Milestones in Museum’s Past

Within a year the museum collection grew to nearly 90 pieces and its curator proudly boasted that he “secured many interesting relics; Masonic aprons from the Philippine Islands, Ireland, Nova Scotia, and two aprons from Canada; about fifty [York Rite] Chapter pennies, fourteen medals commemorating some historical events in Masonry.”

The same year an article in the Greensboro Daily News reported:

“Greensboro has, as far as can be learned here, the only Masonic museum in North Carolina, and perhaps in the entire southern section of the country. The museum is only one year old, having observed its first anniversary March 10, and is still of small proportions, but it is a lusty youngster and promises in the course of time to become a real institution. Certainly, with such an ancient background as Masonry possesses, it has an unlimited field from which to draw exhibits of untold value.”

By March 10, 1950, the museum’s collection had grown to 3,000 items, including “the largest collection of old Masonic Aprons in North Carolina, and probably in the South.”

A special banquet on March 13, 1957 celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Greensboro Masonic Museum. Among the guest speakers were Charles A. Harris, Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina; Dr. Christopher Crittenden, Director of Department of Archives and History; Joseph A. Cannon, Mayor of Greensboro; and A. Earl Weatherly, the past president of the Greensboro Historical Museum.

Later that year, members of the Greensboro Blue Lodges created a Board of Trustees “to own, manage and conduct the affairs of the established Greensboro Masonic Museum and Library.” The Master of each Lodge appointed two members to serve as Trustees.

By April 1966, Bridges had cataloged 5,157 items in the museum, including more than 775 York Rite Chapter pennies. When the museum celebrated its 35th Anniversary the following year, Earley Bridges expressed his wish “that the Museum continue to grow for many, many years to come, and that the future Curators and Trustees will continue, with the same fervency and zeal, to collect Masonic items.”

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