Terra-cotta medallions sporting the Masonic emblem of square and compass and the words “Masonic Temple” centered beneath the cornice proudly announce this building’s primary purpose. Chartered in 1898, the Forsyth Masonic Lodge met in borrowed quarters until 1905, when enthusiastic Mason Hiram Marcyes included a lodge room in his new Commercial Hotel. Six years later, the Masons hired Miles City architect Brynjulf Rivenes to design this Beaux Arts style temple, constructed of local brick from Marcyes’ brickyard and finished with a façade of high-fire Hebron brick trimmed with Bedford limestone. Rent from the first-floor storefronts subsidized the building’s $21,000 price tag. The second floor boasted the lodge room as well as a cloakroom and clubroom designed for members of the short-lived Forsyth Club. During the 1918 flu epidemic, clubrooms were converted into a temporary hospital. In 1921 the public library, founded by the Forsyth Woman’s Club, occupied the space. While the library moved to the old courthouse in 1927 and into its current building in 1971, Masons continue to meet in this lodge, built by their predecessors in 1911.

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1041-1047 Main Street, Forsyth, Montana ~ private