The main meeting room of the Masonic Lodge building contains original woodwork and furniture from 1908. The stained glass chandelier is a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork.
By DIANE DIERKS
You will have an opportunity to buy a piece of history when the Centennial Lodge No. 541 Free and Accepted Masons building is put up for auction on Saturday, Sept. 30. The sale will begin at 10 a.m. and the building will be the first item up for bid, with the majority of contents to follow.
According to Past Master Bill Reese, after much consideration, members made the difficult decision to sell. "It would be economically unwise to stay here. It's unfortunate we don't have other resources, but the decision had to be made."
Tyler Dale Wilson added that the Freemasons are supported by dues alone and this contributed to the decision.
Members of Centennial Lodge No. 541 will temporarily meet at the Masonic Lodge in Center Point. They will then pursue a permanent location at a later date, and are unsure if they will purchase an existing structure or build a new facility.
The Masonic Temple at 201 N. Walnut was constructed in 1908 by contractor, George Hadley, and architect, R.A. Bradley. The building still contains the original woodwork and stained-glass windows. The main meeting room features a stained-glass chandelier with a span of at least six feet. The moldings on the walls are hand-crafted and the converted gas-light fixtures remain in place.
Along with the building, the majority of contents will be sold including: ceremonial items and clothing, pews, roll-top desks, organ and pianos. One of the pianos is an upright oak Knight-Brinkerhoff, and may have been manufactured at the Brazil factory. The chandelier will stay with the building and it is undecided, at this time, how the stained-glass windows will be sold.
The building and contents may be viewed from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sept. 29, prior to the day of sale or by appointment. Contact Butts-Pell Auction at 446-2322.