Masonic Hall of Lufkin
Marker No: 18004
Aluminum 27 x 42 Subject Marker
Texas Historic Landmark
Location: 228 Leach Street, Lufkin
Marker Text: The Masonic Hall of North Lufkin was completed in 1900 by the African American Community’s architect, Will Engram. Engram moved to Lufkin in 1896 and, with just a third grade education, he became a master architect and carpenter, building around 100 homes in the area. The simple, wood-frame Masonic Hall was a meeting place for all the fraternal organizations of the Black Community. The Dawn of Light Free Masons Charter dates back to 1893. Under the ownership of the Masons since 1923, the Masonic Hall on Leach Street served as the meeting place for the American Woodmen, the Order of Elks, the Free Masons Dawn of Light Lodge #79, the Eastern Stars and the Heroines of Jericho. These organizations utilized the hall for their meetings, ceremonies and community activities until the mid-1970s.
Beginning in 1971, the Masonic Hall fell on hard times and was placed on the city’s demolition list. The daughter of Will Engram worked to save the hall as commemoration to her father and this monument to the black community. The first floor of the hall is now dedicated to revitalizing community organizations while the second floor is used as a Black History room. Artifacts found in the masonic hall were given to the East Texas Research Center of the Steen Library at Stephen F. Austin State University where they remain today. The Masonic Lodge has served the Black Community of Lufkin for over a century and continues to serve it today through education and outreach, and this historic building is one of the last remaining buildings from the turn of the 20th century. (2014)