Freemasons' Hall in Niagara (Newark), 1791
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Freemasons' Hall in Niagara (Newark), 1791

A facsimile of an illustration said to show the location of the original Freemasons' Hall, on King Street, Newark (Niagara), near the River, 1791, standing between Public House and house of D.W. Smith, Surveyor-General, as interpreted by J. Ross Robertson. Text below reads: "In an old MS recording the proceedings of a meeting of the government Land Board at Niagara on June 24, 1791, it is shown that the authorities took action to erect a Masons' Lodge. This was the first hall built for Masonic purposes in Upper Canada. It was used for other purposes besides Freemasonry, for Divine Service was held here before a church building was erected, and the hall was used for the meetings of the Provincial Agricultural Society, and for conferences between Lieutenant-Governor Simcoe and the Mohawks and other tribes of Indians. Most interesting of all is the fact that the first Legislature of Upper Canada met first in this hall on September 17, 1792. It was destroyed by fire in 1813. About the year 1816 another building was erected on this site, partly from stones gathered from the ruins of the town, which was in due course used as a store, as a school, as a hotel, and as a barracks, and was long known as the "Stone Barracks." It is this building which is now the home of Niagara Lodge, No. 2, G.RC."