Woodmen of the World Hall

2501 Urquhart St.
New Orleans LA 70117
Location Status: Same structure, different use
Curated by
e/Prime Media & Randy Fertel

The Woodmen of the World Hall hosted dances where many jazz bands played beginning in the 1910s. Nick LaRocca of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band was a regular. Drummer Monk Hazel performed here four times a week with Eckert’s Jazzolas, and cornetist Johnny Lala also took the stage. Clarinetist Emile Barnes worked here when African American musicians were allowed to play. The venue went on to host teen dances and even served as a recording studio. In 1954, for his Southland label, clarinetist Joe Mares recorded Johnny Wiggs here, waxing “If Ever I Cease to Love” and “King Zulu Parade.”

The building was constructed in 1909, and was officially known as Woodmen of the World, Acorn Camp No. 51. The Woodmen of the World is a fraternal beneficial organization that provides life insurance and investment services. During the early 1900s there were several W.O.W. camps in New Orleans. Evidence of the organization can be found in cemeteries, where members’ graves are identified by distinctive markers shaped like tree stumps. Today, the building is home to Abiding Temple Ministries.

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