Freemasonry is the oldest fraternal organization in the community dating back to the Civil War. Ten Master Masons, pioneers from down East, applied for a charter in this small village of a few hundred, living along the wooded shores of Muskegon Lake. As our country’s growth moved westward so did the desire of Masons to enjoy the benefits of the craft in their new adopted homeland. Based on the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of Man the organization grew fast. Our first meetings were held in rented quarters upstairs over the village Wheeler & Huggins Drug Store at the lake front on Water St. and Market. Among the chartered members and the first dozen to join were men whose concern for their adopted home, left a mark of growth unexcelled. They included L.C Mason, A.V. Mann, Joseph Hackley & his son Charles Hackley, Alex Rodgers, C.T. Hills, John W. Moon, Mathew Wilson, Fred Nims, to name a few. They were all successful Lumbermen, Businessmen, Bankers, and community promoters whose enterprise left their mark on this area down through generations. Their business promotion, leadership and experience, following the demise of the forests, brought diverse business and industry to our community. Many men from all levels sought membership in the fraternity — even today. As the fraternity grew from its small beginnings over the drug store on Muskegon’s main road winding along the lake front it moved into new and larger quarters along Western Avenue. After 40 years in rented quarters, C.T. Hills built and presented a $25,000 Hills Temple on 2nd & Western Avenue to the craft. A gesture of appreciation from a man who had given years of personal effort to promote Masonry. This was the first Temple adequate for our growing fraternity and the lower level of the structure provided income for 76 years through the ups and downs of the growth of our city.
In 1948 a new Masonic Temple was built. It was a credit to the good judgment of the leadership of Muskegon Masonry and its affiliated bodies. The new Temple was a magnificent achievement — an emblem in brick and mortar of cooperation and unity. It provided us with a modern home up until December of 2013 when due to declining membership the building was sold. At this time the Muskegon Masonic Lodge meets in Montague, MI until we can re-establish ourselves back in Muskegon.
Despite this loss Muskegon Masonry is still alive and will be into the unforeseeable future. Want to know more? Come get to know us!