This Colonial Revival brick building was built in 1910 as the headquarters for Lodge 1099 of the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks. Lodge 1099 (frequently misremembered and mistyped as Lodge 1009) was first organized in Holly Springs in 1907, and received its official charter from the Elks Lodge on July 15, 1908. The Lodge was organized by many of the most famous men of early 20th century Holly Springs history, including W. T. Ross, D. M. Featherston, L. A. Smith, James C. Totten, I. C. Levy, R. A. McDermott, Charles N. Dean, L. G. Fant, Sam Blumenthal and Dan Shumacker, among others. The first “Exalted Ruler” was W. T. Ross.
The Elk Lodge quickly became one of the social centers of town, and was known for its parties, balls and other events, and for allowing other groups, including many of the Ladies Groups in town without their own headquarters, to use this building for their own needs. Lodge 1099 was active all the way until the 100th anniversary of Holly Springs, in 1936. Unfortunately, declining membership in the Lodge resulted in the foreclosure of their headquarters in late 1936, and the complete dissolution of Lodge 1099 in 1937. The last Exalted Ruler was J. O. Tyson.
After 1936, the building was owned by Wall Doxey Sr. (1892-1962) and his son, Wall Doxey Jr. (1926-1973). The Doxey family turned the old Elk Lodge into the Van Dorn Hotel, which also occupied the antebellum frame Mackie House (seen in one of the old pictures above) located just to the west of the Hotel. The Mackie House was demolished in about 1950. The Van Dorn Hotel continued to act as a social gathering in Holly Springs, and an attached restaurant was famous for lunch served on Sunday afternoons.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the building was rented out by the Doxey family for a variety of uses, including a funeral home, a nursing home and a law office. In 1981, the building was sold to Marshall County, which opened the Superintendent of Education’s office in the old Elk Lodge. The Superintendent of Education Office moved out of the building around 2014, and the building remains empty today. As of 2016, the Marshall County Board of Supervisors was looking to find a buyer for the building.
The Elk Lodge is a two-and-a-half-story three-bay pyramidal-roof brick building, with a central dormer, a bracketed roof cornice line, and a front porch supported by brick columns.