Blendon’s History

Masonic procession through Westerville, 1930
Masonic procession through Uptown Westerville, 1930

Blendon 339, was not the first lodge in Uptown Westerville. The first Master and many of the charter members had been members of Charity Lodge No. 53. Charity Lodge had been organized in Sunbury, Ohio in 1819, then in 1826 moved to Zoar and to Westerville in 1842. The lodge met in the second story of the Blendon township School, which stood at about 260 South State Street, where the Armory is now (2006) located. In 1844, due to hostility engendered by the anti-Masonic movement, Charity Lodge was compelled to surrender its charter and cease operations.

Blendon 339 first met in rented halls. By 1874, the membership had increased to more than 40 and the lodge was able to finance a third story addition to the building at the southeast corner of State Street and College Avenue.

As early as 1925, the minutes of the Lodge meetings indicate that there was serious discussion regarding the purchase of land to construct a new Lodge Hall. Under the leadership of a building committee, plans were made and land was purchased at the current location, 130 S. State Street in November of 1927. The lot was purchased from the American Issue Publishing Company for $12,500. The Lodge continued to grow, increasing to 361 members by 1928.

Plans for the new Temple progressed. W.H. Tremaine was selected as the architect. The general contractors were E. Elford and Son, the heating contractors were Huffman-Wolfe and the plumbing contractor was the North Side Plumbing Company. The original estimates were in the range of $80,000 but as the building progressed, the cost rose closer to $100,000.

Corner Stone Laid

Corner Stone Laid: Westerville, Ohio 1930
Corner Stone Laid: Westerville, Ohio 1930

The cornerstone for the Temple was laid in February of 1930 with a large procession of Masons who moved through the streets of Uptown Westerville to the new Temple site. A time capsule in the design of a casket was deposited containing records, papers and other interesting objects. Following the ceremony, the Masons and others attending moved to the auditorium of the Westerville High School, one block north, where an oration was delivered.

March 2, 1931 marked the last meeting of Blendon Lodge at the old hall located at State Street and College Avenue. The first meeting in the new temple was held on March 26, 1931.

The formal dedication of the Temple was held on October 30th, 1932, with 316 members and visiting Masons present. Since that time, the building at 130 S. State Street has been home to all Masonic bodies meeting in Westerville.

Over the years, the basement and 1st floor have been rented to various groups including many churches, pre-schools and businesses. The very first group to rent the basement was a recreational club formed by the Masons to generate funds. Recreational equipment and bowling alleys were available to members at a cost of $35 per year.

Blendon 339 proudly extends an invitation to you to tour the Temple. A great deal of effort has gone into preserving the original structure and furnishings. We are very proud of our small lodge room, on the second floor, where the original furnishings of our old lodge room at State and College can be seen.