The Odd Fellows Home is located on a hill overlooking Dell Rapids. It was constructed in 1910 to serve as the home for dependent children and the elderly members of the International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF), Grand Lodge of South Dakota. It is the only residence of its kind built by a fraternal order in South Dakota.
Sioux Falls architect Joseph Schwarz designed the building in a simplified Renaissance Revival style. The two-story residence with raised basement is constructed of locally quarried Sioux quartzite with limestone trim. The hipped roof is accented by exposed rafter tails and a central louvered cupola. The building expanded on the south end in 1959 with the addition of a brick wing with concrete foundation that extends westward to form an L-shaped plan.
The original land included 172 acres with farmland, an orchard, and various barns and outbuildings. Remnants of the apple orchard remain today on the current 3.3-acre parcel. A 1924 power plant, also designed by Schwarz, is west of the residence and connected to it by a tunnel. A four-car garage, built in the 1950s, is located northwest of the residence. The grand entrance at the front of the building is marked with a quartzite gate, erected in 1923.
Typical occupancy during its earlier years was around 28 children and 15 senior citizens. The home ceased its orphanage operation in 1947 but continued to serve as a retirement facility for IOOF members until 1964, when it became a nursing home open to the public. The building was sold to the Dell Rapids Hospital in 1998, but was vacated in 2003. Three years later, new owners undertook a massive renovation to convert the residence and power plant into apartments.
Almlie, Liz J., “Odd Fellows Home of Dell Rapids,” Minnehaha County, South Dakota. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, 2012. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.