History Of Normal Lodge #673

The Normal Masonic Lodge held its organizational meeting on February 20, 1871.  It was not until October 3, 1871 that our Charter was signed making Normal Lodge No. 673 a regularly constituted lodge authorizing them to meeting and work.  A list of the Charter members is as follows:

James W. Gray
Henry Van Doren
Samuel J. Reeder
Henry McCormick
E. P. Knight
Gilbert S. King
William A. Pennell
Benjamin F. Carpenter
Clarence Owen
W. W. Ross

The first location of Normal Lodge was established at 140 East Beaufort Street, in the second story of a frame building owned by C. Parks who operated a general store on the ground floor.  Since its inception the lodge has moved seven times.  Its seventh move was into 102 Broadway which was our home until 2008.

This present temple was dedicated on the evening of July 6, 1926. The cornerstone had been laid November 25, 1925 and a box of sealed contents placed under the cornerstone.

The box was opened once in 1971 for the 100th anniversary after which it was resealed with additions of then current mementoes, some Lodge and city pictures, brochures and other items the brethren thought would be of interest to our brothers in 2071.

In 2005 the lodge consolidated with Danvers Lodge #742, retaining our name and number.  Sixty-six men joined as a result of the merger.

In 2004 the Town of Normal approached the lodge and entered into discussions about relocating the lodge out of the downtown area.  The building sits in the middle of the redevelopment area, and the Town was interested in creating a tax generating business site.  In 2008, the Town reached an agreement with the Lodge.  The Lodge broke ground in mid-2008 and moved into their present lodge hall in January 2009.

Through the years Normal Lodge has produced several Grand Lecturers.  The names of those who have achieved this high honor are listed below.

Elbert W. Crandall, Sr.*
William L. Davis*
Leslie W. Nelson*
Douglas A. Wilson*
Bud Buescher (Emeritus)
Ronald K. Blue (Past Grand Examiner)*
John D. Dorner
John Harold Perkins (Emeritus)
Kenneth Wayne Smith
Jerald Howard Starks (Grand Lodge Instructor)

There have also been several affiliated Grand Lecturers and several Certified Lodge Instructors.

Jeffery James Fox  Certified Lodge Instructor
Charles Herbert Ross, Jr.  Certified Lodge Instructor
Robert Wright   Grand Lodge Instructor