In May 1903, the Towanda Masonic Lodge #30 a.f. & a.m. purchased a lot on the corner of Third and Main streets in Towanda.
History of the Museum
On June 2, 1904, a cornerstone laying ceremony was held, with Thomas G. Fiche, Grand Master, in charge. A number of articles were deposited in the cornerstone, scheduled to be opened June 2, 2004. The Methodist Church, the Christian Church, a band, and a choir all took part in the ceremony.
The lodge officers taking part were Andrew J. Ralston, Master; John J. Straw, Senior Warden; Samuel G. Huddleson, Junior Warden; Michael Orban Jr., Treasurer; Charles Davis, Secretary; U. S. Cupp, Senior Deacon; S. E. Cornelius, Junior Deacon; John Cappas, Senior Steward; Claude Green, Junior Steward; and James N. Robinson, Tyler.
In those early years the ground floor was rented out to various businesses such as an implement shop, a dry goods store and a post office which occupied the building until 1961. In 1947 the back room was partitioned off for the Library. In 1961 the Library expanded and used the large area that later became the dining area on the first floor where the Masons met for their meals. In January, 1996, the Towanda Lodge gave the building to the city to be used as an historical musuem.
One of the business men who rented the Masonic Lodge downstairs was the parent of our former member of Congress, Garner E. Shriver. His father was Ed A. Shriver, who owned a hardware and implement store. Garner E. Shriver was a member of Congress for 17 years.
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