King Hiram Lodge #53 Free and Accepted Masons' Records

Stewart Bell Jr. Archives Room
Handley Regional Library
Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society

P.O. Box 58, Winchester, VA 22604
(540) 662-9041 ext. 17

1631 THL

SCOPE AND CONTENT: The collection contains minutes, awards, certificates, articles, and ephemera pertaining to the King Hiram Lodge # 53 Free and Accepted Masons of Winchester, Virginia.  The lodge was located 418 N. Kent Street in 1976. The collection also includes minutes, correspondence, and treasury reports for Apple Blossom Chapter #196 of Eastern Star, Winchester, VA     
(3 boxes) Last updated 09/16.

BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL: In 1885 a group of Brethren petitioned the Grand Lodge to establish a Black Masonic Lodge in Winchester, Virginia. On May 17, 1886, a warrant was granted to George Stephenson, R. Page Hall, and Preston S. Smith along with 11 Master Masons. The King Hiram Lodge # 53 was organized and meetings held. In 1946, the few remaining members reorganized. New members from surrounding counties were initiated, and old members returned. The reorganization was a huge success. They moved into their new quarters in 1976. A successful building fund drive paid it off in 1993. The lodge ceased having meeting in 2004, and officially closed in 2014. The last four members of the lodge donated $53,000 to the Fremont Street Nursery in 2014. Apple Blossom Chapter #196 of the Eastern Star is an auxiliary of the King Hiram Lodge.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: King Hiram Lodge # 53 Ellsworth Turner Collection, 204 THL

CITE AS: King Hiram Lodge #53 Free and Accepted Masons’ Records, 1631 THL, Stewart Bell Jr. Archives, Handley Regional Library, Winchester, VA, USA.


BOX 1—King Hiram Lodge #53 Records

Awards and Certificates, This folder contains the following;                                                                                                                                                                      William G. Plummer Award for excellence in Masonic work presented to the King Hiram   Lodge #53, Winchester, VA, 1 leaf, printed,
Building Fund Certificate presented to King Hiram Lodge #53,  1 leaf, printed

“The Bee Hive” (Winter, 1989) Vol. 32, No. 1; 1 booklet, 15 pages, printed

M.W. Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Virginia F. and A.M., Inc. Presented to Robert L. Cross for a monetary contribution to the MWPHGL of Virginia Charity fund, 1 plaque along with a medallion and coin attached

Catalog A—Ihling Bros. Everard Co. (1978); 1 booklet, printed 

Centennial Celebration, 1886-1986, 8 leaves 1 leaf, printed (photocopied), 1 item, printed 

Closing of Hiram Lodge #53, 2014 – This folder contains the following items:
                Statement of surviving lodge members on closing of the lodge, August, 2014,
                2 leaves, printed
                Photocopy of gift check to Fremont Street Nursery, August, 2014, 1 leaf,
                printed (photocopy)
                Photo of surviving lodge member and director of Fremont Street Nursery, Sept.
                9, 2014, 1 leaf, printed (photocopy)

History and Origin of the Organization of the Rite of Adoption among Negroes in the United States, 1 item,  typescript (framed)

Services/Programs; folder contains the following items:

  • Program for Recognition Service, Nov. 25, 1983
  • Program for Lodge of Sorrow, Nov. 6, 1983, 2 items (photocopy)
  • Testimonial Dinner in honor of Downing Ellsworth Banks (July 28, 1978); 1 program, printed
  • Testimonial Dinner in honor of John Bruce Cook (June 1, 1979); 1 program, printed
  • The Festival of St. John The Baptist (June 25, 1978); 1 program (2 copies), printed 

Plaque for extraordinary Christian witness (from St. Paul AME Church, 1991)

BOX 2 ---Apple Blossom Chapter #196, Order of Eastern Star  

Contains minutes, correspondence, and treasury reports for Apple Blossom Chapter #196 of the Eastern Star, Winchester, VA from 1971 through 1989.

1971                            1978                            1984
1972                            1979                            1985
1973                            1980                            1986
1974                            1981                            1987
1975                            1982                            1988
1976                            1983                            1989

BOX 3—Apple Blossom Chapter #196, Order of Eastern Star


Past Matron Award, 19.5cm silver plate awarded to Mary Cross on May 18, 1985



Metal Sign – King Hiram Lodge #53 Free and Accepted Prince Hall Masons, Winchester, Virginia, 1 item.

OVERSIZEMap Case 5 Drawer 6  

List of Officers and Members, 1887