Masonic Temple, Syracuse & My Aunt Ruth

I was taking photographs of some artwork near the fifth floor window of the Onondaga Historical Association, and took a moment to look out the window, as I do quite often. The Onondaga Historical Association is housed in the old New York Telephone Building, built in 1906, and is an amazing building in and of itself. But I can blog about that another day. Today I was thinking about the building across the street – The Masonic Temple. This is a postcard of what it looked like when it was first built:

And this is what it looks like now, all decked out with a weed and moss garden in the summer:

I was walking down Montgomery Street with my Dad last February and he pointed this building out to me, saying he used to play pool here on his lunch hour with his friends when it was open and he worked in downtown Syracuse.

Before you close this blog and think I’ve gone off my rocker, the good news is this building is being redone! So these are my before photos. I’ll be watching out of the fifth floor window at the progress!

And this blog entry is for my Aunt Ruth, who was a member of every Masonic Temple in the area, including the Order of the Eastern Star. I don’t remember the names of the other ones she belonged to. Maybe the Order of the Amaranth, and I think the White Shrine. What got me thinking about my Aunt Ruth? Julie Z. wrote about *those* feelings you get when something is about to happen, either good or bad. I was outside hanging clothes on my line, when I had a strong, overwhelming dread of someone dying and attending their funeral. My parents were about ready to go on vacation in their car, and I was very concerned it was going to be them. They got home safely, thankfully, but as soon as they got home they called saying my Aunt Ruth and Great Aunt Ruth were in a car accident and were in intensive care. Both of them died within a few days of each other, thus I ended up attending two funerals in one week.

This was over ten years ago, and as a result of this I totally shoved those feelings way down for years so I wouldn’t know anything in advance, and only recently I’ve allowed them to come back. It’s interesting I chose to take photos of the Masonic Temple today after passing by it for almost a year, which ties in with my Aunt Ruth, whom I was reminded of by reading Julie’s blog entry. (And no, I’m not on any of those drugs being advertised in my blog’s comment spam).

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laura
    Dec 20, 2006 @ 22:59:37

    So I guess the Masons don’t meet in that building anymore? I’m surprised not to see anything on the outside that identifies it as a Masonic building?

    We are a Masonic family – so I know what you mean about your Aunt being a member of everything! My dad was that way.


  2. Susan Gets Native
    Dec 21, 2006 @ 00:41:36

    We are a Masonic family, too! Both of my grandfathers and all of my uncles were Masons. My mom was in Eastern Star. I was Honored Queen in Job’s Daughters twice.
    That is so cool, that we have things in common like that.
    One of my most treasured items is my grandfather’s Masonic Bible. I may just have to post about that someday.
    And I have had “those” feelings before, too. That’s for another post, also.


  3. Pam
    Dec 21, 2006 @ 08:11:40

    Hi Laura, LOL – no, unfortunately they don’t. I’ll have to take a photo of the entire building next time I go to OHA. I’m pretty sure there is a Masonic symbol towards the bottom – which I didn’t capture in yesterday’s photos. That’s cool about your being a Masonic family! I have a really big very old piece of parchment(?) showing a member of my Dad’s side of the family belonging to the Masons in Canada.
    Susan – that is so cool!! I used to love it that my Aunt would get all dressed up in her long gown – she had several gowns and I would go with her to her activities.
    Yes, please post about your grandfather’s Masonic Bible, and about “those” feelings, too. The moment I had that I described above was the most intense moment I’ve ever had because it was so vivid and dreadful.


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