This structure, which was home to the local Free & Accepted Masons, may have also served a commercial purpose.
Tag Archives: Georgia Fraternal Lodges
Dortch Building, 1880, Hawkinsville
According to the Hawkinsville Self-Guided Walking Tour, this structure was built for E. F. Dortch [by local draftsman E. A. Burch] and was among the first masonry buildings in the commercial district. The first floor was a grocery store from the late 1800s and served that purpose well into the 20th century. The second floor served as the Anderson Lodge No. 24 of the International Order of Odd Fellows in the 1880s and 1890s and as a Masonic Lodge in the 1900s and 1910s. In the 1960s and 1970s, the entire building was used as a Coca-Cola Bottling plant.
Hawkinsville Commercial and Industrial Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
Landmark Lodge No. 64, Dublin
This is a Prince Hall lodge. Other affiliations include: Tri-County Chapter No. 8 of the Royal Arch Masons, and Fidelity Chapter No. 45 of the Order of the Eastern Star.
Needful Lodge, Jenkins County
This historic lodge is among the most significant African-American resources in Jenkins County, and though it is endangered, is not too far gone for restoration. It likely served as a school, lodge, and community center for the adjacent church, which I was unable to photograph.
Odd Fellows Hall, Augusta
This late Victorian storefront was home to the International Order of Odd Fellows and is one of several surviving 19th century commercial buildings on 8th Street.
Broad Street Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
Cherokee Lodge, 1877, Rome
One of the most impressive public structures in Rome, the old Cherokee Masonic Lodge No. 66 was built to replace a lodge burned by Union soldiers during the Civil War. It served the fraternal organization until 2006.
Between the Rivers Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
Lawrenceville Female Seminary, 1855
A young ladies’ finishing school known as the Lawrenceville Female Seminary was established here in 1838. One of the trustees, Daniel Killian, was responsible for its construction. That structure, apparently very similar to this one, was destroyed by fire and was replaced by the present structure in 1855. It served as a seminary until 1886. In its nomination to the National Register of Historic Places, it was described as simple, rather masculine, late-Federal early-Greek Revival. It is the most significant early public structure surviving in Lawrenceville.
The Lawrenceville Masonic Lodge No. 181 began using the second floor in 1860 and made it their home until the 1970s. Over the years the lower floor was occupied by various tenants and was also used as a public gathering place. It serves as the Gwinnett History Museum today.
National Register of Historic Places
Clayton County Courthouse, 1869, Jonesboro
This structure replaced the original Clayton County Courthouse, built on this site in 1860 and burned during the Battle of Jonesboro. It was decommissioned in 1898 and has served as the Jonesboro Lodge No. 87 F & AM ever since.
Jonesboro Historic District, National Register of Historic Places
Lithonia Lodge No. 84, F & AM, 1916, DeKalb County
The cornerstone notes that the Lithonia Lodge was chartered on 14 October 1849. Like many Masonic lodges, this structure likely also housed businesses on the first floor.
Lithonia Historic District, National Register of Historic Places & Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area
Lone Star Benevolent Society, 1898, Waynesboro
The property of the Lone Star Benevolent Society in Waynesboro is a bit of a mystery. Previous surveys have identified the large structure (above) as the society hall, but it certainly resembles a church. It’s possible it served both purposes. Lone Star was one of many fraternal organizations aimed at creating a sense of community and a source of burial insurance for black communities from Emancipation well into the early 20th century.
This small building is located beside the larger church-like structure.
Further away from the main building is this structure, which was almost certainly a schoolhouse.