Local Matters

Community Sponsors


July 7, 2010 - 11:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, books, Masons, Order of the Eastern Star.


Janet and June Lee had things just about ready by late this afternoon for the annual Order of the Eastern Star book sale at the Masonic Temple, 200 E. Main St., Batavia.

The sale opens Thursday at 9 a.m., rain or shine, and runs through noon, Saturday.

Proceeds benefit the VA Nursing Home and other charities.

Book donations are still welcome, but the Lee sisters request no professional or college books, National Geographics or encyclopedias.

Available are a wide variety of books, both paperback and hardback, from all types of fiction to books on cooking, crafts, sports and politics.

February 14, 2010 - 7:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Masons, charities, Cara-A-Van.


Last week, the Batavia Masons presented Paul and Bridget Ohlson with a $500 check to support their Cara-A-Van Ministries.

"We were proud to be able to make a small contribution to such a worthy cause," said Jim Rosenbeck (handing the check to Paul), Master of Lodge #475 of the Free and Accepted Masons. 

"Our lodge has decided to begin regularly identifying worthy causes within the community to financially support," Rosenbeck added. "With membership in all community service organizations dwindling, we feel that this is one way that we can help make a difference in Batavia."

January 16, 2009 - 4:38pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in history, video, Holland Land Office Museum, Masons, William Morgan.

Here it is: the final installment in our three-part video series on William Morgan. Please be sure to check out part one and part two, both posted earlier today.

For more information on the story of William Morgan, visit the Holland Land Office Museum Web site, where you can find an enhanced podcast on the topic. You can also head down to the museum at 131 W. Main St. to check out the Morgan exhibit and to pick up a copy of Morgan's book, Secrets of the Masons Revealed.

November 10, 2008 - 5:55pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in history, books, Masons, William Morgan.

A new electronic book on everybody's favorite Freemason, William Morgan, was recently published by Booklocker.com. The Bright Mason: An American Mystery is by Robert Berry, a freelance journalist.

I'm going to go ahead and assume that most folks know the story of William Morgan and not reiterate that here or quote from the book's site, which gives a teaser-length history of the man and the mystery. Instead, here are the first few lines from the book itself:

William Morgan had a habit of covering his baldhead by pulling hair over from the side with his fingers, especially when he was excited about something. About 5’6”, in his mid-40s, and muscular, Morgan had a barrel chest thickly matted with hair and tuffs of curly gray hair sprouting from his ears. Tattoos on his arms led some to believe he had traveled with pirates in the Caribbean. Much of the time his eyes were swollen; a condition for which he often received treatment while living in Rochester.

You can check out more sample chapters on the book's site if you're interested. As I haven't read any of this book—aside from these few lines here—I won't make any recommendations or condemnations. I'll leave it to you to judge.

August 6, 2008 - 9:53am
posted by Philip Anselmo in Le Roy, Walgreen's, Masons.

About a year ago, the owners of the Le Roy Masonic Temple on West Main Street near the intersection with Lake Street "agreed to an option to Walgreen's" to tear down the temple and the buildings on either side of it—including a vacant gasoline station and a numismatist—to make way for a retail pharmacy. Residents in the village were understandably shaken by the news. Village historian Lynne Belluscio admitted that she was overwhelmed by requests to know more about the historic temple that was at least a century old. She responded via an article that was run in the Le Roy Pennysaver last July.

The building is pictured in the book The Architectural Heritage of Genesee County, New York. It is described as a "simple Romanesque revival design in vogue in the mid-nineteenth century. Stylistic features include the arcaded decorative molding at the roofline, the ocular window in the gable end and the use of the Romanesque arch for window and door openings." Those of you who remember the difference between a Gothic arch and a Roman arch, know that the Roman arch is rounded and the Gothic arch is pointed.

Plywood boards now occupy that Roman arch. Chain-link fence runs the length of the sidewalk in front of the temple and its neighbors and wraps around the corner, around a pair of vacant homes on Lake Street. Demolition is set to begin on Monday. Walgreen's plans to start construction in about a month, once the debris is cleared.

In her article, Belluscio tells about the history of the site, tied in even to the fate of the notorious anti-Mason William Morgan. I can't say if anyone plans to visit the site Monday to bid the structure adieu. But surely, I hope, someone will be there.

The history of a building, (writes Belluscio), allows us an opportunity to examine the history of our community and the Masonic Lodge in Le Roy has played a significant role in the history of Western New York.

Subscribe to



Copyright © 2008-2020 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button