The Memorial Masonic Grand Lodge Temple reaches 715 Columbus Ave. in Waco. Opens 8:30-4 mondays to fridays.
Free tours can be found 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Call 254/753-7395.
I discovered that area of the Apollo 11 mission on the recent trip to the Memorial Masonic Grand Lodge Temple in Waco, condition headquarters for that fraternal order and residential of the museum and library recording Masonic history in Texas. The Masons trace their Lone Star roots to 1835 and boast such influential people as all Republic of Texas presidents and 31 Texas governors. The museum’s items reflect that broad—and sometimes quirky—span of Texana, such as the deputation letter that Aldrin, a Texas Mason, transported towards the moon and back, placing the celestial body underneath the jurisdiction from the Grand Lodge of Texas and creating a Masonic lunar outpost known as Peace Lodge No. 2000.
While Freemasonry, the earliest and biggest fraternal organization on the planet, is broadly noted for its shrouded traditions, I found that the audience isn't as inscrutable as numerous believe. “The reason for Freemasonry would be to take good males making them better, ” describes librarian Bruce Mercer. “Masonic concepts train the need for relief—or charity—and through charitable outreaches such as the Shriners Hospital for kids in Galveston and also the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas, the 79Thousand Masons of Texas make their presence known through the condition.”
As noted around the Grand Lodge website, the Masons maintain their traditions secret because “an component of secrecy serves in order to increase curiosity about Masonic teaching” and “because many people wouldn't take advantage of being brought to Masonic teachings from the context from the Masonic degree system.”
Situated a couple of blocks south from the McLennan County Courthouse, the Grand Lodge’s regal limestone edifice features sculptural friezes that illustrate the quarrying of stone, felling of timbers, along with other labor that entered the making of King Solomon’s Temple as referred to within the Bible. A celestial globe crowns a pillar on one for reds from the grand entrance, along with a terrestrial globe crowns a pillar alternatively. “In the first times of Freemasonry, ” describes employee James Herold, “its misconceptions and stories placed the roots in our order at regarding King Solomon’s Temple. Even though it increased in the medieval guilds, a lot of our meaning is dependant on regarding King Solomon’s Temple.”
Though the majority of the building isn't air-conditioned, it was not sweltering after i visited earlier this June. Barbara Mechell, librarian and curator, began our tour within the Memorial Room around the bottom floor, which honors Texas Masons who offered in war. A stained-glass window within the room is filled with Masonic symbols, like the “all seeing eye, ” a square, compass, level, and trowel. A United States flag displayed travelled over Hickam Area at Gem Harbor once the Japanese assaulted on December 7, 1941.