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Lodge to celebrate bicentennial

By Staff | Nov 25, 2011


Shepherdstown’s Masonic lodge, Mt. Nebo Lodge Number 91, will celebrate its bicentennial with a public open house on Sunday, Dec. 11.

The open house will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at the Lodge hall, which is on the second floor of 121 E. German St.

Everyone is invited to attend.

The highlight of the event will be a 1 p.m. display of the Lodge’s prize possession, a Masonic apron that belonged to President George Washington.

The display will be followed by a presentation about the apron’s history, by Laura B. Simo, associate curator of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Museum and Gardens in Alexandria, Va.

There will then be a presentation about the history of the Lodge, chartered on Dec. 11, 1811, by its current Master, George Alwin, of Shepherdstown.

Until recently, the apron’s last major public appearance was at the 100th anniversary of Washington’s death at Mount Vernon in 1899.

In 2010, in preparation for its Bicentennial, the Mt. Nebo Lodge lent the apron to George Washington’s Mount Vernon and the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Va., for conservation and study.

Mount Vernon subsequently displayed the apron from Feb. 22, 2011, Washington’s 279th birthday, until May 2011.

Today, the apron remains on loan to Mount Vernon for preservation. By mutual agreement, it will be displayed publicly there only one day a year, on President’s Day.

Also by mutual agreement, it is being returned to the Shepherdstown Lodge for Dec. 11, as part of the commemoration of the Lodge’s Bicentennial.

For more information about the Lodge and the apron, go to the Lodge’s website at www.lodge91.org.