Masonic Temple 1896

Masonic Temple 1896 (HM2MUH)

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On April 19, 1895 a fire broke out in Harper's Caddo Street Livery Stable. It quickly spread and consumed six blocks of East Main Street from the Santa Fe Railroad tracks to Washington (then known as Springer Street). Eighty-six businesses were destroyed. Among the losses was the newly built three story brick Masonic Temple. The "Herald Statesman" newspaper's Special Fire Edition described it as being located in "...the square in which the beautiful Masonic Temple, the courthouse and the Corner Drug Store were located..." This would be on south side of Main Street between Mill Street and Washington where a now non existent "Court Street" was located.

Following the fire, Lodge meetings were held at the Odd Fellows Hall on Washington Avenue while a new building was under construction. The first published notice for Lodge meetings in the new Masonic Temple on Springer (now Washington) and Main Streets was on May 11, 1896. The First National Bank, whose building nearby was also destroyed in the fire, took the first two stories of the structure for its new location. The Masons held Lodge meetings on the top floor of the building.

This edifice was built on lands owned by the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations. Federal law at the time prohibited white ownership of land in Indian Territory except through

tribal intermarriage. The creation of the Dawes Commission opened up private ownership of lands in the Indian Territory. Thus on January 15th, 1902 the First National Bank purchased the land under a Patent from the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations for $130.00, the Masonic Lodge owning the building and the bank owning the land.

In 1918 the First National Bank moved to a new building at Main and "A" Street NW and the land was sold to B.A. Simpson. C.L. Anderson purchased it the same year and transferred the property to his wife, Nettie. The Mason Lodge took over the entire building at this time, converting the top floor to a ballroom where various social events took place including dance classes.

In April of 1930 the Masonic Temple moved to what is now the Ardmoreite Building on Broadway. The old building was sold to Sara Green and Nettie Anderson. They shortly thereafter leased the property to Steele Drug which moved into the ground floor and was a landmark for many years.

During restoration of the building in the 1970's, lightning struck the stone cap at the top of the building creating a large jagged gap in the crown. The building was purchased in April 2001 by the American Law Firm.
Placed ByArdmore Main Street Authority
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, November 11th, 2019 at 1:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)31N E 166021 N 0
Decimal Degrees0.00000000, 0.00000000
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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