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Fraternal organizations, such as the Masons, were an important part of daily life in early Washington, providing entertainment for members and the entire community. Accordingly, the mill company in Port Gamble actively supported the Masonic Lodge, subsidizing its rent and maintenance. Port Gamble’s Masonic Lodge was established in 1858. The group initially met above the general store, which burned around 1867.
The present structure is located on the northern portion of North Rainier Avenue, south of the community center. It was built in 1871–1872 for the Franklin Lodge #5 to resemble the original store building. It is reportedly the oldest surviving Masonic lodge building in Washington, and remains in regular use for its original purpose. It was moved across Rainier Avenue to its present site in 1907. At that time, the front and rear elevations were reversed and a new front entrance and wraparound porch were added. The original main facade survives on the building’s west elevation.
The building has a steeply pitched gable-front roof, clapboard siding, and two-over-two windows with molded cornices. A fanlight punctuates the gable. On the front is a narrow, hipped-roof porch with a plain railing that extends across the facade and along the south side. At the rear, the original main facade features a center entry with wood stairs, flanked by two windows with molded cornices. Two pairs of similar windows are on the second story, with a fanlight in the gable. On the interior, the first floor has a kitchen and general meeting room, while the second floor contains the lodge room where members participate in Masonic rituals.
The building still serves as a Masonic lodge.
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