Two years ago, in September 2013, items belonging to the Masonic Temple were being prepared for an auction. The Masonic Temple at 34 Miller Street (photo above) was being emptied of furniture and belongings so that the building could be razed. A Publix grocery store was planned for that lot.
The Masonic Temple was built in 1955, on a stretch of Miller Street that was not even an official street at that time. While the lodge was modern and well-appointed when it was built, the ensuing years saw water damage, little storage space, and a layout that was not kind to aging or physically-impaired members.
The dedication of the Miller Street building took place on March 19, 1955. Governor Luther Hodges was guest speaker for the event and many masons took part in the ceremonies. The cornerstone from a previous building (dated 1906) at the corner of Trade and West Fourth Street was installed at the new facility. The photograph above shows Irvin W. Grogan Sr., former master of Salem Lodge, a 32nd degree Mason, and grandfather of the author, at the 1955 ceremonies. This cornerstone box was originally sealed in 1906, removed in 1929 when the Trade Street building was demolished, and opened in 1954 so the contents could be examined. So when the cornerstone was reopened in 2013, the contents dated to 1906 and to 1954, when other items were added to the box.
A charter was granted to the Winston Lodge 167 in December 1854. The first lodge was located on the southeast corner of Third and Liberty Streets. The cornerstone for the second lodge was laid in 1860. It was built in combination with the Winston Male Academy and was located on a lot bounded by Trade and Cherry Streets and Third and Fourth Streets.
A new Masonic Temple was built on the site of the Piedmont Tobacco Warehouse, located on the corner of Fourth and Trade Streets, completed in 1907 (shown below). The new Masonic Temple cost over $80,000 and construction work was done by Fogle Brothers. Many of the offices were rented to lawyers, insurance agents, and doctors. Winston Bank and Trust Company occupied part of the first floor.
When the masons left the building at Fourth and Trade Streets in 1929 (see photo above), they occupied several different locations, including the Brown Memorial Church building at Spring and Fourth Streets, and the Joe Jacobs Building on Main Street. Their dream of building another permanent home became a reality with their new building on Miller Street in 1955, marking the organization’s 100 years in Winston-Salem.
Walgreen’s Drug Store was built on the lot formerly occupied by the Masonic Temple.
The new Masonic Lodge is under construction on Country Club Road (see below).
The Publix grocery store is also under construction on Miller Street (see below).
Black and white photographs courtesy of Forsyth County Public Library Photograph Collection.
Color photos by and courtesy of Molly Grogan Rawls.
Stay tuned for the next post on October 1st.