Our fraternity was formed as a local fraternity in 1897 and was called the Druid Fraternity. Initially, the brothers met in their rooms in Old Dorm, now called Pennsylvania Hall. At a later period, they held their meetings in the historic Willis House on the Square. Eventually, they rented one of the row houses at 135 North Washington Street, and that became their permanent meeting place until they decided to join with Phi Sigma Kappa.
The Druids petitioned to join in 1923, and in 1925, became what is known today as Rho Deuteron Chapter of Phi Sigma Kappa. At that time, the national fraternity magazine, "THE SIGNET", called this the greatest induction celebration ever held in the history of the fraternity. Ninety give former Druids and new pledges were initiated into Phi Sigma Kappa. The picture in the Living Room shows the new members and Druid alumni of Phi Sigma Kappa at that induction time. These newly initiated alumni formed a corporation officially called "The Phi Sigma Kappa, Druild Alumni Association of Gettysburg College". This corporation became the entity which purchased this property and which continues to serve as a benevolent and concerned landlord.
In joining with Phi Sigma Kappa, they had purchased this house to be their permanent fraternity home at Gettysburg College. They acquired the home from former Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Eddie Plank. (Eddie Plank had been an ace south paw [left handed] pitcher for Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics and was the only man from Gettysburg ever elected to that Hall of Fame. He had retired and built this house in 1917). The picture in the front study shows the house as it appeared at that time.
The new Phi Sigs used the first floor as living rooms and coat room. They used the basement as their dining room and their kitchen was in what is now the passageway between the front basement and the present kitchen. They used the second floor rooms as study rooms, and used the third floor for sleeping dormitory style.
The property has had improvements over the years. The middle section, including the kitchen, was added in 1941, and the back section was added in 1960. The entire property was renovated in 1994. and all rooms were wired for computer access in 1996.
We are proud of our house, and proud of the brothers who continue to maintain the highest traditions of Phi Sigma Kappa. The Chapter magazine "The Oak Leaf" is printed annually to provide an ongoing history of the chapter and its activities.
John F. Schwartz, President
Phi Sigma Kappa, Druid Alumni Corp.
Written on the eve of their Centennial observance year, March 1996.