HISTORY of HALFWAY LODGE #852
Halfway Lodge #852 was chartered in 1912 with Brother Ewing E. Buchanon serving as Master, Brother Buchanon and some other Master Masons from Goshen Lodge #503 and Graham Lodge #208 started Halfway Lodge. They met in the upper section of what was known as Halfway Schoolhouse, they shared it with Modern Woodmen of America Lodge #13364 of Halfway. The schoolhouse was built in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s.
Charlie Ayers and the members of his family gave the school and lot to the Allen County School System in 1942. On January 4, 1943 the Modern Woodmen and Halfway Lodge bought the schoolhouse and lot form the Allen County School System for the sum of $50.00, then on June 6, 1962 Halfway Lodge bought the Modern Woodmen’s half of the building and lot for $1.00.
Halfway Lodge started out in 1912 with 28 members and had a steady growth in the early years to a total of 74 members by 1926. Its numbers faded to 40 in 1942 but rebounded to its highest total of 85 members in 1961. The number of members stayed good until the early 1990’s with 51 members in 1990, but had fallen into the 30’s by 2000.
The building was heated with wood stoves upstairs and downstairs until 1984 when a gas tank was bought and small gas heaters were installed. Water was put in the building in 1986 and the bathrooms were also built downstairs, but with the building being as old as it was the would always freeze each winter and you had set next to the heaters to know if they were on. We were always fixing the water lines and we wore extra clothes on meeting nights but we carried on. The biggest concern was the stairs with our members getting older and the stairs was the only way out in case in case of a fire. On stormy night you could see the building sway or seemed that way but we kept on meeting and dreaming of a new building.
We had talked many years of a new building but with thirty members in the blue lodge and around thirty in the Eastern Star it just seemed like talk until at the District Educational Meeting in 1998 we announced we were going to build a new building. We had several brethren at that meeting donate money for the building. Though it’s been a long road and a few people said we couldn't do it, we broke ground with a donated dozer in August of 1998. There were a lot of Brothers and others that were not Masons donating their time and materials. We held our first meeting in the new lodge on January 12, 2001, there was still no water or electricity, but it was a great meeting.
The building was officially dedicated by Grand Master David Carter on
Saturday June 18, 2005.
On May 1, 2010, the lodge held a note burning ceremony to commemorate paying off the loan that helped us finish the building.
There is no way we can thank all the people that deserves our gratitude or appreciation, but what we have today is because of you.