Our History

Throughout the history of the United States of America, Freemason’s have played an integral part of our communities. From the original colonies to great towns just like ours…

The History of Duluth Lodge No. 480 F.& A.M.

By Willim M. Jones – July 1978

Duluth Lodge No. 480 was chartered by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Georgia at it’s annual communication in 1905 A. D., 5905 A. L.

The Charter, dated November 2, 1905 was issued to A. F. Norton, W. M., J. A. Cook, S.W., and J. W. McClure, J. W.

Other charter members were: J. V. Adams. W. R. Claridy, J. A. Dodd. A. R. Danforth, J. L. Hall, M. H. Maxwell, J. E. Norton, T. C. Nunnally, I. M. Sudderith, H. M. Taylor and H. H. Summerour.

These brethren were from Alpharetta No. 235, Norcross No. 228, and Suwannee No. 646 which had surrendered its charter.

The first affiliate was D. W. Wilson of Buford Lodge No. 292.

The first Petitioner was J. H Cook, subsequently raised to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason, the son of J. A. Cook, S.W. The first recorded minutes are dated December 26, 1905.

The original By-Laws assessed the following fees:

First Degree  $10.00
Second Degree $5.00
Third Degree  $5.00
Membership by Affiliation $1.00
Biennial Dues     $1.00

The secretary was to receive five per centim of all moneys collected for his services and the tyler, fifty cents for each time he tiled the Lodge.

The first hall was located near the southwest corner of Peachtree and Knott Streets. It was owned by J. S. Cook and son and rented for $2.00 per month.

In 1916 the Lodge moved to the I.O.O.F. Hall on the second floor of a warehouse to the rear of the northeast corner of the above mentioned streets. The lower floor of this building was used for casket  storage. In 1939 the lodge moved into the two-story building on Peachtree Street Electricity came to Duluth about 1914. Up until then the oil lamps had to be kept trimmed and filled.

After a false start in 1961, the present hall and lot was acquired from the Duluth Methodist Church for $10,000.00 on January 4, 1966. The first communication was held in the new location on January 18, 1966. Using the building fund on hand, along with contributions by several of the Methodist brethren, a loan was made by the Bank of Duluth for $7,000.00. the balance of the Craft responded nobly and retired the loan on time. The old church was ideally suited for Masonic purposes. there being an annex for the Lodge room proper, kitchen, restrooms and the Sanctuary for banquets and public meetings. Very few changes were required to put it in working order.

There are no minutes after December 19, 1916 except record of dues paid, until December 17, 1918. These were the years of World War I. the young men were in the Service and older ones busy on the home front. The lodge came alive again in 1919 and remained fairly active through 1927 and 1929 also but, fell off through 1938. Earl Allen Brown was raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason on July 18, 1922. He served as Worshipful Master beginning in 1928 continuously through 1933. Brother Brown was elected Secretary for 1934 and filled that office for forty-three years through 1976. In tribute to his dedication the Lodge elected him to Secretary Emeritus in December 1976. It is common knowledge that his efforts kept the Lodge alive through the depression years 1934-39. He called on the Brothers personally to collect their dues. At the only communication held in 1934, on December 14th, the Secretary was authorized to accept half of past dues in full settlement.

Nineteen Thirty-nine, 1944 and 1945 were very good years and the Lodge has remained active since then. THE MOST WORSHIPFUL GRAND MASTER of the GRAND LODGE OF GEORGIA presided at the laying of the cornerstone of Duluth’s first modern school building in 1924. The minutes do not reflect this event but, this Historian and several other Brethren were members of the first graduating class in 1925.

Several of the Brethren have held and served as officers of the Gwinnett County Masonic Association since its inception in 1948.

The Lodge furnished a room in Joan Glancy Hospital in June 1967.

It also furnished a room in the Masonic Home in August 1968.

The first Masonic funeral was conducted over J. A. Parsons of Bowersville Lodge No. 595, at Warsaw Church burial Grounds on February 26, 1911. the last, over our beloved Secretary Emeritus, Earl Allen Brown, on March 20, 1977.

As of July 31, 1978, there were one hundred twenty-one Master Masons including seven Emeritus Brethren and one Entered Apprentice.

Duluth Lodge began sharing its facilities with the newly chartered Chapter No. 526 of the Order of Eastern Star in 1975. Our own Brother, Robert Wilson, was the first Worthy Patron. The lodge has benefited immeasurably from this association until March1986 when the O.E.S. was dissolved.