Freemasonry is the largest and oldest fraternal organization in the world. While its actual origins have been lost in time, it is believed to have originated in the guilds of stonemasons who built the castles and cathedrals of the Middle Ages. They may have been influenced by the Knights Templar, a group formed in 1118 to help protect pilgrims making trips to the Holy Land.
Modern Freemasonry is generally recognized as beginning with the establishment of The Grand Lodge of England in 1717. A Grand Lodge is the administrative body in charge of Freemasonry in some geographical area. In the United States, there is a Grand Lodge in each state and the District of Columbia. Local organizations of Masons are called lodges. They are located in most towns; large cities usually have several. There are about 13,200 lodges in the United States; 625 in Ohio.
The Grand Lodge of Ohio was organized in 1808 by six lodges whose members migrated here from the east, bringing Freemasonry with them from other jurisdictions.
The Masonic fraternity is built upon the principles of brotherly love, relief and truth. Thus, its involvement in charitable work of all types is a natural, practical representation of this philosophy. And the establishment of The Ohio Masonic Home (as well as those in 36 other jurisdictions in this country) is a great example of that philosophy translated into actual service.
For more information about the Freemasonry and The Grand Lodge of Ohio, visit The Grand Lodge web site at: www.freemason.com.