Junior Order American Mechanics Hall

In 1853 the Junior Order of American Mechanics, or J.O.U.A.M., was founded. Its parent organization, the Order of American Mechanics was a political and social order that advocated for nativist policies and provided financial support for its members.

Twenty five years after its founding the J.O.U.A.M. became an independent organization that abandoned its nativist politics and instead became a general fraternal benefit society that was open to all people regardless of creed, race, or sex. It offered a social membership and insurance membership. The later granted members health, death, and accident insurance during a time when that type of coverage was rare.

A chapter of this organization was founded in Toms Brook on September 18, 1895. At the time it had 28 members. The majority of these were most likely workers at the nearby Rockdale Lime Quarry or other industrial interests in the town.

By 1906 the organization had grown to 143 members and had built its own meeting house.

When the organization ceased to function is unknown, however the building was converted into the Toms Brook Fire Department sometime after that organization was founded in 1948. It was demolished in the 1990s when that organization moved into a new building and turned their former hall into a parking lot.


Massanutten Council, No. 68, Jr. O.U.A.M.<br /><br />

Massanutten Council, No. 68, Jr. O.U.A.M.

Postcard with a picture of the Junior Order of American Mechanics building in Toms Brook Virginia and a description of their organization. | Source: Herb Parker Postcard Collection | Creator: Shenandoah County Library View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Shenandoah County Library, “Junior Order American Mechanics Hall,” Shenandoah Stories, accessed April 26, 2018, http://archives.countylib.org/tour/items/show/25.


Share this Story