Sunday, January 24, 2016

News-Gazette Article on Homer

N-G photo by Rick Danzl

N-G photo by Rick Danzl
Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette writer Paul Wood recently visited the Homer Masonic Temple & Museum and wrote about the renovations being made at the lodge, the museum room and other items.  

Homer Lodge No. 199 A.F. & A.M. has just refurbished the building with loving care. From an attic that had been left to the decades, members found enough cool stuff to make a mini-museum in the structure.
Lodge member Denver Phelps says the attic included old phonograph records, canceled checks, junk mail, ceremonial garments of the secret society and a strange variety of other objects.
Todd Creason, one of the people who put in three years of work at the lodge, says it had been neglected and was in poor repair, so the easy thing to do would have been to merge with another lodge. Instead, members of other lodges helped rebuild it from the roof down.
Three stained-glass windows shed light on the fraternal organization's immense meeting room, which is looking better than ever, like other places in town, include the Homer Opera House.
Greg Knott, one of the restorers, notes that the lodge was chartered about the same time the town was rebuilt to be near the Great Western Railroad, later the Wabash Railroad.
Before that, Homer, originally called Union, had come to be as a river town, on the Salt Fork.

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