A History of McMenamins Grand Lodge

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After 20 years of planning and fundraising, designs are initiated at Forest Grove for a Masonic and Eastern Star Home for the State of Oregon "for the aged and infirm, and the poor and distressed worthy Master Masons, their widows and orphans . . ."


The first contract for construction was let on May 2, and the corner stone was laid June 16.


The main lodge's central area and east wing are completed on January 1. The first resident, Brother Henry Mounts, moves in on February 24. The dedication of the Home is held on June 14.


The smaller building, called the "Children's Cottage," is completed in November 1926. Intended to house orphans of Masons, the Cottage's capacity is 32 children.


It is determined that the orphanage should be closed because the relations between the elderly and the children are less than harmonious. Children start relocating to outside families.


The salaries of Home employees are slashed 15 percent.


New dairy barn built to save money on the cost of dairy products.


Farm and dairy is discontinued in view of financial deficits.


The Columbus Day Storm causes considerable damage: most of the Cottage roof is torn off, the dormer roof over the main lodge porch is damaged and twenty trees are uprooted. The power is knocked out and remains off for several hours, but the Home's auxiliary plant is in action within ten minutes of the power outage.


The offices of the Oregon Grand Lodge are relocated to the former Children's Cottage.


The Masons build the Jennings-McCall Center, a 72-unit elder-care apartment complex just north of the Masonic Home.


The Masons build Jennings-McCall II and a new Grand Lodge office and meeting facility with the intent of moving out of the original Masonic Home and Children's Cottage. McMenamins agrees to become the new "custodian" of the great old property. Renovation begins that fall.

March 1, 2000

The property reopens as McMenamins Grand Lodge.


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