1873 - Hamilton Masonic Lodge - Hamilton, Virginia
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
N 39° 08.032 W 077° 39.896
18S E 269657 N 4335014
Quick Description: Historic Masonic Lodge and school in Hamilton, Virginia.
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 5/11/2014 7:09:38 PM
Waymark Code: WMKPH7
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 1

Long Description:
The Masonic Lodge is situation at 43 South Rogers Street, in Hamilton, Virginia, a small town in central Loudoun County.  The building was designed and constructed, in 1873, as the meeting place for Masonic Lodge No.37 and as a schoolhouse for grades 1 through 12.  The architect was John R. Lamden of Alexandria.  Lamden is credited with the design and construction of several homes and businesses in Alexandria, and the joiner's work Meade and Bohlen Halls at the Virginia Theological Seminary.  The builder was Richard Ruse, a native of Hamilton and a noted local carpenter and builder..  Ruse constructed a number of other buildings in Hamilton, including St Paul's Episcopal Church (brick), Waverly Villa (brick residence), Ivy Hall (brick summer home), and the Hamilton Baptist Church (frame).

The Lodge is a 24' by 48' brick, three-story, Italianate-style building with a modified rectangular plan, and a front gabled roof with an open belfry.  The structure is well preserved...

The Masons continued to meet regularly in at the Lodge building until 1953, when the Hamilton Lodge closed.  The numbers of Masons in the area had dwindled, and the remaining members found it increasingly difficult to maintain the building and to climb the winding stairs.  The Hamilton Masons formed a partnership with the nearby Thompson Lodge in Purcellville, Virginia (two miles west of Hamilton), and Lodge #37 was redesignated as the Hamilton-Thompson Lodge..

The Lodge building also served, from its inception, as the first public school in Hamilton.  Under an arrangement between the Masons and the Mt. Gilead District School Board, the school occupied the first floor of the building, which was unsuitable for a Lodge room. State law provided that the school be open to anyone between the ages of five and twenty-one.

The Hamilton School operated from the first-floor room until 1881, when the school was expanded to include the second floor (the Masons sold this floor to the School Board for $1050).  Hamilton used the first and second floors of the Lodge as the town's only public school, until until 1921.  In 1922, a new, larger school was opened, which held four classrooms and a library.

National Register nomination
Year of construction: 1873

Cross-listed waymark: [Web Link]

Full inscription:
Hamilton Lodge No. 37. Erected 1873. Tomas E. Taylor James T. Robinson William McGray Gabriel V Braden Thadeus A. Hatcher Cornelius Shawen L. DDW Hess Trustees J. R. Lamden - Architect R.W. Ruse - Builder

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