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Restoring a piece of Lexington’s history

Historic Masonic College replica receives facelift

A number of Masonic lodges got together to repair and refurbish the Masonic College replica located in College Park in Lexington. Installing siding on the building are, from left: Ken Sisemore, Lloyd G. Lyon, Dennis Soendker, Leo Short, orange ladder, Gary Bennett and Delmar Dothage. Story is on page 14. (Submitted photo by Sharon Dothage and Mary Sisemore)

By Liz Johnson, Staff Writer

The Masonic College of Lexington was one of the centerpieces of the Union occupation of Lexington during the three-day Battle of the Hemp Bales in September 1861. Even though the original building burned Aug. 20, 1932, and a replica was built in its place, the history of the college from before, during and after the war remains in the hearts of area Masonic lodges.

Located in College Park, adjacent to Lexington Regional Health Center and overlooking the Missouri River, the replica was in dire need of repairs.

And the area Masons were just the ones to take the project on, aided by sister fraternal organization, the Order of the Eastern Star.

Members of Lexington Lodge 149, Lexington Chapter No. 10, Royal Arch Masons, Demolay Commandery Number 3, Knights Templar and Sedalia Council No. 42, Cryptic Masons, all from Lexington, and a member from Hale City Lodge No. 216, spent a significant amount of time working on the outside walls of the college.

“For some time, the organizations mentioned were looking for a community project,” said Lloyd G. Lyon, Illustrious Master of Sedalia Council No. 42, Past Excellent High Priest of Lexington Chapter No. 10, Past Eminent Commander of Demolay Commandery No. 3 and Past Master and Secretary of Hale City Lodge No. 216. Lyon is also known for his authoring a book on mid-1860s Grandmaster John Fletcher Houston and instigating the restoration of Houston’s headstone in Richmond Cemetery, along with that of Houston’s family members.

“After viewing the college, we decided our best efforts were in assisting in preserving the building, which was in need of repairs,” he said.

Repairs have now been made on the exterior walls of the replica, which is open on the sides and contains picnic tables.

“We put siding up on the outside,” said Ken Sisemore, of Lexington and Past Master Mason.

The complete story is in the Friday, August 4, 2017 Richmond News.

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