those in need within our local community, supporting our children at Mooseheart and standing by our senior members at Moosehaven.