History Blog: Masonic Lodge Hall, Rudder Center Dedications
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.
NEW MASONIC LODGE HALL DEDICATED (Nov. 21, 1952)
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 Street. 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.
The 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.
THANKSGIVING DAY DEDICATION OF RUDDER CENTER (Nov. 22, 1973)
This 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.
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.
Energy Crisis, Watergate and Kyle Field
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!
- World War I ended 95 years ago today (Nov. 11, 2013)
- College Station incorporated 75 years ago wthis month (Oct. 26, 2013)
- A different kind of drought ended in 1971 (Oct. 8, 2013)
- Old Hrdlicka home had long, storied history (Sept. 24, 2013)
- Solving the puzzle of A&M’s Veterans Village (Sept. 17, 2013)
- A fitting week to celebrate The Bear’s 100th birthday (Sept. 10, 2013)
- Remember when Aggie football tickets were $4? (July 30, 2013)
- Much has changed in my 50 years in BCS (June 17, 2013)
- The King ruled College Station in the summer of ’73 (June 10, 2013)
- Did Marty Robbins prefer College Station over El Paso? (June 11, 2013)
- Petition for incorporation presented to county (June 3, 2013)
- Cornerstone for Sbisa Hall installed with Masonic ceremony (May 31, 2013)
- Easterwood Field dedicated on May 22, 1941 (May 21, 2013)
- FDR gives commencement address at A&M College (May 14, 2013)
- The greatest BCS song you may have never heard (May 13, 2013)
- Paddle strike at Aggieland/Terracing jumps into spotlight (April 8, 2013)
- Petition for incorporating College Station begins circulating (March 27, 2013)
- Think getting around College Station is tough now? (Jan. 16, 2013)