Order of the Eastern Star – Perry Belmont Mansion

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Gregory J. Knott

     Please don’t sit on the furniture, don’t pick up any of the china and use the handrails when going up the stairs.  The house is perfectly arranged, beautiful antique furniture is in every room and fine artwork hangs from the walls.  A trip to your grandmother’s house; no it was my visit to the headquarters of the Order of the Eastern Star in Washington DC.
     I was greeted at the door by an elegantly dressed lady who was a member of the Eastern Star.  She verified that I was a member of the order and invited me in to take the tour.  The HQ is actually an elegant mansion on New Hampshire Ave NW .  
     Formerly the Perry Belmont mansion it was completed in 1909. Perry Belmont was a Freemason, Congressman, Lawyer and descendant of Commodore Matthew C. Perry.  
     The mansion was clearly designed for entertaining large parties of Washington aristocrats.  There is a large ballroom with a total of 54 rooms in the house.  The Eastern Star acquired the mansion in 1935 to become their permanent home.  As part of the purchase agreement from Mr. Belmont, the Eastern Star established in their law, that the Right Worthy Grand Secretary must live in the mansion.  

     The mansion itself retains many of the original furnishings from the Belmont’s including numerous paintings, Louis the 14th furniture, etc.  One item I found intriguing was a sink in the kitchen on the 2nd floor.  It was made entirely of silver as the former owner had a deep concern about germs.
     The mansion is well preserved and worth a tour.  You must be a member of the Eastern Star to gain admittance. 
     The Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the world in which both men and women can belong to.  Any Master Mason is eligible to join and lady with a Masonic connection is also eligible for membership.
More pictures of this beautiful facility can be viewed here.


WB Gregory J. Knott is the Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph (IL) and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), and Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL). He's a member of both the Scottish Rite, and the York Rite, and is the Charter Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club in Champaign-Urbana. He's also a member of the Ansar Shrine (IL) and the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. Greg is very involved in Boy Scouts--an Eagle Scout himself; he serves the Grand Lodge of Illinois A. F. & A. M. as their representative to the National Association of Masonic Scouters.

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