Masonic Library and Museum of Indiana

Masonic Library and Museum of Indiana The Masonic Library and Museum of Indiana (MLMI) is an immersive experience to learn, and listen about the influence of the fraternity of Freemasons in the state of Indiana.
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The Masonic Library and Museum of Indiana (MLMI) is transitioning from a primarily collection-based viewing, to enhancing the visitor experience for those with and without a Masonic background. The concentration of this museum is to improve a visitor's accessibility to the MLMI's collection, and illuminate the Indiana Masonic story, and its influence to the people of Indiana. To make an appointment to visit the Library & Museum, contact Michael Brumback directly at (765)-744-0424.

Göbekli Tepe in Turkey is the oldest place of worship on Earth ever discovered, predating the Egyptian pyramids by 6,500...
04/29/2020
Turkey's Göbekli Tepe: Discoveries at World's Oldest Temple

Göbekli Tepe in Turkey is the oldest place of worship on Earth ever discovered, predating the Egyptian pyramids by 6,500 years. New discoveries are emerging from the ancient site about the primitive hunter/gatherers here who developed a rudimentary understanding of geometry to create the first temples.

by Christopher Hodapp The 10,000- to 11,500-year-old site of Göbekli Tepe in Turkey is the oldest place of worship on Earth ever di...

The Prestonian Lecturer for 2020 is George Boys-Stones, and it's the unfortunate bum luck of the moment that his travels...
04/19/2020
2020 Prestonian Lecture Now in Print

The Prestonian Lecturer for 2020 is George Boys-Stones, and it's the unfortunate bum luck of the moment that his travels have been curtailed worldwide by the COVID-19 Wuhan virus pandemic shutdown. Brother Boys-Stones' lecture is entitled, 'A System of Morality: Aristotle and English Masonic Ritual,' and he was scheduled to travel to the United States later this year as part of his international speaking tour.

Fortunately, the printed version of the 2020 Prestonian Lecture was published earlier this month, and now is available for purchase via Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions.

https://freemasonsfordummies.blogspot.com/2020/04/2020-prestonian-lecture-now-in-print.html

04/16/2020
Dwight L. Smith Lodge of Research U.D.

'Your Son Is My Brother': Indiana's Masonic Service Centers of World War II

The story of the 90 Masonic Service Centers established during World War II by the Masonic Service Association at the behest of Freemason Harry Truman. Highlights the Indianapolis and Evansville locations. Video Power Point presentation by Christopher Hodapp for Indiana's Dwight L. Smith Lodge of Research April 2020

The story of the 90 Masonic Service Centers established during World War II by the Masonic Service Association at the behest of Freemason Harry Truman. Highlights the Indianapolis and Evansville locations. Video Power Point presentation by Christopher Hodapp for Indiana's Dwight L. Smith Lodge of Research April 2020

Great news for Freemasons in search of a new, untapped resource for quality, thoughtful and informative Masonic reading ...
04/11/2020
'Journal of the Masonic Society' Back Issues Now Online

Great news for Freemasons in search of a new, untapped resource for quality, thoughtful and informative Masonic reading and research material. The Masonic Society has just made the first fifteen issues of the Journal of the Masonic Society available online at no cost via the Issu website.* I understand more issues are coming as soon as their indefatigable Secretary and webmeister can organize and upload the pdfs of even more.

I'm especially proud of these particular issues, as I was the Editor of the Journal for the first four and a half years (through Issue 18), and only reluctantly gave it up as I dealt with some major health issues at the time. I was more than ably succeeded by Michael Halleran and then by Michael Poll, who has been at the helm for many years now. John Bridegroom took over the art direction and design of the magazine when I had to resign, and the Journal has continued to grow and improve year after year.

One thing's for sure - the COVID -19 pandemic shutdown is a golden opportunity for Masons to catch up on their ritual work, maybe learn a new part, or polish up one gathering dust in the back of your brain. But it's also a boon to those who claim they're usually too busy to bother with 'Masonic education.' Even if you don't have a house full of unread Masonic books, there's no shortage of excellent material to be found online.

https://freemasonsfordummies.blogspot.com/2020/04/journal-of-masonic-society-back-issues.html

Freemasonry around the world, featuring Masonic news, history, trivia, and more. By the author of 'Freemasons For Dummies,' Christopher Hodapp.

The Masonic Library and Museum of Indiana, Inc. (MLMI) is the official preservation and research institution for the Gra...
04/07/2020

The Masonic Library and Museum of Indiana, Inc. (MLMI) is the official preservation and research institution for the Grand Lodge Free & Accepted Masons of Indiana. Located on the 5th floor of the Indianapolis Masonic Temple, we are presently transitioning from a primarily collection-based viewing for our own members into enhancing the visitor experience for those with and without a Masonic background. Our ultimate mission is to illuminate the wider story of Freemasonry, with a special concentration on its profound, historic influence for the people and communities of the state of Indiana.

As the COVID-19 pandemic nationwide shutdown rolls along, the April 2020 issue of Indianapolis Monthly magazine arrived ...
04/07/2020
George Frank Sculpture Featured in April ’20 Indianapolis Monthly – Masonic Library and Museum of Indiana

As the COVID-19 pandemic nationwide shutdown rolls along, the April 2020 issue of Indianapolis Monthly magazine arrived today, featuring all of the city’s great restaurants we can’t go visit until the restrictions are lifted. Such are the odd vicissitudes of magazine deadlines closing sometimes months in advance of actual publication.

The back page of the magazine always features an unusual artifact from around the City every month. April’s artifact is none other than the Masonic Library and Museum of Indiana’s unique folk art sculpture by nineteenth century Indiana Mason George S. Frank. It is shown in a beautiful, full-page photo by Tony Valainis with a description of the piece, complete with a few words from our director Mike Brumback.

The magazine should be on news stands this week. We look forward to reopening to the public as soon as we possibly can.

http://mlmindiana.org/news/george-frank-sculpture-featured-in-april-20-indianapolis-monthly/

The complete six-volume set of hardbound editions of the Short Talk Bulletins starting in the 1920s is now on sale at wh...
03/29/2020
Isolation Is A(nother) Good Reason For New Books

The complete six-volume set of hardbound editions of the Short Talk Bulletins starting in the 1920s is now on sale at what is almost a giveaway price. The full set of the Master Mason cloth-bound, hardback edition is just $120, and this combined set contains over 1,000 Short Talk Bulletins. If you are looking for the higher quality leather bound Grand Master editions, they are going for $40 apiece. All of these prices are less than a third of their original cover price. This means you could have a complete set of these books for less than the price of two of them when they were first printed. Don't let this deal slip by. Every Masonic Lodge and Masonic research library really should have these sets.

There are hundreds of hidden gems, historical tales, ritual information, symbolism explanations and exploration, and scores of other sorts of topics to be found in these beautiful volumes. Every Single Short Talk Bulletin from 1923 through 2017 has been edited, re-typeset and blessedly indexed for these books by S. Brent Morris of the Scottish Rite Research Society. You could literally read one article every single day for almost the next three years. Never be at a loss for 'Masonic education' at you meetings ever again - you can walk into your lodge, literally open any of these books and start reading one aloud (once we can all meet again).

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A new book has just been released by WB Carl E. Davis, and it couldn't come at a more opportune time. Making Good Men Better: A 52 Week Personal Growth Plan Based on the Teachings of Freemasonry is designed as a weekly Masonic devotional designed to instruct and inspire the contemplative Brother with a year’s worth of lessons about our symbolism, our philosophy, and even the phrases we use. Since we are all trapped in our houses for the duration of the COVID pandemic, Carl's book gives you the chance to advance your own personal thinking about Masonic principles and concepts as the weeks go by.

Making Good Men Better is divided into 52 chapters, intended to be read one per week, and each chapter is followed by space to record your own reflections or notes. Because Carl has traveled extensively and visited Masonic lodges in a wide variation of jurisdictions, he combines concepts from several rituals with which you may not be entirely familiar with in an effort to examine and broaden our understanding of them.

Society could use more quiet contemplation these days. The current enforced isolation gives us all a new opportunity to pick up new habits. This is a good one. (MORE AT LINK)

https://freemasonsfordummies.blogspot.com/2020/03/isolation-is-another-good-reason-for.html

Freemasonry around the world, featuring Masonic news, history, trivia, and more. By the author of 'Freemasons For Dummies,' Christopher Hodapp.

Masonic Library & Museum of IndianaCOVID 19 Closure NoticeOn March 13th, 2020, all Masonic activity in the state of Indi...
03/15/2020
Masonic Library and Museum of Indiana – Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of Indiana

Masonic Library & Museum of Indiana
COVID 19 Closure Notice

On March 13th, 2020, all Masonic activity in the state of Indiana was suspended due to coronavirus precautions. Per instructions issued by Grand Master Kenneth Roy, Jr. of Indiana, the Indianapolis Masonic Temple and the Masonic Library & Museum of Indiana will be closed to visitors and all but necessary staff beginning immediately. Only essential office staff, maintenance personnel, emergency contractors, and lodge Masters and officers will be permitted in Freemasons Hall and the Museum.

While these measures will be observed as long as necessary, the initial notice expires on April 31, 2020, unless otherwise rescinded or extended.

In the meantime, we at the Library & Museum encourage you to explore our online resources, such as our hundreds of back issues of the Indiana Freemason magazine, books and other documents, and our online visual catalog of the Museum’s physical collections. Links for all of these can be found at our website at www.mlmindiana.org

The Grand Lodge of Iowa A.F.&A.M.'s incredible Masonic Library and Museums complex in Cedar Rapids has one of the larges...
03/05/2020
Iowa's Masonic Library & Museums' Book Restoration Project

The Grand Lodge of Iowa A.F.&A.M.'s incredible Masonic Library and Museums complex in Cedar Rapids has one of the largest Masonic collections of books and manuscripts in the world. And they have a former Indiana Mason to thank for it.

In 1884 Iowa opened the first Masonic library building anywhere in the world in Cedar Rapids. In 1952, the inadequate 19th-century library was demolished, and the current marble, Mid-Century Modern building opened on the same site in 1955. Today, the library houses over 250,000 volumes of both rare and circulating Masonic books.

The basis of Iowa's Library came about in the 1882 after the death of Brother Robert Franklin Bower, who was reputed to have owned one of the largest and most valuable Masonic book collections in the world at the time. Born in Philadelphia, Bower was first made a Mason in 1850 at Madison, Indiana, the location of the founding of the Grand Lodge of Indiana in 1818. He moved to Iowa 20 years later, and he became General Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of the Royal Arch in 1880. Upon his death, the Grand Lodge of Iowa purchased his vast Masonic book collection from his estate.

Iowa's Masonic Library and Museum is also home to several noteworthy specialized collections, including the A.E. Waite Collection of esoteric and occult science, and the Joseph A. Walkes Collection of Prince Hall Masonry. (If you're serious about researching African-American and Prince Hall-derived Freemasonry, Iowa absolutely needs to be on your itinerary. They have numerous volumes that don't exist anywhere else, including many sets of annual proceedings dating into the mid-1800s from the earliest predecessors of what we refer to as 'Prince Hall Masonry' today.)

Many of the volumes in Bower's famed collection were quite rare, even for the late 19th century. The passage of 140 years has made them even rarer and more valuable than ever. And more fragile. Between environmental conditions, the original materials, decades of use by researchers, and the ravages of time itself, some of the rarest books have fallen into disrepair.

Assistant Librarian Bill Kreuger now reports in the March 2020 issue of the Grand Lodge of Iowa Bulletin that Grand Master William R. Crawford has selected as one of his major fundraising projects the restoration and re-binding of books from their Rare Book collection. Recently conserved books include: Benjamin Franklin's American publication of Anderson's Constitutions (1734); an Ahimon Rezon (1817); and an 1840 manuscript by Mormon founder Joseph Smith. The books currently being restored include Anderson's Constitutions of Free-Masons (1723), and The Freemasons Monitor (1797). There are also several extremely rare, bound volumes of late-1700s Masonic magazines: Freemasons Magazine (1797-98); Sentimental and Masonic Magazine (1793-94); and American Museum or Universal Magazine (1790).

The restoration and re-binding work is an ongoing project being done by Brother James Twomey, a Mason and proprietor of the Book Restoration Company over in LaFarge, Wisconsin. (MORE AT LINK)

http://freemasonsfordummies.blogspot.com/2020/03/iowas-masonic-library-museums-book.html

Freemasonry around the world, featuring Masonic news, history, trivia, and more. By the author of 'Freemasons For Dummies,' Christopher Hodapp.

Are there any Indiana Masons or lodges in the state who would be willing to donate or lend the Museum one of these famou...
02/28/2020

Are there any Indiana Masons or lodges in the state who would be willing to donate or lend the Museum one of these famous prints of the Temple of Solomon?

This is a photo of a color reprint in an Ohio lodge. I've seen black and white versions in lodges (Shelbyville's Temple, I believe is one), but never one in color. It is about 24 x 41 inches in size unframed.

The illustration is based on a famous and massive model of the Temple complex created in Germany in 1647 by Gerhard Schott, and the model and diorama toured Europe into the 1700s. It was displayed in London around 1723 and is thought by many to have partially inspired the creation of the Master Mason degree as we know it and the introduction into Freemasonry of the Hiram legend.

Piers Vaughan wrote a detailed paper about the model and the artwork it inspired back in 2017 in the Fall 2017 edition of the SRRS Plumbline. Different drawings of the model appeared for over a century, including a fold out version found inside the cover of the famous St. John's Lodge 1 'Washington Bible' from 1767 in New York.

Students seeking to explore the esoteric symbolism, concepts and philosophy of initiatic traditions like Freemasonry, Or...
02/17/2020
Angel Millar's 'Three Stages of Initiatic Spirituality' Now Available

Students seeking to explore the esoteric symbolism, concepts and philosophy of initiatic traditions like Freemasonry, Order of the Golden Dawn, Rosicrucianism and countless others, take note. Brother Angel Millar has just announced the release of his new book, 'Three Stages of Initiatic Spirituality: Craftsman, Warrior, Magician from Inner Traditions Publishing.' Now in his newest book he explores how these three classic initiatic archetypes represent the three successive stages of spiritual growth in an individual’s life. He investigates their symbolism, rituals, and metaphysical aspects and shares meditations, practices, and transformational techniques for each archetype...MORE

http://freemasonsfordummies.blogspot.com/2020/02/angel-millars-three-stages-of-initiatic.html

Freemasonry around the world, featuring Masonic news, history, trivia, and more. By the author of 'Freemasons For Dummies,' Christopher Hodapp.

The Masonic Library & Museum of Indiana would like to thank the creators of the 'Whence came You?' podcast for generousl...
02/11/2020
Laudable Pursuit

The Masonic Library & Museum of Indiana would like to thank the creators of the 'Whence came You?' podcast for generously donating the proceeds from the sale of the new audio book edition of 'Laudable Pursuit' by the Knights of the North to us on an ongoing basis.

Laudable Pursuit is an examination of the state of freemasonry in the United States and a plan of action for rejuvenating lodges in the 21st century. Based on topics raised in the 1960s by renowned Masonic author and Indiana past grand master Dwight L. Smith, and then promptly ignored by the frat...

The 76th Consistory of the Society of Blue Friars was convened Friday at the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City, Virginia as ...
02/08/2020

The 76th Consistory of the Society of Blue Friars was convened Friday at the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City, Virginia as part of Masonic Week. The Society of Blue Friars was founded in 1932 for the express purpose of recognizing outstanding Masonic authors throughout the world. At the conclusion of last year's Consistory, Grand Abbot, Dr. S. Brent Morris, announced his retirement after serving for 15 years, naming Arturo de Hoyos as his successor. Friday's gathering was the first under Grand Abbott De Hoyos.

The newest Blue Friar named to the ranks of the Society is Kamel Oussayef of Massachusetts, and he becomes the 110th Masonic author to be named to this august organization.

His books include: Saint Edoüard: A 1748 Masonic Scottish Lodge During the French Enlightenment: The Spirit of Freemasonry; and The Book of Wisdom - all of which have been published in beautiful editions by the Scottish Rite Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. All are painstakingly translated and heavily notated from long-hidden French manuscripts from the 1700-1800s that illuminate the lodges and lives of their members in this critical period of growth, turmoil and transformation in France. His works go far beyond mere translations of archaic French-language lodge minutes and notes. He brings alive the Masons themselves who were members these lodges by unearthing their lives, occupations, lodgings, and habits. These are not dry histories, they are personal ones. It is from this important period that the hautes grades were developed, which eventually crossed the Atlantic and became what we know as the Scottish Rite today.(MORE AT LINK)

https://freemasonsfordummies.blogspot.com/2020/02/kamel-oussayef-named-110th-blue-friar.html

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525 North Illinois Street (Located On The 5th Floor Of Indiana Freemasons’ Hall
Indianapolis, IN
46204

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Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
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The Masonic Library and Museum of Indiana, Inc. (MLMI) is the official preservation and research institution for the Grand Lodge Free & Accepted Masons of Indiana. Located on the 5th floor of the Indianapolis Masonic Temple, we are presently transitioning from a primarily collection-based viewing for our own members into enhancing the visitor experience for those with and without a Masonic background. Our ultimate mission is to illuminate the wider story of Freemasonry, with a special concentration on its profound, historic influence for the people and communities of the state of Indiana. To make an appointment to visit the Library & Museum, contact Director Michael Brumback directly at (765)-744-0424, or Associate Director Christopher Hodapp at 317-443-9354.

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Had a great visit with these brothers and their beautiful lodge.
INDIANA MASONIC MARKERS No. 3 Vincennes Masonic Temple Fifth and Broadway (relocated) Unveiled October 31, 1964 “Cradle of Freemasonry in Indiana At historic Vincennes the first Lodge of Freemasons in the present State of Indiana was established, 1809, by the Grand lodge of Kentucky. Since 1818 it has worked under Indiana charter as Vincennes Lodge No. 1” Albert Mackey and the many subsequent writers who copied and pasted his 1870’s Masonic Encyclopedia entry about our state claim that Masonry was introduced into Indiana as early as 1795, by military lodges. From there it jumps to Kentucky’s chartering of Vincennes Lodge No. 15, convened in 1809, and the rest, as they say, is history. But there’s no discussion of why Vincennes Lodge was chartered to begin with, at that moment in time, and by those men. 'Guard well the South Gate.' Indiana did, and the best of Freemasonry came to the territory through it. The Grand Lodge of Kentucky, after it was formed in 1800, became a little factory, chartering lodges not only in its own state, but eighteen lodges outside it, located in what would eventually become a total of nine other states. In the summer of 1807 while Vincennes was capital of Indiana Territory, a handful of Freemasons residing in that little town petitioned the Grand Lodge of Kentucky through Abraham Lodge No. 8, Louisville, for a dispensation to organize a Lodge. In the second legislative Assembly, in 1808, one unusual man, known for his flamboyant speech, took up a place at the forefront of the opposition to slavery in Indiana. Like Governor Harrison, he was born in Virginia, but in the Piedmont, in Culpepper County, a man with an improbable first name—General Washington Johnston. Many secondary sources are muddy regarding this man who would bring Freemasonry across the Ohio River to Vincennes, and this incredibly important moment in Indiana history. Johnston was already a Freemason, member of Abraham Lodge No. 8 at Louisville, through which he petitioned Grand Lodge of Kentucky for a dispensation for the lodge in Vincennes. In fact, his dispensation fell into limbo for two years, while he mounted his campaign for Congress and prepared a report on slavery in the Indiana Territory. He’s often credited as the initial force behind Indiana Masonry, regardless of never being made Grand Master of the state. His Masonry was important to him; later he would say he stood for three things, “Free Soil, Freemasonry and Free Education.” Large pieces of his biography are a blank, but we know some things. Johnston was the first man to be made an attorney in Indiana, and served in many public positions over the years. But frontier lawyers weren’t wealthy, and he had other jobs, including postmaster and auctioneer. He was self-educated, and was fluent in French, a valuable skill in Vincennes. He knew his history as well as his classics, and was a charter member of the Vincennes library that was founded in 1806. People who met him were often openly disappointed that he wasn’t actually a general, but he took his turn as a citizen soldier, fighting as a volunteer in the Light Dragoons at Tippecanoe, under the command of Jo Daveiss. He married, was widowed, and married again, fathering eight children. Interestingly, the brother-in-law with whom he studied law in Louisville was a cousin of Governor Harrison’s. Politics doesn’t seem to have spoiled a personal friendship with the Governor. In 1809 he signed the petition asking the President to reappoint Harrison as territorial governor. He also didn’t have a reputation as an abolitionist. Petitions were pouring into the capital of Vincennes, for and against slavery, and the Territory had to take a position. A three-man committee was appointed to consider the issue. As its head, Johnston put together a statement document covering the history of slavery in America, and the potential ruin in its extension to the West. He had wanted to run for territorial delegate to the Congress, but put it aside in order to do his report. It’s a masterful statement of the principles of abolition. When he read the report in October of 1808, he brought the legislature to a standstill, pronouncing that any slave must be free the moment he set foot in the Indiana Territory. Anything else constituted a “retrograde step into barbarism.” It was a shot heard all the way to the new federal capital of Washington, D.C. And in a remarkable instance of the moral compass of one man pulling the thousands with him, opinions in Indiana on the issue began to shift. On the Masonic front, difficulties in transportation and communication were encountered causing numerous delays, so that the new Vincennes Lodge No. 15 chartered by Kentucky was not able to work until March 13, 1809. Colonel John Gibson, first Secretary of the Indiana Territory, a Pennsylvania Fellow Craft, was the first man to be raised a Master Mason—interestingly on March 14th, just one day after the lodge received its charter. William Prince and Parmenas Beckes were the first to petition for and receive all three degrees. Early in 1809 the election came that Johnston walked away from, the vote for a territorial delegate to the Congress. The Vincennes newspaper, the Western Sun, and General Washington Johnston helped make it a referendum on slavery. There were three candidates - the two majors were Thomas Randolph, the Governor’s handpicked choice, and Jonathan Jennings, new to the territory, a young lawyer out of Pennsylvania. The third candidate was John Johnson, a Knox County representative who split the difference, being pro-slavery and anti-Harrison. Of course, he still drew votes from Randolph. But in the end it was Jennings, the anti-slavery candidate, who won. Over the course of the next decade, slavery would lose each time the issue came to any sort of a vote. Jennings would eventually become the first elected governor of the state of Indiana, in 1816. In Johnston’s fight, the emerging state was shaped. The small farmers of Indiana certainly could have used a slave, even one, since they were chronically short of labor. This was the bone thrown to them by advocates of slavery, one they generally ignored. A sharp-eyed early traveler to Corydon remarked on the neat and orderly small farms, adding the observation that the people of Corydon didn’t wish for larger holdings, any more than a tired housewife without servants wishes for a house with twice as many rooms. Pointing out two facts in conjunction, that Johnston was a Mason and a force to end slavery, seems like a reach for low-hanging fruit, playing into Masonic myth. It might be better to point out that, after an incredibly contentious election, Thomas Randolph, General Washington Johnston, Jonathan Jennings and John Johnson were all Freemasons, and quite probably at some point sat together in lodge. Men like General Washington Johnston would have felt the lack of a Masonic lodge, deeply, for far more reason than entertainment. In the early years in Indiana, with so few buildings, the lodge generally met in the upper rooms of an inn or tavern. Taverns were almost public buildings, usually a post office and inn and stage stop. The early Puritans forbid taverns by law from closing without permission of the government. The next log buildings to go up were churches, schools, and town halls or courthouses, and Dwight Smith’s history of Indiana outlines in more detail the many joint efforts in these struggling towns to share the burden of the expense. Freemasons would get together with the builders of the school or another community structure, like the courthouse, and share use and cost. The overall point being that they combined with another community building. It’s difficult to explain to the modern American mind the place of Freemasonry in the early development of America. In the tidewater cities of the original colonies, Masonry was nothing less than an integral part of the civic landscape. Lodges constantly opened their doors to non-Masonic community events. And in the West, the republican civic order represented by Freemasonry was a civic handmaiden that had never betrayed them. By 1817, eight other lodges were at work in the new state of Indiana. During that summer the Brethren of Vincennes Lodge made the first overture to the other lodges that led to the eventual constituting of the Grand Lodge of Indiana. The Masonic marker was originally erected on the campus of Vincennes University, but the school evicted it eventually when they began to discourage tourists from visiting its campus. It now stands in front of the Masonic Temple of Vincennes Lodge No. 1 at Fifth and Broadway.
This past Tuesday, I was privileged with the opportunity to briefly visit the new Masonic Library and museum. It has been well done and there are numerous items on display. Our history is something to be proud of.