On October 1, the Grand Lodge’s Masonic Heritage Museum opened its doors in its new location on the first floor of the Rickly Building on the Springfield Masonic Community campus. The area now occupied by the museum was formerly the administrative wing for the campus. It provides four times the space previously occupied by the museum in the York Rite building.
“It really is a nice space for us, and I’m pleased with how it has all turned out,” explained Grand Historian Charles Eichensehr. “The decision to move the museum was made in mid-December of 2014, and the proposal for the new museum design was presented and accepted at the end July of 2015. Like any project, it always takes a while before plans become a reality. The remodeling started this summer, and our space in the York Rite building was emptied and the artifacts and exhibits set in our new home in the month of September.”
Mark Brown undertook the process of moving and refurbishing the display cabinets, making the most of his extensive Ohio Historical Society experience. Lee Eichensehr volunteered her time to update the Grand Lodge’s artifact inventory, and Casey Eichensehr, curator of the Clark County Historical Society, volunteered her time and expertise in the relocation project. (As the Grand Master mentioned in his column, little is accomplished in the Masonic fraternity without the assistance of Masons’ families.)
The new museum includes an office, conservation lab, historic lodge room space, four galleries with permanent displays, and two galleries that will feature changing exhibits.
The changing exhibit space currently features the 125th Anniversary of the Ohio Masonic Home. “The 125th Anniversary exhibit was put together by the Ohio Masonic Home marketing team, and Kristen Hirschfeld and Stephanie Gilbert have done a fine job,” explained Eichensehr. “And in the future, we’d like to have temporary exhibits from Lodges, Districts, and the various appendant Masonic organizations.”
Although the official opening and ribbon cutting ceremony will not take place until Masonic Home Day in June of 2017, lodges and individuals may already schedule tours of the museum by calling the Grand Secretary’s office at 800-292-6092.