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Friday, September 03, 2010

G. Washington Lodge #143 in Pennsylvania Raising $1 Million

The brethren of George Washington Lodge No. 143 in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania are seeking donations to assist in preserving their historic lodge building. Their Temple was built in 1823 and is the oldest standing purpose-built Masonic building in the state. In 1976 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Steel beams supporting the roof have recently been replaced, but sprinkler systems, exterior wall stabilization, interior remodeling, and much more need to be done. Their goal is $1 million.

From a story in today's Chambersburg Public Opinion:

Members of the lodge maintain that the building and those adjacent to it were intentionally spared by Confederates during the burning of Chambersburg in 1864.

"That is the story and we have no reason to believe it's not true. We do believe it was spared because it was a Masonic building," [Past Master and Trustee Larry] Miller said.

He and his fellow Freemasons hope the community will have an interest in keeping the building in good condition. Anyone interested in donating can visit the lodge's website, www.gw143.org.


GW #143 has received tax exempt status for the purposes of preserving their Temple, so any donation made to their building fund is fully tax deductible.

Back in May 2007, I had the good fortune to visit Lodge Waverley No. 597 in Edinburgh, Scotland, while I was in town for the first International Conference on the History of Freemasonry. There were many foreign visitors in the city that week, and it just so happened that the brethren of Pennsylvania's George Washington Lodge No. 143 also visited the lodge that particular evening. In addition to seeing Scottish ritual, the Pennsylvania brethren exemplified their Master Mason ritual, as well, and an outstanding evening was had by all.

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