Thanks to the efforts of Father Michael J. McGivney, assistant pastor of St Mary's Church in New Haven, and some of his parishioners, the Connecticut state legislature on March 29, 1882, officially chartered the Knights of Columbus as a fraternal benefit society. The order is still true to its founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity.
The Knights was formed to render financial aid to members and their families. Mutual aid and assistance are offered to sick, disabled and needy members and their families. Social and intellectual fellowship is promoted among members and their families through educational, charitable, religious, social welfare, war relief and public relief works.
The history of the order shows how the foresight of Father McGivney brought about what has become the world's foremost Catholic fraternal benefit society. The order has helped families obtain economic security and stability through its life insurance, annuity and long term care programs, and has contributed time and energy worldwide to service in communities.
The Knights of Columbus has grown from several members in one council to more than 13,000 councils and 1.7 million members worldwide.
Ticonderoga Council # 333 Knights of Columbus was founded in 1887. They met above the Brust Store until 1921 when the Pond House, located across East Exchange (Montcalm) Street from the IOOE Hall was demolished to make a site for the new K of C Building. Their new home was erected at a cost of $40,000 and dedicated in 1922.
The lumber from the Pond House was recycled into a barn for Charles Hall. During the 1930s boxing matches, basketball and baseball games, dinners, dances, carnivals, card parties, picnics, fairs, concerts and New Year's Eve dances were popular and membership increased. At one initiation there were 100 candidates with 600 men attending.
To answer the great demand for paper during World War II, the K of C building served as the Salvage Committee headquarters. The paper collected helped production at International Paper Co. Of the 96 members listed at the time, 22 served as WW II soldiers.
Ticonderoga Council #333 is still very active and recently completed a massive renovation of their building with a new facade on Montcalm Street. The meeting room has been completely redecorated.
This series of articles is compliments of Ticonderoga Heritage Museum, located in the 1888 building at the entrance of Bicentennial Park.