JALTON -- Alton Masonic Lodge 255 has purchased land on Highway 160, about one-half mile out of Alton to build a new lodge.
According to lodge member Don Ross, the construction of the new building is to begin immediately. He said the funds to construct this facility is expected to be raised by the present members of the lodge and prior membership.
Ross said lodge members are currently in the process of compiling a list of all past and present members of the 140 year old organization. He said this list will be publicized widely and lodge members are asking the community to look it over to see if there are any relatives or ancestors on the list who might have been missed. He said a memorial to these members will be constructed and located inside the new lodge building.
Ross said all progress and development will be made public as the new lodge project proceeds.
Anyone interested in assisting or becoming involved in the lodge project in any way can contact Alton Masonic Lodge 255 c/o Chris Johnston, secretary, P.O. Box 216., Alton, MO 65606 or by calling 417-764-1002 or 417-270-0069.
The Oregon County Commission was given an administrative court order Nov. 17, 2006, by 37th Judicial Judge Richard Moore concerning the use of the courthouse by the Masonic Lodge. In his order, Judge Moore said the county commission is ordered to cease making courthouse space available to non-governmental organizations because they did not have legal authority to do so.
Judge Moore said in the order he was concerned about the inadequate space and facilities provided at the courthouse for the circuit clerk and the deputy juvenile office. He said much of the third floor of the courthouse was being used by the lodge.
The judge directed the county commission to promptly notify lodge officials of the order and to make sure the lodge completely vacated the courthouse no later than Dec. 11, 2006.
The commission complied with Judge Moore's order. The sheriff's office has now moved to the third floor of the courthouse where the jail has always been located and after some remodeling the circuit clerk and juvenile officer will move to the second floor of the courthouse.