At the Auction

by Senior Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Gregory J. Knott

Todd Creason and I recently attended the auction of the contents of Martinsville Lodge No. 603 (IL). Martinsville lodge merged with another lodge and they decided to sell everything in the lodge building. You could literally have furnished your own lodge with everything that was there. The bidding was fast and furious as the chant of the auctioneer got both the locals and brethren actively bidding to buy some of the great masonic treasurers.

I hadn’t been to Martinsville before, but was looking at the downtown area. This town isn’t unlike hundreds of others in rural America. Older buildings on Main Street, several of them closed or in poor condition. The bank and post office were still open. There was a restaurant, hardware store and a couple of antique shops. But overall, the best of times were in the past for the business district.

One thing struck me was that on the same side of the street were three fraternal buildings, almost right next to each other. The Odd Fellows, The Order of Redman and the Martinsville Masonic Lodge. The Freemasons were the longest survivors of these fraternities. I don’t know when the others closed, but I assume they had suffered the same fate as the masonic lodge, declining interest and membership. These lodges had been a vital part of the social fabric of the Martinsville community and now they were dark.

Todd was able to purchase the masonic pillars from the lodge and I purchased all the officer jewels. Both of us would just have assumed to see the lodge stay open, but these will be great additions to our personal masonic collections.

Everything has a season.


WB Gregory J. Knott is the Worshipful Master of Ogden Lodge No. 754 in Ogden (IL) and a plural member of St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 (IL), Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL) and Naval Lodge No. 4 in Washington, DC.


  1. The social fabric of rural America is an endangered species. I think I read that 90% of Americans live with 15 miles of a Walmart.
    As you have discussed often, our places in the new fabric of society will require we take the very best of what we are (philosophy / education / ritual), a willingness to let go of that which is no longer useful (failing and underutilized infrastructure), and the creativity to reinvent ourselves.
    I have faith even if I don't have the vision.

  2. The social fabric of rural America is an endangered species. I have heard that 90% of the US population lives within 15 miles of a Walmart.
    To remain a vibrant part of the new social fabric, we need to take only the very best of who we are (philosophy / education / ritual), let go of our anchors (underused infrastructure in disrepair / our grandparents ideas of having a good time), and be the Phoenix of enlightenment to a new generation of men.
    I have faith in our future!


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