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About Doric Lodge #53

Doric Lodge #53 was chartered September 14, 1898. On September 30, 1898 a regular communication (meeting) was opened for the institution of the lodge and installation of officers. Initially the lodge met on Friday evenings at the Knights of Pythias Hall, but in 1900 the meetings were changed to Tuesday.

In January 1916 a committee was appointed to investigate the construction of a building to house the lodge. Later that year an agreement was signed with the Ellingson Mercantile Company to purchase the second floor building over a garage and showroom that was being constructed on the corner of McLeod Street and 2nd Avenue. By August 1, 1916, the first meeting was held in this new hall, constructed at a total cost of $14,200 in only five months!

In 1935 the company that owned the first floor went bankrupt, and the bank offered the property to the lodge. The lodge subsequently incorporated and purchased the rest of the building for the sum of $11,500, a mortgage that was paid in full by 1948. Over the years there have been many tenants in the building, perhaps the best known being the Ben Franklin store which finally closed around 2002.

Membership has seen many ebbs and flows but is currently on a strong upswing. The lodge sponsors several annual scholarships for local high school seniors, as well as a program rewarding local elementary school students for reading by giving them an opportunity to earn new bicycles as well as Kindles. The lodge also participates in the annual Sweet Grass Fest by sponsoring a barbecue booth the proceeds of which are used to fund other charitable programs.

Interested in Masonry or becoming a Mason? Interested in renting office or retail space in the heart of downtown Big Timber? Please call us at (406) 932-5471.

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