HARRISONVILLE — Saturday morning marked a milestone for the Harrisonville Masonic Lodge.
Members of the lodge were joined by Masons from all over the state, member of The Grand Lodge of Ohio, local officials and community members to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the county’s third oldest lodge.
Prior to the Reconsecration ceremony, State Rep. Jay Edwards (R-Neslonville) and Meigs County Commissioner Randy Smith presented recognition to the Lodge in celebration of the 150th anniversary.
The proclamation from the commissioners stated in part,
Freemasonry is the world’s largest, oldest and best-known gentleman’s fraternity. It is based on the medieval stonesmason guilds who build the great castles and cathedrals in Europe;
Modern Freemasons likewise use the tools, traditions and terminology of those earlier stonemasons as allegories for building Temples in the hearts of men;
Through the various Masonic bodies hundreds of millions of dollars are donated annually to those in needs whether through the charitable foundation, the Special Olympics, Dyslexic Learning Centers, Adopt America, Knight Templar Eye Foundation, the Shrine Children’s Orthopedic, Spinal Injury and Burn Hospitals and others;
In 1868 Meigs County residents J. Hendry, J.O. Clark, W.C. Hayes, J.P. Bosworth, A.P. Riggs and J.C. Golden petitioned the Grand Lodge of Ohio and was granted a charter forming Harrisonville Lodge 411;
For 150 years the members of Harrisonville Lodge 411 have been active in supporting the people of Meigs County.
Harrisonville Lodge 411 was founded in 1868 and is one of four lodges currently active in Meigs County — Harrisonville, Shade River, Middleport and Pomeroy/Racine.
Edwards commented on the impact of the local lodges and the Freemasons on the communities and citizens of the area.
Harrisonville Lodge 411 Senior Warden Jordan Pickens stated that Masonry itself is 300 years old, with the lodge in Harrisonville having been in existence for half of that time.
“It is rare to see something in rural areas exist for the length of time the Harrisonville Lodge has,” said Pickens. He noted that at one time there were 2 million Masons in Ohio, with that number down to around 80,000 currently. Masonry dates back to the days of the founding fathers of the United States who brought Masonry with them from its founding in England.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.