The 1828 Federal style home of Virginia's Halifax Lodge No. 96 will be open for tours this Sunday as part of the Halifax County Historical Society’s Fall Foliage Homes Tour. Theirs is the oldest existing building in the town.
From the Gazette Virginian:
The Halifax Hiram Lodge, or Masonic Lodge as it is more often called, is the oldest structure in the Mountain Road Historic District and the oldest public building in the Town of Halifax. The lodge has been owned and maintained by the Masons since being built in 1828.
Its most distinguishing feature is a late Georgian entrance, original to the date of construction. The exterior of the lodge is brick, with Flemish bond laid with occasional glazed headers on the front, while on the sides, brick is laid in running bond.
The rear annex was built in the early 1940s and houses a kitchen and a staircase, which replaced the original stairway to the second floor meeting room.
In 1929 the Masons offered to share the building with the Halifax Woman’s Club, which still uses it today as its headquarters. In 2002 the club sponsored a fundraising campaign to help Masons with a restoration of the building.
Until the mid-1900s, lodge members held meetings on or around the first full moon of each month. This gave members “moonlight” for those riding on horseback or walking to and from night meetings. However, this practice prompted the community for many years to call the meeting place, the “Moon Lodge.”
The Lodge lost its charter for several years for reasons unknown, but a new charter was granted in 1867.