Talidandaganu’ #293 Lodge History

Talidandaganu’ Lodge, as it is known today, was chartered in February 1957, but it was preceded by both another OA lodge and a local honor campers society. Five councils in Tennessee, including ours, formed the honor campers society known as “The Tribe of Chickamauga” around 1926. Then in 1939 the council, known as Chattanooga Area Council, began inquires about forming an Order of the Arrow lodge. The council’s application for a charter, possibly delayed by World War II, was approved on May 1, 1945.

The first lodge was named Chickamauga, which means “river of death”, and was taken from the band of renegade Cherokee Indians by that name, led by Chief Dragging Canoe. The totem for this lodge was a beaver. Chickamauga Lodge was basically inactive and disbanded in 1947.

In the fall of 1956, new interest in the Order of the Arrow caused local scouts to petition the National Council in New Jersey for another OA charter. The name “Tali-danda-ganu'” was proposed with an eagle in flight as the totem. In Cherokee, Tali-danda-ganu’ means “two looking at each other,” referring to Lookout Mountain and Signal Mountain, which face each other, This application was approved on February 4, 1957. Scout Ron Stulce then sent a letter on February 18, 1957, to all Scouts in the council who met the requirements for membership, asking them to contact the council office if they were interested.

On June 28-29, 1957, twenty charter members of Talidandaganu’ Lodge were inducted at Camp Cherokee in an ordeal ceremony performed by members of Pellissippi Lodge 230 from Knoxville.

The first Brotherhood ceremony was held in July of 1958, performed again by a team from Pellissippi Lodge of the Great Smoky Mountains Council. Eleven Talidandaganu’ members were inducted into the brotherhood at that time.

In 1963, the lodge’s first Vigil Honor ceremony was held to present Tommy Chamberlain and Ron Stulce with the Vigil Honor. Later that same year, the Vigil was presented to James T. Pierce.

Our lodge members conducted the second Ordeal ceremony at Camp Cherokee on November 8-9, 1957 with nine new members being inducted.

Then on July 18-19, 1958, another 25 new members were inducted during the lodge’s third Ordeal ceremony.

The second Brotherhood ceremony on October 11, 1958 saw eight members sealing their membership in the order. The fourth Ordeal ceremony inducted 35 new members and the fifth, held in September 1960 at Camp Tsatanugi, added another nineteen.

At the Spring Ordeal in June of 1989, our lodge inducted its first female member, Jo Ann McKinney. At the Fall Ordeal in October 1995, she became the first female member of our lodge to be awarded the Vigil Honor.

Talidandaganu’ Lodge has had active dance and ceremonial teams at various times throughout the years. At the Area V-D conclave in 1972 at Boxwell Scout Reservation, Middle Tennessee Council, a newly formed Talidandaganu’ Lodge dance team performed the Hopi Snake Dance using live snakes. It was a very impressive presentation and created quite a stir. The judges were set to award our team first place when it was pointed out that the snake dance is a religious ceremony and therefore not allowed for competition.

In 1988 the lodge ceremonial team competed at the National Order of the Arrow Conference in Colorado. The team received the award for fourth place overall in the nation. The team consisted of Teddy Shelton as Allowat Sakima (2nd place individually), Brad Pope as Meteu (3rd place individually), Billy Durkin as Kichkinet (1st place individually) and Brian Glover as Nutiket.

In 2007 the Lodge celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a reunion held at Chester Frost Park. Members from every decade, including three charter members, were in attendance. The keynote address was given by the National Vice-Chief.

2010 welcomed the 100th Anniversary of Scouting in Chattanooga.

Charter Members

Tom Ainsworth Byron Baker Dean Biskey Cliff Bowers, Jr.
Pierce Corden Bill Goins Tommy Green Neal Grove
Jesse Gunn* Robert Hines John Jenkins John Newell
Jim Noel* George Norris Butch Quarles Paul Rouse
Sid Shelton Tom Simmons Ron Stulce John Wilson

*These were members of the council professional staff.

Founder's Award

1997Mike Payne2003Ron Stulce2008Doug Wrinn
1998Tom Miller, Sr.2004Kevin Martin2009Howard Bartlett
1999John R. Hawkins Sr.2005Mike Flores2009Ryan Faulkner
2000Mike Reynolds2005Tyler Gray2010Warren Diegel
2001Harvey Raper2006Mary Richardson2011Josh Williams
2001John Thomas, Jr.2007Larry Richardson2011Dennis Williams
2002Bob Crawford2008Nick Diegel2012Logan Bailey
    2013Willis Council

Distinguished Service Award

Dave Worland
Bill Ketron*
Alan Cooper*
Charles Hoyt Hunt*
Teddy Shelton
John E. Thomas, Jr.*

Lodge Chiefs

57-58Byron Baker76-77Craig Troxler96-98Brian Smith
58-59Tommy Ainsworth77-78Stuart Goza99-00Matt Murphy
59-60John Jenkins78-79Gene Reece01John Thomas
60-61Craig Tennant79-80Everette Ingram02Tyler Gray
61-62Bob Hines80-81Adam Quirk03Colin Rymer
62-63Ron Stulce81-82Chris Alexander04Josh French
63-64Stanley Workman82-83Greg Roberson05Trey Watkins
64-65Stan Roberts83-84Kendall Kaylor06-07Nick Diegel
65-66Fred Yattoni85Brad Pope08Ted Hope
66-67Bill Workman86Teddy Shelton09Sam Steadman
67-68Eddie Pruett87Michael Harris10-12Josh Williams
68-69Sandy Smith88Gregory Harris13Logan Bailey
69-70Jim Holt89Brian Glover14-16Nathan Goza 
70-71Dave Leitner90Steve Barham17-18Joel Hunt 
71Phil Ledbetter*91Kevin Martin19Joseph Johnson
71-73Russell Hill92Ian Pearson  
73-74Mike Flynn93Ken Mahon  
74-75Rick Pierson94Bryan Martin  
75-76David Worland95Adam Russell  

Lodge Advisers

11957-Victor Harris121989-1993Tom Miller
2 Frank Vensent131993-1995Bob Crawford
3          - 1970Mike Williams141995-1996Les Hall
4 1971 - 1973Bill Godsey151997-2004Ray LeCroix
5 1973 - 1975Paul Rouse162004-2007Mary Richardson
6 1975Griff Martin*172008-2010Tim Steadman
7 1975-Bill Sisk*182011-2013Tommy Rogers
8         - 1980Bill Sherman192013-2015Warren Diegel
91980-1983Richard Holmes202016-2018Amanda Smith
101984-1989Frank Robinson212019-Present Jed Swiecichowski
111989Lowell Bennington22

Service Beyond the Lodge

Dave WorlandSection Chief SE-IIA 1976; Southeast Region Chief 1976-78
Bill Ketron*Section Advisor; Southeast Region OA Chairman 1986-91
Alan Cooper*Section Chief; Southeast Region Chief 1980-1982
Teddy SheltonSE-6 Section Chief; Southeast Region Chief  1989-90
Kevin MartinSR-6 Section Chief 1993
John (JT) ThomasSR-6S Section Chief 2003-2004
Joel HuntSR-6 Section Vice-Chief 2018

Conclaves Hosted

1965V-DPatton Hotel with events on Lookout Mountain
1973SE-IIACamp Cherokee