#1 is a Masonic lodge in Huntsville, Alabama
. It is the oldest lodge of Freemasons
in the state. According to Grand Historian Joseph Abram Jackson's Masonry in Alabama
, it is "the birthplace of Freemasonry in Alabama."
In 1805 a Revolutionary War veteran named John Hunt built a log cabin at the Big Spring and began what would grow to become the modern city of Huntsville, Alabama
. Just six years later, on August 21, 1811, Madison Lodge #21 received its charter from the Grand Lodge of Kentucky
. John Hunt was among the original members as well as Leroy Pope who had originally named the city Twickenham. On April 6, 1818, a second Lodge was formed in the county, Bethesda Lodge #2. In 1824 the two Lodges combined as Helion Lodge #1 under the Grand Lodge of Alabama
Helion Lodge survived the dark years of the American Civil War, when Huntsville was often occupied by the invading Union Army. The quiet little town grew rapidly after World War II, when the area became host to both Redstone Arsenal and the Marshall Spaceflight Center. Notable members involved in the growth of Huntsville's defense and space industry are Senator John Sparkman and Mayor Joe W. Davis. Helion Lodge then came to have the largest membership in the state. As a result, in 1962 a new Lodge was formed in Huntsville, Solar Lodge #914. Most of the members came from Helion Lodge. Five years later, in 1967, a third Huntsville Lodge was formed, Apollo #921. Both younger Lodges consider Helion Lodge as their mother Lodge and dual membership is common.
Helion Lodge stands on the original site of Madison Lodge #21 at 409 Lincoln Street in the Twickenham Historic District
of Huntsville. The present building is over 90 years old and was designed by a noted architect and Lodge member named Edgar Love. The building was officially named Eunomia
Masonic Hall after the Royal Arch Chapter, but is now simply called Helion Lodge. It is home to both Helion Lodge and the Huntsville York Rite
bodies, as well as to an Eastern Star
- Jackson, Joseph Abram. Masonry in Alabama : a sequicentennial history, 1821-1971. OCLC 3931387