Elbert Store and Masonic Lodge

Elbert Store

The Elbert Store was once part of a string of businesses along both sides of the street, including two grocery stores.  During our visit with my two cuz from mother’s side of the family, we stopped in to visit with family members of the current owners.  We were invited to visit the upstairs, which I had always assumed had once held living quarters.

The former Elbert Masonic Lodge was housed on the second floor.  In the original store configuration, the stairs had been on the outside of the building.  Two moveable metal stair cases now provide access from the rear.  The walls still retain the bead board paneling, and the podium and elevated stage area remain in the room which was the meeting location for the Lodge until at least 1936 or 1937.

Thus far, I have not located any additional information about the building or organization.

Update June 9, 2018:  W. P. Vaughn in the Handbook of Texas Online, “Freemasonry” said the Great Depression brought an equally dramatic decline of Masonic membership in Texas.  The membership numbers dropped from 134,000 in 1927 to 95,000 in 1937.  Vaughn indicated a number of local lodges lost their temples.  With the population of Elbert being quite low anyway, and the serious economic impact of the Depression, the closure of the Lodge in Elbert in 1936 or 1937 was likely due to economic reasons.

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