HISTORY
Sarasota Masonic Lodge # 147

(Taken from the 75th Anniversary Celebration Program in 1980)
Many thanks to Past Master Russell Glendinning


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Founding
Worshipful Master
of Sarasota Lodge #147

Edmond R. Marsh
W Edmond R. Marsh
Grand Master
of Florida
Signed Lodge Charter

MW Charles W. Johnson
MW Charles W. Johnson

Sarasota Lodge #147 was granted dispensation by the Grand Lodge of Florida on August 13, 1904 with the first communications held in the Lodge Room over T. J. Dancey's store on the evening of August 23, 1904. E. R. Marsh presided as the Worshipful Master. The charter was granted by the Grand Lodge of Florida on the 19th of January, 1905 by Grand Master Charles W. Johnson, with E. R. Marsh as Worshipful Master. In the 1920's an attempt was made to purchase property for a Lodge building. They purchased the land that presently is the home of the Pan American Bank, but the boom bust caused the Lodge to lose the property. No attempts from then until 1940 were made. Then, on June 18, 1940, a committee was appointed to secure plans for a Temple and for the following 8 years, many long hours of work went into the building of the Lodge today. Some interesting dates are:

The Blackburn Building
204 Main Street (about 1904)
Blackburn Bldg.
 
The Charles Ringling Building
139 Ringling Blvd. (about 1926)
Ringling Bldg.
 
Dec. 16, 1945Entered into negotiations for purchase of the Archibald Building from Mrs. Charles Ringling.
Jan. 30, 1945 Special Lodge meeting called to discuss finances and purchase of building. Rent on the building they were then in was being raised to $75 a month (up from $35) The members voted:
1) not to buy the Archibald Building.
2) raise the dues from $6.00 to $8.00 per year and access each member $2.00 for 1945.
3) set aside 50% of fees for the building fund and
4) raise the fees to $100.
Feb. 6, 1945The first donation for the building fund was given by Brother Robert Stickney - $100.
March 6, 1945Final approval to raise the new fees to $35.00 - $25.00 - $15.00, to raise dues to $8.00 and to put 50% of fees to the building fund.

The Building Committee - Chairman Brother Robert Shoptaugh with Brother Johnny S. Nicholas and Brother Robert C. Lape reported on the finding of the property on Main Street for sale by the County of Sarasota for back taxes only. By unanimous consent the committee was authorized to bid as high as $1,500 for the property.
Aug. 7, 1945Brother Shoptaugh reported that the abstract of title, for which the Lodge had to pay, showed the title to be clear. Brother Paul C. Albritton, attorney, donated his services in examining the abstract. Total price for the lots, including the abstract was $1,332.
Sept. 3, 1946A kick-off banquet was held at Johnny's Coffee Shop to discuss ways and means of raising money to build a Masonic Lodge on the Main Street property. 100 members were in attendance.
Nov. 26, 1946At a special meeting the Lodge voted in favor of forming the Sarasota Temple Association under the Laws of the State of Florida. This association was to be responsible for the construction of the building and to turn same over to the Lodge when completed. $50,000 was to be available before construction was to start.
Aug 19, 1947Motion was carried to reduce the amount from $50,000 to $15,000. Brother Hector Pelletier, architect, announced that plans for the building would soon be ready.
Oct. 7, 1947Plans for the building were turned over to the Temple Association.
Feb. 24, 1948Lodge voted approval for the Temple Association to go ahead with the building.
March 16, 1948It was decided to change the plans of the building to a one story building and attempt to get the approval from the Grand Master.
June 1, 1948Ground was broken for the new building.
July 1, 1948 First concrete was poured, and with the dedicated help of Brother Carl Simmons who served as the General Contractor the Lodge building went up.
July 6, 1948Proposal was made to raise fees to $100.
From this date on many fund raising activities began.
Aug. 8, 1948Horse Show held - raised $453.
Oct. 1948Lodge voted to sign deeds to the property over to the Temple Association in order to obtain a loan to finish building.
Nov. 1948The Lodge sponsored a show at the Florida Theatre raised $166.
Nov. 20, 1948Sponsored football game - raised $607.
Dec. 8, 1948Free dinner was held at the new unfinished Temple building - collected $1,002.
Dec. 18, 1948Spaghetti dinner at the Dude Ranch owned by Mr. John H. Reynolds - raised $500.
February 1, 1949The first meeting was held in the new building, still not finished. W. D. Housen was the Worshipful Master.
June, 1949RW Brother Oren Wilkins presented lights with square and compass filaments to the Lodge.
July, 1949Brother Joseph Wesley, retired artist, presented the emblems hanging on the walls, to the Lodge.
October 27, 1949MW A. Wayne Connor paid an official visit to the 19th Masonic District, with the meeting held in the new Masonic Temple. The Bronze plaque's at the entrance were furnished by MW Brother Conner. Later in 1949, a drive was started to purchase permanent theatre seats for the Lodge.
July, 1952Dues were raised from $8.00 to $10.00 a year, with activities continuing on.
April, 1953The 19th Masonic District was changed to the 24th Masonic District. This same year the Lodge received good news from the Temple Association that the $10,000 mortgage had been reduced to $4,200

From this time to the present day, many activities have taken place in Sarasota Masonic Lodge #147 on Main Street. Many long hours of work by the brothers of this Lodge has put it where we are today.


Webmaster: Gary Schweinshaupt
Sarasota Lodge #147
Sahib Shrine Temple
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Mail: P.O. Box 455
Tallevast, FL 34270-0455