National Register of Historic Places (SG100006149)


The Fulton Lodge # 248 Temple is a three story brick building constructed in 1894. The Lodge is located on the south side of Main Street at its intersection with Lincoln Street in the center of the village of Delta in Pike Township, Fulton County, Ohio. A rural county, Fulton County is west of Toledo, Ohio and its northern border is shared with Michigan. Delta is about seven and one half miles southwest of Wauseon, the county seat. The Fulton Lodge is the most prominent building in Delta. Located at the edge of the small commercial node within the village, immediately to the east of the Lodge is the modern Delta Public Library, and to the south a parking lot. The building exhibits characteristics of the Italian Renaissance architectural style through the low pitched hipped roof, widely overhanging eves with decorative brackets, small upper story windows and prominent round arched doors and windows. The interior of the Masonic Lodge retains its physical characteristics of the multi-function Masonic Lodge: commercial space on the ground floor with the open dining area and kitchen on the second floor and the Masonic meeting area and associated spaces above on the third floor. The building retains historic integrity through exterior design elements, historic fenestration, and interior floor plan and with its original woodwork, floors, cabinetry and many original Masonic symbols such as the Alter, seating, light fixtures and punched tin ceiling. With the exception of the boarded third story windows, the building's exterior and interior have changed very little and still coveys its significance as a late nineteenth century multi-function Masonic Lodge.

Narrative Description

The Masonic Fulton Lodge #248 Temple, upon its construction in 1894, was the tallest building in Delta, Ohio and still holds that distinction today. The building is a 40 by 80 rectangular plan, with an asphalt hipped roof which supports the four chimneys. Arched windows and decorative trim grace the front entrance and west side of the building. Typical of this property type, each of the three floors presents a distinct function.

The symmetrical three bay north facade faces Main Street. The roofline is distinguished with the corners slightly projecting above the center bays on all elevations, providing the sense of square towers at the corners. The center portion of the cornice features dentils and a Greek key pattern. Under the brackets, in the slightly recessed center bay on the third floor is an arched window in filled with wood and a louvered panel, flanked by smaller vertical windows all with stone sills. A continuous stone sill underscores entire center bay at this level. Flanking the center bay are tall, narrow windows also boarded, with stone sills. A panel under the centered window features the Masonic Temple insignia under which are two arched windows with ornate seven paned arched upper lights over a single light. These windows are underscored with a projecting, dentilled cornice over the centered display window on the ground floor. The second story arched windows are flanked by pairs of single pane wood framed windows with transoms. A continuous stone sill marks the first floor from the second floor and the brick work at the ground level below the sill is ribbed, providing dimension to the surface. The ground floor has a large centered three-part display window topped with a bracketed lintel. On each side are arched entries with keystones. The door system to the right is flush with the arch and is topped with three windows in the arch and door has 1/1 sidelights. The entry to the left is recessed, clad with vertical boards and a single man door. Historic images show both entries were originally recessed with the altered door dating to pre 1940.

The west elevation faces Lincoln Street. The continuous stone sill that delineates the first andsecond floor on the façade continues along this elevation as does the ribbed brickwork. At the ground level near the rear of this elevation are two wide arched entries with keystones. The one to the rear has an in filled, blind transom and flat metal awning. The entry door is centered and flanked with display windows. The other entry has three large windows filling the transom with a centered glazed entry door flanked by display windows. A small single light window toward the façade has been in filled with glass block and an air conditioner. The second story fenestration consists of four 1/1 arched windows in the center section and a single 1/1 double hung window toward the front of the elevation. Third floor fenestration is four windows.

The east elevation abuts the modern Delta Public Library at the ground level. At the second story, are three double hung windows with wooden sills, and the third level has five double hung windows with wooden sills.

The roofline of the south side (rear) elevation matches that of the façade. Fenestration on the third story consists of four symmetrically placed windows which are boarded. At the second story is an entry door to the kitchen and one boarded window. At the ground floor are two double light side by side windows and an entry door. The fire escape leads from the street level to the kitchen door and continues to the third level on the west elevation.

The first floor of Fulton Lodge #248 was historically and is currently commercial space. Upon entering the northwest front door there is a 40 foot by 26-foot room with an arched wall to the south. A wall at the east of the room goes the length of the building separating the east arched way entrance used by the Masons that leads to the stairs. In the front room along the east wall is a doorway leading to a washroom and closet located on the north wall. Upon walking through the arch way is a second room with an arched wall, this room contains the arched entrance on the west side of the building. On the east wall is a doorway leading to the break room and utility room measuring twelve by nineteen feet long. Through the hallway of the second room is a door way on the east wall is a retail space and the south wall is a door way to the storage room. Down the hall and to the west is a door way leading to the single door, two bay window entrance.

The east arched way entrance used by the Masons has a recessed single door. Inside and to the west is a wall separating the commercial end of the building, to the east is a double hung window and to the south is the first floor original staircase. The commercial area contains the original punched tin ceiling and wood trim at the windows. The floor has been covered or replaced with a floor made of recycled pallets. The commercial area is used as a salon and contains the necessary equipment.

The second floor retains its room configuration, architectural details and finishes to convey its use as a dining hall. The stairs on the north end of the building enter into a hallway which at the north end enters into the display room, the south end enters an area which contains the restroom, two closets and a doorway to the kitchen. Upon entering the hallway from the staircase are two wooden paneled doors allow access to the dining hall. The center 2/3 of this room is used as the dining area, which retains its original height and square footage, wood floor and wood work. Along the west wall of the second floor are four arched transom windows with the original woodwork. At the north end is a wide paneled wood pocket door separating the dining hall from the parlor, the parlor features three windows, one being an arched window on the north wall.

Another set of wide paneled wood pocket doors separates the parlor from the display room. Both the parlor and display room retain their original woodwork, ceilings and windows. On the south side of the dining hall is a serving wall and counter separating the kitchen from the dining area. The kitchen has undergone some improvements over the years, but room configuration remains unchanged with a door to the south leading to the fire escape and a doorway to the east leading to a room containing the restroom and closets.

The third floor maintains its room configuration, architectural details and finishes to convey its use for lodge meetings and rituals. The stairs at the east end of the building enter the third floor into a hallway and entrance space with two wooden doors, one leading to a storage room and the other to the receiving room. Inside the receiving room are two doors on the south wall leading to storage rooms, one door on the west wall leading to the preparation room, one door on the north wall controlling access to the lodge meeting room. The front almost two thirds of the floor is the lodge meeting room. A wall at the south end of the building separates the meeting space from the receiving room, preparation room, storage rooms and bathroom. These spaces feature historic woodwork, doors, windows and wood strips with coat hooks. The meeting room is a wide open space with sixteen-foot-high original metal coved ceiling with integrated cornice. Projecting pilasters emphasize the front raised stage area that provides seating for the Worshipful Master. Along the side walls are projecting pilasters and six inch raised platforms for seating for the Junior and Senior Wardens. Seating is original, although reupholstered as is the plaster walls, woodwork, doors, windows, trim. Original lighting fixtures hang from the ceiling.

Historic Integrity

The Fulton Lodge #248 Temple retains historic integrity, and effectively conveys its local historic significance. Located on a prominent corner lot on Main Street, the aspects of setting, location and feeling are intact and represent the property’s historic and continued prominence within the community. While the construction of the modern public library adjacent to the nominated property obscures a portion of a secondary elevation of the Lodge, they are not connected. In addition, the very presence of the library reinforces that this location continues to be vital to community activity. The aspects of design and materials are evident through the retention of its multi-function use and architectural design, represented by the prominent symmetrical façade, decorative elements, exterior brick and stone trim, arched entries, distinctive roofline. The interior features historic materials and design that include including woodwork, wood doors, stairs, window surrounds remain. The primary interior spaces retain historic layout and demonstrate their historic uses, with the first floor housing commercial business, second floor the open dining area and kitchen space and the third floor that clearly conveys its usage for meeting and rituals through the intact architectural features in the lodge room and the ancillary spaces.

Statement of Significance Summary

The Masonic Fulton Lodge # 248 is significant at the local level under Criterion A in the area of social history for its association with the fraternal organizational movement and the social development in the Delta community. It is also significant under Criterion C in the area of architecture as an intact example of the Masonic Lodge multi-use building that provided a meeting space for fraternal organizations, dining hall for social events and rental commercial space for financial support. The period of significance begins with the construction of the building in 1894 and the end date for the period of significance is 1970, which aligns with the 50-year National Register of Historic Places recommendations as the fraternal organizations housed in the building continue to serve the community.

Narrative Statement of Significance

Development of Delta

The village of Delta is located in northwest Ohio, in a rural area where large swaths of land were generally unfit for cultivation until about 1858 when the swampy area was drained. By the turn of the century, agriculture, specifically corn, wheat, hay, oats and fruit became the mainstay of local economy. The first known European settler to the area now known as Delta was James McQuillen, who built a saw mill on the bank of Bad Creek in the early nineteenth century. In 1838 there were two families living on the bank of the creek: that of James McQuillen, on the south side of the road: and that of G.B. Lewis on the north side. McQuillen ran a saw mill and water mill, and Lewis seems to have catered to the travelers. He opened what was the first hotel in the county; and conducted a certain amount of trading in tea and tobacco. In 1841 there were four families living in this area. 

As with hundreds of small Ohio communities, development hinged on transportation. In the 1850's, with the laying of a plank road and railroad that connected Delta to Toledo, the community began to grow. In the 1860's Delta made an effort to secure the county seat, but the nearby city of Wauseon was chosen instead. On a petition of sixty residents of Delta, the village was incorporated August 2, 1863. By 1868 Delta had developed as had countless other small Ohio villages and towns. It had a flour mill, saw mill, shingle mill, one brick yard, one hotel, and about eighteen stores of all kinds. There were three churches, Episcopal, Methodist, Protestant Methodist, and Presbyterian.

From 1870 to 1910 the population in Delta had more than doubled; from 753 in 1870 to 1,689 in 1910. With the increase in population came more industry, commerce, civic organizations and physical growth. An article in the Delta Independent Press dated June 7, 1854 touted the importance of the daily train schedule of the Lakeshore Railroad connection between Delta and Toledo, predicting a new era in the community’s history. The railway certainly improved the agricultural marketing opportunities of local farmers who did business in Delta. With the increase in commerce came community improvements, including gas lighting in the village in 1885, more institutionalized fire and police departments and the construction of the Delta Town Hall in 1894 that included an auditorium and village offices. The Town Hall was unfortunately lost to fire in 1949. Greatly supplementing agricultural and local commercial economy was the construction of the Helvetia Pet Milk condensing plant in 1903 in Delta and the Van Camp Company, also a milk condenser in Wauseon. Previously, the market for local milk was limited to cheese manufacturers who could only process a finite amount of milk. The new condensing plants both had a high capacity for production and provided a steady market that matched whatever volume local farmers could produce. Each of these plants could accommodate the milk from approximately fourteen hundred dairymen. The influx into the local economy from the Delta plant alone was estimated ‘well into six figures.'

This era of expansion and prosperity in Delta coincided with the golden age of fraternalism when the membership in fraternal organizations in the United States rapidly grew. The roots of fraternalism in Delta can be traced back to February 1854, when a group of local Masons who had been meeting in the home of member, Octavius Waters voted to petition the Grand Lodge to start a Masonic Lodge chapter in Delta. Waters was born in England, but became a sailor at age fifteen. After visiting many ports of call, he settled in New York City in 1844, and located in Fulton County, Ohio in 1851. By 1856, he was admitted to the bar and opened a law office in Delta. Later a prosecuting attorney for Fulton County, and later a prominent Republican politician, he was instrumental in the growth of the Masonic Lodge in Delta.

Permission was obtained from Northern Light Lodge in Maumee, Ohio and from Superior Lodge in West Unity, Ohio for the establishment of a new Lodge. Previous to the establishment of the Fulton Lodge, members were known to make the periodic two day trip to attend meetings in Maumee, some twenty miles distant. The members chose the name Fulton Lodge because it was the first Lodge to be established in Fulton County. This early Lodge quickly became an established organization within the county, attracting and retaining a growing membership. Beginning in 1863, Fulton Lodge supported the efforts to help establish new Lodges in the nearby towns of Wauseon, Lyons and Swanton, giving up some of its members in the process. Lyons and Swanton have since merged with Wauseon leaving only two Lodges currently in Fulton County, Fulton Lodge #248 and the Wauseon Lodge No. 349. Wauseon Lodge is housed in a one story building constructed in 1969.

Fulton Lodge rented its first room for meetings for $75 a year from a prominent local property owner, J.N. Marsh for an upstairs room in a local store. In 1860, the Lodge purchased a lot and erected a two-story wood-framed Masonic Temple building at the present location of the nominated property at the corner of Main and Lincoln Streets. This early building was dedicated on September 15, 1860. Local fraternal organizations were housed here until August 18th, 1892 when a devastating fire destroyed much of downtown Delta, including the Masonic Temple.

The following spring, May 1893, the Lodge contracted with local builder, A. L. Guthrie to construct the nominated property; a fire-resistant and stylish brick Temple at a cost of $7,500. As could be expected, the dedication of the new building on June 29, 1894 was a major local event that featured a parade, local bands and speeches by several out-of-town Grand Lodge Officers. A newspaper article described the building as having a commercial first floor, originally rented to Bartholomew & Benter furniture dealers for ten years for an annual rent of $350, the second floor designed for receptions with a parlor, kitchen and banquet room and the third floor admirably arranged for all lodge purposes, said to have been one of the most beautiful chapter rooms in Ohio.

For forty-five years, the first floor of the building served its commercial function, first as the home of the furniture dealers, and later in the 1920s and 1930s for the Johnston Brothers to house their harness and auto accessory business. In 1939, the Masonic Fulton Lodge #248 leased the first floor to the federal government for the local post office, helping to relieve the financial burden that had been placed upon the Lodge due to the loss of members during the Great Depression. The post office remained on the first level until March of 1988, when a new facility was built east of Delta. Since 1988 the Masonic Temples first floor has been host to various local businesses from a karate studio, bakery and the present day Cherie’s Shears Salon. The community is proud of the Fulton Lodge as it serves as the location to one of the area’s longest standing Free Masonry Chapters in Fulton County, and continues to house the Free Masons today.

Criteria A: Social History; the development of Masonic Organizations

The Fulton Lodge #248 follows a long tradition of Freemasonry. A European tradition, the Free and Accepted Masons was found in the United States early in the eighteenth century with the establishment of the first Provincial Grand Lodge in Pennsylvania in 1730, followed by eight additional provincial lodges which were replaced by Independent Lodges after the American Revolution. Freemasonry became popular in Colonial America; George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and Paul Revere were just a few of the Masons who helped to form the foundation for the United States. Another Mason, Chief Justice John Marshall, shaped the Supreme Court into its present form. Over the centuries, Freemasonry has developed into a worldwide fraternity emphasizing personal study, self-improvement, and social betterment via individual involvement and philanthropy.

The early European and American fraternal organizations provided an example of structure, rites and rituals that were emulated by later organizations. While membership dipped in the early nineteenth century after the abduction of William Morgan, an author who was going to publicize secret Masonic rituals, after the Civil War and into the twentieth century, membership in the Masonic organization burgeoned. Several factors are believed to have contributed to the popularity. During this period, there were little to no economic or social safety nets provided by any level of government. The Masonic tradition of founding orphanages, homes and financial support for widows and the aged provided the only security many people knew. These social benefits provided a powerful draw for membership. Today in North America, the Masonic Fraternity continues this tradition by giving almost 1.5 million dollars each day to the causes that range from operating children's hospitals, providing treatment for childhood language disorders, treating eye diseases, funding medical research, contributing to the local community service, and providing care to Mason's and their families at Mason Homes. In addition, membership filled a social void in rural towns and villages and provided an opportunity for locally successful community members to actively participate in an organization that yielded a broad impact through the nationwide network of local chapters. The network of local, state and national members gave local participates important links to contacts outside of their small communities. 

At the peak of the fraternal movement an estimated forty percent of the country's adult population was a member in one or more fraternal organizations. During this period, the fraternal organizations with the largest memberships were the Freemasons and Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.). By the nineteenth century these two organizations were well established with their development in the United States history dating to the eighteenth century for the Freemasons and the early nineteenth century for the Odd Fellows. After the Civil War, fraternal memberships rapidly expand with a revival of interest and membership in these older organizations, and through the formation of many new organizations. The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), formed during this period as a fraternal organization of Union Army veterans quickly became one of the largest memberships, competing with Masons and Odd Fellows.

Criteria B: Fulton County and Delta Masonic Organizations

The appeal of fraternal organizations found fertile ground in rural Ohio communities. By the early twentieth century, Masonic Temples were commonly found in small towns and villages as well as big cities throughout the state. In Delta, the Fulton Lodge #248 provided an opportunity for local businessmen, farmers and elected officials to socialize, network, strategize for community improvement and to provide charitable work.

From the very early beginnings in Delta, local Freemasonry served this very important social function in the community. Members of the organizations that met and hosted events in the Fulton Lodge #248 building were respected as community leaders and included a newspaper editor, lawyer, local businessmen and politicians. There was a prestige and sense of authority for a member of a secret society. Illustrating the sense of importance associated with local Lodge activities, an article in the Delta Atlas in January 1887 described the installation of officers of the Fulton Lodge #248 and Octavious Waters Chapter No. 11 with a community supper for three hundred guests following the ceremony in the dining room of the Fulton Lodge.

After the Masons were chartered in 1854, other fraternal organizations were organized in Delta. In 1896, several members of Fulton Lodge #248 F&AM and their wives met to organize asociety for women parallel to the Freemasons known as the Order of the Eastern Star. This women’s organization was based on the stories Biblical women and emphasized the qualities of obedience, religious devotion, fidelity, faith and charity; aspects of rural life that were likely appealing to both the Freemasons and their wives. The petition to the Grand of Ohio was approved and January 12, 1897 was set for the date of installation. With the approval of Fulton Lodge #248. F&AM and the guidelines of Fulton Chapter #67 Order of the Eastern Star and Stella Chapter #50 O.E.S., Delta’s Aurora Chapter was instituted. Twenty-six members from Delta were initiated into Aurora Chapter #75 Order of the Eastern Star.

The Chapter flourished, and more than six hundred Delta residents were initiated into the Aurora Chapter during its 70 years of service, housed in the Fulton Lodge #248. Like the Masons, the Aurora Chapter found ways to support local and national causes. Later, the success of the Aurora Chapter supported the institution of the Maree Chapter in nearby Swanton, in 1900 and the Bryan Chapter in 1906. Many charitable organizations- local, state and national- were the beneficiaries of the dedication of the membership. During World War II, they made quarterly purchases of War Bonds and donated to the local Red Cross. Additionally, the money that the organization spent to maintain or improve the Fulton Lodge, buy food for banquets or providing services to members all went to support local businesses. The events held by the organization merited local newspaper coverage and were often widely publicized. The organization served the community until 1968, when its records were returned to the Grand Charter and the chapter closed.

Reflecting the rural region in which Delta is located, the agricultural focused Fulton Grange #217 was organized November 5, 1873 in Plattson by Samuel Lutz with 30 members. It was the first Grange organized in Fulton County. While the Grange did not meet in Fulton Lodge #248, the organizations supported and complimented each other.

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) is another traditional fraternal organization with similarities to the Freemasons in the secret initiations and ceremonies. In Delta, the I.O.O.F. Lodge #460 was instituted May 10, 1870 and met in the Fulton Lodge. Like the Freemasons, the I.O.O.F. provided a sense of unity and fellowship, in this case, primarily more for the working class than the professional and business class of the Freemasons. Later, in 1892 the ladies lodge Duty Rebekah Lodge #366 was instituted to support the programs and initiatives of the organization.

Fulton County had eleven Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) posts at one time. This patriotic organization was open to honorably discharged veterans of the Union Armed forces that had served in the Civil War, but by 1920 consolidation and loss of the elderly members resulted in just five remaining posts, one of which was in Delta- the McQuillen No. 171 G.A.R.

The growth and support of the various fraternal organizations in Delta continued strong during the prosperous years up through up to the 1930s. Like in countless other small towns and urban areas, membership in a fraternal organization was viewed as an opportunity for professional growth through networking opportunities and relationship building. Masonry was considered prestigious and, “its public image of respectability was enhanced by the prominent men within its ranks, the fanfare of its higher bodies, and the impact of its impressive temples.” The fraternal organizations that met in the Fulton Lodge supported the community through donations to local and national charitable projects that supported the less fortunate. Along with organizational meetings, the Fulton Lodge #248 also hosted social gatherings like the one advertised in the Delta Atlas in 1925 described as an ‘occasion of just home pleasure for every one present with no formal program’. Light refreshments were available for twenty five cents and attendees were encouraged to bring their own sandwiches.

The Delta community embraced fraternal organizations, and the organizations have directly impacted the development of the community. The members of Fulton Lodge #248 who have met and socialized in the Fulton Lodge have supported charitable organizations, civic projects associated with the local fire and police departments and provided an outlet for a strong social network for the community overall. However, according to current lodge members, “our job was to take good men and turn them into better men, and this shown by the number of business men who were upstanding citizens within the area.” The Fulton Lodge #248 is significant as the oldest existing Masonic Lodge organization in Fulton County; one associated with the development of Delta, as the founding organization that helped generate subsequent Lodges in Fulton County and for the community involvement and support that the members of Fulton Lodge #248 have provided the community.

Criteria C: Architecture, Fulton Lodge #248

The Fulton Lodge #248 is locally significant as an intact example of a multi-function Masonic Lodge and commercial property. This distinctive three story brick building is also an architectural landmark in this small rural community. At the present time, no other buildings in Delta have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

In general, Masonic Lodges are well documented in Ohio. There are almost seventy National Register of Historic Places listings for Masonic Temples or Fraternal Lodges statewide. These include the mostly urban, single use Masonic Lodge type as well as the more numerous multifunction lodges found in smaller towns and cities. In addition, almost one hundred thirty lodges temples have been documented to Ohio Historic Inventory (OHI) forms. Unfortunately, the six county area in northwest Ohio that includes Defiance, Lucas, Fulton, Williams, Henry and Wood Counties has not been intensively documented; only four (including the Fulton Lodge #248) have been documented to OHI and none have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The old Wauseon Masonic Lodge is extant but has not been inventoried.

One of the known examples of the multi-use Masonic Lodge in this part of Ohio is the Wakeman Masonic Temple Lodge # 522 (OHI LUC0080618) in Waterville, Lucas County, roughly 20 miles to the southeast of Delta. The Wakeman Masonic Temple is a two story, three bay brick building that dates to 1880-1881. Its design influence is Italianate with decorative brick corbelling at the cornice. According to the OHI, the first floor storefront had been completely enveloped in vertical wood siding at the time of documentation in 1981. Like Fulton Lodge, the Wakeman Temple had a commercial first floor, originally rented to a surveyor’s office. Current street views of the building show that the first floor has been rehabilitated back to a more compatible storefront. This property was determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places through a consensus between the Ohio Department of Transportation and State Historic Preservation Office in 2000. It is currently administered by the Waterville Historical Society. 

The IOOF/GAR Hall (WIL0017206) in Montpelier, thirty-five miles west of Delta in Williams County is another example of the multiple function fraternal lodge and commercial property in the northwest corner of the state. Built in 1895, it too has elements of the Italianate architectural style through decorative brick corbelling and also the influence of the Romanesque through the arched windows. This two story building is two storefronts wide with side by side second floor lodge space to accommodate the G.A.R. in one half of the second floor and the IOOF in the other half. The two storefronts were rented commercial spaces. This property is extant although somewhat altered at the storefronts and the windows appear to have been replaced.

An early example of the property type is the Northwest Lodge IOOF #722 (WIL0019501), documented in 1984 in a rural area in the northwest corner of Williams County about 44 miles west of Delta. This ca. 1865 simple, front gabled frame property is no longer extant, but was known to have been a lodge meeting hall on the second floor with commercial store front on the first level, showing that this building type endured for decades.

Although the Wauseon Lodge now meets in the 1969 facility, the three story ca. 1880 Italianate commercial building originally used as their meeting space still stands and retains two commercial storefronts at the ground level. All of these properties share characteristics including architectural influences from popular period styles, including the Italianate or Romanesque, their multiple function and the distinction of being most architecturally distinctive building in their respective small rural communities.

The most recent National Register of Historic Places listings for this property type in Ohio include the Jersey IOOF Building in Licking County (SG100002232), Knights of Pythias Lodge in Darke County (SG100002876) and the William Kelly Hardware & Oddfellows Hall in Ashland County (SG10000662). The design of all of these properties include the incorporation of income producing commercial space on the first floor and spaces on the second or third specifically designed to accommodate their secret rites, initiations and meetings.

The Fulton Lodge #248 retains the essential character defining features that represent its significant history. The Lodge meeting space is intact, including with the specialized rooms and spaces still used by Lodge members on the third floor. The requisite dining hall and kitchen remain and still serve the same function as they have historically, as does the commercial space at the ground floor level. The Fulton Lodge #248 is significant for its direct association with the strong tradition of freemasonry in the small Delta community. Membership in fraternal organizations provided a sense of brotherhood, and in an era with few governmental social programs, it added a sense of mutual support. The organizations that met and socialized in Fulton Lodge #248 also supported the community as a whole through charitable donations and providing financial support to local services such as the local police and fire departments.