Original Temple Building
The Seven Sisters
Why Halcyon Lodge?
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Brotherhood of Masons
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The Seven Sisters
The Seven Sisters
Halcyon Lodge was formed in 1875 when several of the most prominent Freemasons in Cleveland separated from their mother lodges to create what they described as one of the most “progressive” lodges in the country.
In 1887, along with six other Masonic Lodges from the north-eastern states, they created what would become known as “The Seven Sisters”. These seven lodges were to “Light the way into the future.”
The Charter was requested by Brothers Frederick W. Pelton, E. R. Goodrich, and L. J. Lewis. Among the charter members was the seated Grand Master of Masons, C. A. Woodward. Halcyon Lodge was officially Chartered on the 21st of October 1875 by the Grand Lodge of Ohio.
Pelton had just finished his term as Mayor of Cleveland. He had served in the Union Army during the Civil War and sat on the board of several banks and insurance companies. His beautiful Victorian mansion sits just across the street from the Temple. E. R. Goodrich was a member of the famed Goodrich family who worked with Pelton in the banking and insurance industries. At this time very little is known about L. J. Lewis but it is reasonable to conclude that he was a close associate of Pelton and Goodrich.
The idea of Lodges being points of light in the darkness of the profane world, just as stars are within the cosmos, was a concept first put forth by Bro. Benjamin Franklin. It is without a doubt no coincidence that Halcyon Lodge sits on Franklin Boulevard and that even the street address has a hidden meaning.
The Seven Sisters were the daughters of the titan Atlas and the Oceanid nymph Pleione. Halcyon (Alcyone) and her sisters played an important role in Greek mythology and astrology. In both astrological and astronomical references they are collectively known as the Pleiades, which is an open star cluster in Taurus. Halcyon is the brightest star in the Pleiades cluster. One of her sisters is the mother of Hermes and another is linked to Harmony (Harmonia). The Seven Sisters have been a part of the lore of Freemasonry for hundreds of years. Since the earliest days of Freemasonry in Europe they have appeared as the seven stars on the Master’s collar, and the seven stars within the moon on Tracing Boards.
The historic Halcyon Temple has many attributes that make it truly unique, among these are its location. The location had been envisioned many years before the present temple was erected by the early leadership of the city of Cleveland. The land on which the temple sits was Masonic land but was not utilized until 1931 for its intended purpose. “This building is dedicated and consecrated to the spirit of Freemasonry,” is inscribed on an 8′ limstone relief on the side of the temple facing Franklin Boulevard. It is curious that the building was not consecrated to the Grand Lodge of Ohio like so many others.
The map below shows that Halcyon Temple sits within a Quadrant and Compasses made by the layout of the streets. If you follow the arrow created by the apex of the compasses it points directly to
the Soldiers and Sailors Monument
in downtown Cleveland.
At one point Halcyon was the 22nd largest lodge in the United States and remained a strong and powerful lodge until the late 1970′s when Freemasonry began its decline in Ohio and across the United States. During this period the Grand Lodge of Ohio forced several failing lodges to merge with Halcyon. The newly acquired members were problematic and a struggle for power took place. The original members of Halcyon began to drift away from both the lodge and Freemasonry as a result of these undesirable mergers and the people they brought with them.
By the early 1990′s the temple was in a state of decay, and some of the merged members plotted to demolish the temple and sell the property. As fate would have it the 1990′s witnessed an influx of Generation-X Masons that felt close ties to the original members of the lodge who had remained silent for many years. Together these two groups regained control of Halcyon and stopped the destruction of the temple.
The 21st. century brought with it long needed renovations and repairs to the temple. It also witnessed the reemergence of Halcyon as the premier lodge. (A position it had held for the first hundred years of its exitence.) Halcyon was once again honored by the Grand Lodge with having the best degree teams, and the state Traveling Gavel remained in the possession of Halcyon until it broke with the Grand Lodge in 2007.
After the break with the Grand Lodge of Ohio, Halcyon was instrumental in the formation of the Grand Orient of the United States. Working with other lodges in Georgia, Alabama, California and Michigan, they approached the Grand Orient of France to form a new American Grand Orient that better met the needs of modern American Freemasons.
Today Halcyon is one of the fastest growing lodges in America with men joining from all corners of the United States. Halcyon continues to promote the true “Spirit of Freemasonry” in hope of one day realizing a lasting brotherhood of all mankind.
Halcyon Lodge 498
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2831 Franklin Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44113-2916
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