History Blog: Masonic Lodge Hall, Rudder Center Dedications

City of College Station's 75th AnniversaryNOTE: 2013 marks the City of College Station’s 75th year as an incorporated city. In recognition, we’ve highlighted some interesting moments from our past.

This blog was authored by Henry Mayo, a surveyor and long-time resident of the Bryan-College Station area. As a surveyor and historian, Henry retrieves information from local, state and national resources to assemble history-themed messages for email subscribers in a series titled “This Week in Brazos County History.” To subscribe to Henry’s email series, click here.




NegromasonsVIP MusicThe item on the left from The Eagle on Nov. 20, 1952 tells of the planned open house and dedication ceremony to take place the following days for the new Masonic Lodge Hall.

The photos on the right were taken a few months ago, when I noticed the Masonic cornerstone of the building on North Texas Avenue at 18th CornerstoneStreet. The cornerstone is carved “Laid October 20, 1952,” but apparently things didn’t go on schedule and the ceremony was delayed one month.

At first, I thought the inscription “F.A.M.” was also in error and should have been “A.F. & A.M.”, as stated in the newspaper article. Thanks to the Masonic Lodge of Education website, I have been educated.

This lodge is not under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons (A.F. & A.M.), but under one of the Prince Hall Grand Lodges. I won’t include all the details here, but it is worth learning about and is another unknown facet of our rich African-American history.

Masonic Ad1899 ClipThe advertisement on the left appeared in The Eagle on April 18, 1946 and lists the lodge as “No. 5” instead of “No. 56”, but I believe this was simply a typographical error because every other article refers to it as No. 56.

The item on the right from The Bryan Morning Eagle on May 25, 1899 lists early members of the Social Tie Lodge, when it hosted its Texas Grand Lodge meeting in Bryan.

I don’t know of the current membership and activities of the Social Tie Lodge, but it’s still listed as the owner of the lodge hall on Texas Avenue and someone is apparently paying the property taxes since it is not listed as tax-exempt. If anyone has information to add about the Social Tie Lodge, please fill me in.



Rudder EulogyThis article from The Eagle on Nov. 23, 1973 tells of the dedication for the Rudder Center, which coincidentally fell on the 10th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination. This was only one week after the dedication of the Oceanography & Meteorology building, the only building taller than Rudder Tower on the Texas A&M campus.

Wall Plaque Photo

Regarding rumors about the O&M building, I also found the following “Action Line” question and reply in The Eagle of Nov. 23, 1973. I wonder if anyone has checked the building for plumb to see if it is still within ¼ inch of being vertical.

Rudder Question


Energy Crisis, Watergate and Kyle Field

I want youNew TAMU VesselI wanted to include these items from this week in 1973. The energy crisis and Watergate were topping the national news, and coincidentally, Kyle Field extravagances were in the news, too.

Presidents Box

By the way, the Texas historical marker for The Queen Theatre in Bryan will be dedicated Thursday at 10 a.m.  The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

Have a great week!
Henry Mayo

Henry Mayo
Surveyor and Historian | email
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