Today being Halloween, a horror anthology film comes to mind in connection with the below news items. In Grim Prarie Tales (1990), James Earl Jones and Brad Dourif chew the scenery in the anthology’s wraparound segment as two men in the American West trying to one-up each other with scary stories around a campfire. Jones’s character begins with two supernatural tales, while Dourif’s follows with what turns out to be a story of real-horror, a young girl discovering her father is part of the Ku Klux Klan.
An air of mystery surrounds last night’s meeting in Diamond Rock Hall, Lansingburgh, of the Troy Klavern, No. 28,179, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Invitations for the meeting were sent our Monday through the mail to citizens. They were printed on “blue cards,” reading: “This card entitles the bearer to admission to Troy Klavern 28,179, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.” By actual county, 75 persons left the hall last night, and probably included some of the organizers of the Klavern from Schenectady and Rensselaer. Another meeting is rumored for tonight.
Troy Times. February 25, 1925: 3 cols 2-2.
KU KLUX KLAN MEETING.
At a second Ku Klux Klan Klonvocation held last night in Diamond Rock Hall, 218 new members were taken in by the Troy Klavern, according to information given out for publication. The meeting was set for 8 o’clock, but began a half hour after that to allow the men to arrive by small and inconspicuous groups. Admission was by printed invitation and apparently none but invited guests cared to attend, as none was turned away. The meeting, which lasted until nearly midnight, was addressed by Dr. Oscar W. Haywood, national lecturer of the organization from the propaganda department at Washington.
Troy Times. February 26, 1925: 5 col 5.
If the two above items can be trusted (the chapter number of 28,179 is unusual), one can at least take some solace in the apparent absence of any later news of a Troy Klan meeting or otherwise existing. The Troy chapter doesn’t appear on Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries’ “https://labs.library.vcu.edu/klan/”>Mapping the Second Ku Klux Klan, 1915-1940” timeline map, suggesting that it didn’t last long enough to be even mentioned in any of the many sources they consulted.
Diamond Rock Hall had been owned by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, established in Lansingburgh in 1868. Located at 131 Fifth Avenue, Troy, New York (seemingly formerly numbered 125 Fifth Avenue), it later became home to Mount Moriah Lodge, Free & Accepted Masons, Prince Hall, and still later to the Holy Serenity Church of God In Christ and to the Troy Chapter NAACP.