Forest City Lodge History
Chartered October 16, 1867
Two years following the tragic death of President Abraham Lincoln,
Forest City Masonic Lodge was born. Sponsored by Bigelow Lodge
# 243, a dispensation was granted by Grand Master Thomas
Sparrow on March 28, 1867. Two days later, Forest City Lodge
U.D. held it first meeting in the Masonic Hall on Franklin Street and
adopted a code of By-Laws.
The first meeting was presided over by Elisha T. Ellsworth, a
bookkeeper, and a Past Master of Meridian Sun Lodge # 226,
located in West Richfield, Ohio. Worshipful Brother Ellisworth was
the first Master of Forest City Lodge to be elected and installed to
this office following the granting of a charter to the Lodge on
October 16, 1867 by the Grand Lodge of Ohio at its Cincinnati
As Cleveland grew and changed, so did its members change and
relocate about the city. In time, the number of East Side members
was so predominate, that a vote was held which resulted in the
meeting place being moved in November, 1873 to Case Hall, at East
3rd Street and Superior Avenue.
This location remained our home for almost a quarter of a century.
In 1896 Forest City Lodge with other centrally located Masonic
Bodies moved into the Masonic Temple on East 6th Street and
Superior Avenue. This is were we remained until the site was sold to
make way for the new Federal Reserve Bank Building.
For seven moths thereafter, we met at the Newburgh Masonic
Temple. On September 1st, 1921, the new Masonic Temple at East
36th Street and Euclid Avenue was completed, and it became our
new permanent home. Here we remained through the terrible
depression years, through the years of World War II, and through
the post war years until 1959.
During this period of Forest City Lodge history, a glimpse of the true
character of the Lodge came to light. The depression inflicted heavy
financial losses upon many of our members, and many would have
been suspended for non-payment of dues. The Brethren of Forest
City Lodge demonstrated their Masonic Charity, and all worthy,
distressed members during those years, and right up to the present
time, were kept in good standing.
On October 16th, 1942, Worshipful Master Julius A. Negin called a
special meeting of the Lodge for the purpose of celebrating the 75th
Anniversary of Forest City Lodge. Wor. Bro. Negin later became the
Chairman of the first blood bank established by any Masonic Lodge
in the State of Ohio.
In October, 1955 Forest City Lodge, together with Golden Square
Lodge, purchased land at the corner of Warrensville Center and
Farnsleigh Roads in Shaker Heights for the purpose of constructing
a new Masonic Temple. Ground breaking ceremonies were held on
February 12, 1958. Grand Master Andrew J. White, Jr. laid the
cornerstone of our magnificent Temple on June 8, 1958. The official
dedication was conducted on February 28, 1959.
The first regular meeting held in our new home was the installation
of officers on January 14, 1959.
Generations of Masons yet to come will appreciate the efforts and
accomplishments of our Building Committee
After paying its share of the cost of the new building ., Forest City
Lodge found itself with an excess of Building Fund contributions. In
1966, the Brethren voted to use these funds for Masonic Charity. As
the direct result of this decision two rooms in the Ohio Masonic
Home in Springfield, were completely furnished by the Lodge.
To underscore the true meaning of the religious season, around
Christmas and Hanukkah, Forest City Lodge holds an annual
Brotherhood Night. This event was started in December 1973 by
Worshipful Brother Bert M. Tobin 33 This event has received
Since June 1979, the annual observance of Table Lodge has been
our final meeting before spring break. Inspired messages from
noteworthy Masons and a generous outpouring from the "Box of
Fraternal Assistance" has enriched many worthwhile charities and
made this an evening of good fellowship enjoyed by all.
On January 20, 1921, at the then downtown Masonic Temple, on
the corner of East 6th Street and Superior Avenue, the preliminary
formation of Golden Square Lodge took place, 54 names were
obtained on the first petition. At successive meetings the matters
incident to organizing a new Lodge was attended to.
On Thursday, October 20, 1921 dispensation of the Grand Lodge
was granted. The last preliminary meeting was held on Monday,
October 31, 1921. On Thursday, October 19, 1922, a formal
proclamation was made at the Grand Lodge of Ohio granting its
charter, with the number 679 definitely fixing our order among sister
Lodges in the State of Ohio.
The roster showed 85 Charter Members. Consecration of Golden
Square Lodge took place in the Doric Room of The new Masonic
Temple at 3615 Euclid Avenue on Monday, October 30, 1922 64
years later on April 1, 1986 Golden Square Lodge consolidated its
356 members with the 800 Members of Forest City Lodge and
returned their charter to the Grand Lodge of Ohio.
With the merger of Golden Square, Forest City Lodge became the
owner of 75% of the shares of the Shaker Masonic Temple. Lodge
consolidations and the movement of tenants to other Masonic
facilities, had the Shaker Masonic Temple looking for other tenants.
Unity Church became a prime tenant, but this income was not
sufficient to lessen the financial burden that Forest City had to bear
as the majority owner. In 1999 Unity Church approached the
Building association about buying the facility. After lengthy
negotiations, the sale was approved and Forest City Lodge moved
as a tenant to the Lyndhurst Masonic Center at 5516 Mayfield
Road, Lyndhurst, Ohio 44124
Forest City Lodge in now over 140 years old and remained a
vibrant, active and flourishing Lodge who has weathered thee good
times and the bad and with your Masonic efforts will prosper into
the 21st Century and beyond.
Forest City Lodge is "Innovation in Action"