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INTERESTING MASONIC CONNECTIONS
During travels or research we often come across interesting connections to Freemasons and Freemasonry. Here are some Interesting Masonic Connections encountered by Temple Lodge No.33 members:
Douglas James, Architect - Duncan, B.C.
Douglas James was a well known architect in Duncan, B.C. and in Victoria, B.C.
We have discovered several buildings Douglas James designed in Duncan, B.C. the 1920s for members of Temple Lodge, No.33 and Malahat Lodge, No. 107 in Mill Bay (and one for the City of Duncan) for which Douglas James has not received credit or recognition in current archtectural history books or websites.
We have made pages on this site for these buildings along with a page for Douglas James. Hopefully, search engines will find these pages and Douglas James will belatedly get the credit and recognition he deserves for these three designs.
MISSISSIPPI, TENNESSEE and ALABAMA
W.B. Mark Anderson (Worshipful Master 2013-2015) is a blues fan. In 2014 he took a trip to Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Arkansas is search of sites associated with the music. Here are some of the things he found:
W.C. Handy - Florence, Alabama; Clarksdale, Mississippi; Cleveland, Mississippi; Tutwiler, Mississippi; Memphis, Tennessee
W.C. Handy (1873-1958) was one of the most influential composers in 20th century American music history.
He was a Freemason; his Master Mason certificate is on display at the W.C. Handy Home & Museum in Florence, Alabama.
We encountered several sites associated with W.C. Handy in Memphis, Tennessee and the towns of Clarksdale, Tutwiler and Cleveland in Mississippi.
Howlin' Wolf - West Point, Mississippi
Howlin' Wolf (real name: Chester Arthur Burnett) was one of the great blues musicians. He was born near West Point, Mississippi.
Howlin' Wolf was a Mason. His Masonic ring is visible in many photos, including several of his album covers. We do not know his Lodge affiliation at this time but will try to find it.
The State of Mississippi is commemorating its musical heritage with a series of Mississippi Blues Trail markers. The Blues Trail marker for Howlin' Wolf (photo at left) is in West Point, Mississippi.
We have included a page on this site with more information about Howlin' Wolf.
Howlin Wolf - Memphis, Tennessee
Howlin' Wolf was active as a professional musician from the 1930s until his death in the 1970s.
Despite having been a leading blues musician since the 1930s, Howlin' Wolf was not recorded until 1951, when he made his first recordings at Sam Phillips' Memphis Recording Service at 701 Union Avenue (photo at left) in Memphis, Tennessee. Sam Phillips considered Howlin' Wolf to be the most important musician he ever recorded, which was great praise from a man who made the first recordings of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis, among others, in this building.
Sam Philips sold Howlin' Wolf's first recordings to Chess Records in Chicago and R.P.M. Records in Los Angeles. In 1952, Sam Phillips decided he should form his own record label instead of just recording sessions for other labels. Sam Phillips created Sun Records in 1952 at 701 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee. The rest, as they say, is history.......
Mississippi Fred McDowell - Como, Mississippi
Mississippi Fred McDowell was one of the great Mississippi blues players.
Mississippi Fred McDowell was a Mason and a Square and Compasses appears on his gravestone.
He worked as a farmer near Como, Mississippi and was unknown in music circles until he was recorded in Como in 1959 by folklorist Alan Lomax.
The photo at left shows the Mississippi Blues Trail marker commemorating Mississippi Fred McDowell in Como, Mississippi. For more on Mississippi Fred McDowell, click here.
Jimmie Rogers - Meridian, Mississippi
Jimmie Rogers (1897 - 1933) has been called "the Father of Country Music." He was from Meridian, Mississippi.
Jimmie Rodgers was a Mason, a member of John L. Spinks Lodge, No. 507, Meridian, Mississippi - Grand Lodge of Mississippi.
The State of Mississippi is commemorating its musical heritage with a series of Mississippi Blues Trail markers. The Blues Trail marker for Jimmie Rogers (photo at left) is in downtown Meridian, Mississippi, near the railroad station where Rodgers had once worked for the railroad.
We have included a page on this site with more information about Jimmie Rodgers.
Another interesting site in Meridian, Mississippi is the Temple Theater at 8th Street and 24th Avenue in downtown Meridian.
This theater was built by the Hamasa Shriners between 1923-1927. At the time it was built, it had one of the largest stage facilities in the U.S.
As far as we are aware, the Temple Theater is still owned by the Hamasa Shrine.
We have included a separate page with more information about the Temple Theater.
One of the places we went to in Hattiesburg, Mississippi was Mobile Street, which was once the hub of a vibrant music scene with many small clubs featuring live blues and jazz. That's all gone now, unfortunately.
But there's a Mississippi Blues Trail marker on Mobile Street commemorating the Roots of Rock and Roll. The marker reads:
"ROOTS OF ROCK AND ROLL - Rock and roll is rooted in the blues of Mississippi. The Mississippi Jook Band (brothers Roosevelt and Uaroy Graves and pianist Cooney Vaughn) earned a niche in the annals of rock after they recorded in Hattiesburg in 1936, nearly two decades before rock and roll exploded in the 1950s. The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll noted that their blues recordings "featured fully formed rock and roll guitar riffs and a stomping rock and roll beat." "
While we were checking out the Mississippi Blues Trail marker, we were approached by by some local residents who told us more about the history of the area. They said we should check out the Eureka School around the corner from this Mississippi Blues Trail marker.
The photo at left shows the Eureka School, which was built in 1921 during an era of rigid racial segregation, and was one of the first modern school buildings opened specifically for Mississippi's black citizens, who typically went to school in very ramshackle buildings.
When I checked out the cornerstone of the Eureka School building, I discovered that Feemasons were instrumental in getting it built. See more on our Eureka School page.
Its cornerstone says that it was also built by Freemasons. See more on our Zion Chapel A.M.E. Church page.