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Freemasonry Watch

PHOTO: Bartow Masonic temple full of symbolism about secretive organization

masonic square and compass, knife and fork

Freemason Temple, Twin Pillars

Bartow News Chief - FLA

Bartow Masonic temple full of symbolism about secretive organization

News Chief correspondent

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Freemason Temple, Twin Pillars
BARTOW - Inside the Bartow Masonic Temple, a lodge of Freemasons, are displayed photos of past leaders of this local group of civic-minded men. The photo gallery of "Worshipful Masters," meaning "those honorable" or "most respected," includes one of the original founders of Bartow, Jacob Summerlin.

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.

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