Bartow News Chief - FLA
Bartow Masonic temple full of symbolism about secretive organization
By PAULA STUART
Sunday, May 16, 2010
The Bartow lodge was established on June 12, 1865, as Bartow Lodge No. 9, by 13 Master Masons. This lodge can boast of having two Grand Masters for Florida as part of its history. James W. Boyd was Grand Master in 1895 and 1896. Harry Gordon Taylor was the second representative from Bartow, for state service in 1935.
Jacob Summerlin financed the first Bartow Masonic temple in 1867, after the city of Bartow had been laid out and named for Confederate Gen. Francis Bartow. There was a church and school on the first floor of the lodge building. The lodge meeting room was upstairs. The lodge disbanded from 1879 until 1883 and was reconstituted as Tuscan Lodge No. 6. The present-day lodge building on South Florida Avenue sits on a Masonic cornerstone laid in 1927.
It is the sixth oldest Masonic lodge in Florida. It is called the "father of lodges" in Fort Meade, Winter Haven, Lake Wales, Mulberry and Frostproof.