Our New Home

a committee was appointed in 1893, to devise some plan for the building of a Masonic Temple and in 1894 the committee reported that they had approved the Spaulding property on West William Street. The Hilliard lot on the North side of Winter Street, West of Franklin Street was also under consideration for a price of $2,400 and this property was actually purchased.

On March 7, 1899, Brother Sidney Moore announced that he would have a Temple built for the Lodge on the southwest corner of William and Franklin Streets with the Library Association to have a front room on the first floor. In addition they donated money and books for the library and in later years purchased property for the Sarah Moore Home. The Ladies Christian Union was to occupy a side room. The City Library opened to the Public on April 5, 1900 and occupied the room now used as a club room until September 1, 1906 when it moved to the Carnegie Building on N. Sandusky St. and Ladies Christian Union used the room now used as the Secretary’s office. The cornerstone for this building was laid June 23, 1899, with the Grand Lodge of Ohio convening for that purpose at the Masonic Hall of Hiram Lodge. Twenty one other Lodges participated, and in all there were approximately 800 Masons in the procession. Due to excessive heat, the speeches were given in Gray Chapel at University Hall. The Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias and the Elks participated in the celebration and the entire downtown was decorated for the occasion.

The occupancy of the new Temple had a great effect upon the growth of membership in the Lodge. From 177 members reported to the Grand Lodge in the fall of 1899, the membership increased to 195 in 1900, to 222 in 1901 and to 235 in 1902. In 1907 there were 336 members, in 1918, 495 were reported, and in 1923, 619. The peak of membership came in 1928 when 689 members were reported to the Grand Lodge. This was the top mark in membership and then the great depression clamped its effect upon Hiram Lodge was well as every other aspect of the social scene at that time and the membership declined to 651 in 1932. In the year 1933 there were no members raised, none affiliated, ten deceased, 36 demitted, 27 suspended for non payment of dues and the report to Grand Lodge showed 578 in good standing. This is the only year in the history of the Lodge when no members were added, either by affiliation or by initiation.

The membership continued to decline until it was 479 in 1941, and from this point the membership increased the next twenty years to the point where the report to the Grand Lodge in 1959 showed 581 members in good standing.