Masonic Lodge Serves Community for 170 Years

Adoniram Masonic Lodge | Granville County, NC | founded c. 1852

On December 8, 1852, a group of Masons in Granville County, NC were granted a charter for a lodge. The same year, they erected a lodge on this site and called it Adoniram.

This first lodge was a two-story building that created a dedicated space on the top floor for the Masons to meet. The first floor was used for various community purposes and then ultimately used as a school for the community’s children in the late 1800s.

In 1917, lightning struck the first Adoniram Masonic Lodge and it burned completely. The same year, this structure was erected on the same site as the original lodge.

In 1918, George W. Hart, a member of the lodge and owner of the property sold the building for $100 to the Granville County Board of Education for use as a schoolhouse and classes resumed here as they had in the late 1800s. While the Masons continued to meet upstairs, the children of the Cornwall community attended school here from 1918 until 1924 when the county consolidated schools.

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In 1927, Mr. Hart reacquired the building and sold the title to the Masons for $350. And while classes were never held again here, the top floor has been in continual use by the Adoniram Masons who still meet there monthly, almost 170 years after it was built.

The two-story I-Frame building is similar in style to many farmhouses that were built in the area during the late 1800s and early 1900s, except for the enclosed bays on the front porch. The first floor has two equal-sized rooms divided by floor-to-ceiling doors and no central hallway. The upstairs is one large room with a small preparation area at the top of the stairs.

Some modifications have been made over the years, including the removal of an extended ell that was attached to the rear of the building in 1948 when the building had to be moved slightly to accommodate a roadway modification. In the 1970s, the Masons paneled over the upstairs of the lodge, concealing the windows, which they then painted over or boarded up on the outside.

Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988, the building still features adorned, feathery brackets and fish-scale shingles on its facade.

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11 thoughts on “Masonic Lodge Serves Community for 170 Years”

  1. What an extraordinary story. Thrilling that it is still in use. The original owners were good stewards to their community.

  2. Was interesting to read about families in this community who’s last names were the same as mine. Hart. My grandparents married and had my dad and aunt while living in Oklahoma. Then they migrates west so my grandpa could work in a Zinc Plant/Mine in Idaho, My grandfather built their home in Kellogg Idaho, and the mine was located right outside of town. It had a cool basement with this huge furnice for wood, to heat the house upstairs.

  3. My family have been in Florida for several generations. Some lived near Fort White, Florida.
    Have you done anything around there.
    I want to support you, but I don’t have pay pal. Will get it!
    Mother’s maiden name was Layfield and great grandmother was Shoemaker. My father mother was a Barton. My father’s father was adopted.
    Respectfully Margaret Ann Hall Brewer

    1. I am working on a story about an old house in Fort White right now! Also, check out this house, not far from there:

  4. Interesting story. You would think at least the last several years they would have had a nicer sign put up. Thank you for this.

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