Grand Lodge of Florida, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons
Grand Lodge of the Month - March 2009
Florida was captured and owned by various nations before becoming a state in 1845. It was first a Spanish Colony and then sold to Great Britain in 1763. In 1783, it was ceded back to Spain, and the whole territory was sold to the United States in 1821. East Florida Lodge No. 142 was the first Masonic lodge in the Florida territory and was charted from Scotland in 1768. In 1771, St. Andrew's Lodge in Pensacola was chartered with most of the brethren being members of St. George's Lodge No. 108, a military unit attached to the 31st Regiment of Foot. Between the 1770s and early 1820s, several lodges were organized but were short-lived.
The first permanent lodge in Florida was Jackson Lodge No. 23 in Tallahassee, chartered by the Grand Lodge of Alabama in 1825. The Grand Lodge of Georgia chartered Washington Lodge No. 1 at Quincy in 1828 and Harmony Lodge in Jackson County in 1829. These three lodges met on July 6, 1830 and formed the Grand Lodge of Florida, some 15 years before Florida joined the Union as the 27th state.
The Florida Masonic Home was built in 1902 near St. Petersburg. Originally for children and orphans, it developed into a retirement village and home for widows of Masons. Its 150,000 square foot facility accommodates 187 residents.
Today, Grand Master Joseph Fleites presides over the Grand Lodge of Florida comprised of more than 300 lodges with a membership of more than 50,000 Masons. Florida Freemasonry has had such prominent members as President Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) when he was territorial governor of Florida in 1821; Senator Charles O. Andrews (1877-1946); U.S. Representative Claude D. Pepper (1900-1989); and Jefferson B. Brown (1857-1925 ), Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Count from 1917-1923.Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M., of Florida
220 North Ocean Street
P.O. Box 1020
Jackson, Florida 32201-1020 http://www.glflamason.org/ voice - (800)375-2339