Masonic Temple

Deer Lodge Central Business Historic District

The Ancient Free and Accepted Masons offered its members support, camaraderie, connections, and community. To the geographically mobile men of the Montana frontier, nothing was more valuable. In 1870, Deer Lodge became home to the fourteenth Masonic lodge chartered in the territory, and on February 22, 1870, some fifty Masons came together to dedicate its new hall. Lauded by the Deer Lodge newspaper as “the second best building on the west side of Montana,” the two-story frame structure cost approximately $6,000 to complete. Fifty years later, Masons replaced that early hall with this brick edifice. The three-story business block incorporates Renaissance Revival features, including an ornate cornice and recessed arched brickwork above the third-floor windows. A variety store, barbershop, telephone company, and other offices rented space on this prime downtown corner. To assure privacy during secret Masonic rituals, no windows look into the lodge’s third-floor ceremonial rooms. Nearly 175 members attended the first meeting held here on March 16, 1920; weather and bad roads caused the Masons to delay the formal dedication ceremony, to allow “visiting brothers to come in their automobiles.”

Map

501-503 Main, Deer Lodge, Montana ~ Private