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Terre Haute Lodge No. 19, Free and Accepted Masons, will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the receipt of its charter with an open house and rededication ceremony on Saturday at the Terre Haute Masonic Temple, 224 N. Eighth St.

Between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., visitors can go on guided tours of the Temple and view historic lodge records and artifacts. The open house will conclude with a rededication ceremony by the Grand Lodge of Indiana, which will be followed by an invitation-only banquet for members and their guests.

This Lodge, the first of 19 Masonic Lodges to have existed in Vigo County over the last two centuries, is the oldest organization of any kind (fraternal, religious, or civic) in Terre Haute and Vigo County. It was organized in 1819 when 13 local Freemasons received permission from the Grand Lodge of Indiana to establish a Masonic Lodge, although it wasn’t granted its formal charter until Sept. 13, 1821.

Many local, state, and national politicians, prominent businessmen, educators, inventors, and athletes have been members of Terre Haute Lodge No. 19 including Gen. Peter B. Allen; Abraham Markle; Gen. Charles Cruft; George Farrington; Eugene V. Debs; Chapman J. Root; Art Nehf; and Howard Sharpe. Three of its members have served as Grand Master of Indiana: Robert Van Valzah (1878-79); Thomas B. Long (1889-90); and John R. Hunter (1939-40). A charter member and early Terre Haute settler, Lucius H. Scott, returned to his home state of Pennsylvania and served as Grand Master there from 1865-66.

This event is free and open to the public, and there is no need to make reservations for the open house. For additional information about Terre Haute Lodge No. 19 or Freemasonry, visit www.terrehaute19.com.

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