Freemasonry in Toledo for Over 100 Years

Damascus Collingwood #643

Damascus-Collingwood Lodge #643

On October 2, 2006, Collingwood Lodge consolidated into Damascus Lodge. The Worshipful Masters of the two lodges were Worshipful Brother Brian A. Engel of Collingwood Lodge #457 and Worshipful Brother Kenneth Kohn of Damascus Lodge #643. Worshipful Brother Kenneth Kohn presided over the meetings until the annual meeting and election of officers on November 7, 2006, when Brother Kenneth Janicki was elected Worshipful Master, Brother Eugene Gray Jr. Senior Warden and Brother Douglas Parrish, Junior Warden.

Damascus-Collingwood #643 History

In the early 1900's, there were many men who came to Toledo from other towns and cities looking for work. Those who were Masons were away from their home Lodges and had no place to meet. Damascus Lodge was formed in 1917 for that purpose. To provide a place for the many non-affiliated Masons in Toledo to meet. Many important people in Toledo at that time concurred on the need for such a Lodge. They included Brother Samuel Young, a Judge, Automotive Giant Brother John Willys, manufacturing magnate Brother Thomas Devilbiss and Grand Master Barton Smith.

On March 15, 1918, a meeting was held in the library room of the Downtown Masonic Temple at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Adams street when the name Damascus was chosen as the name of the new lodge.

The first meeting under dispensation was held May 24, 1918 with Worshipful Brother LeRoy Eastman, Past Master of Ottawa Lodge #325 as Worshipful Master and Brother Samuel Young as Senior Warden. Five petitions were presented at this time. In all there were twenty four candidates raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason while under dispensation.

A charter was granted at the One Hundred Ninth Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge in November 1918 and on November 27, 1918 a charter was granted to the new Damascus Lodge by Most Worshipful Brother Isaac Kinsey. Worshipful Brother Judge Samuel Young was the first elected Master of Damascus Lodge and he and his fellow officers were installed on January 3, 1919.

From the first meeting in 1918 until Damascus Lodge moved to the Masonic Complex on Heatherdowns Boulevard, they had only one meeting place, the Downtown Masonic Complex. In November, 2004, Damascus moved from the Masonic Complex on Heatherdowns to the West Toledo Masonic Complex on Secor Road.

Damascus Lodge #643 History

Collingwood Lodge was formed in June of 1871 in a room above a wagon shop on Phillips Avenue in Toledo, Ohio. The Grand Master of Masons in Ohio approved a Dispensation to form a new lodge. The Grand Master at the time was Alexander H. Newcomb, who was present at that meeting. The Lodge was organized and Most Worshipful Brother Newcomb was the Master under Dispensation. The other principal officers of the lodge were Worshipful Brother John G. Norton as Senior Warden and Brother R. E. Richards as Junior Warden.

Worshipful Brother John G. Norton was a Past Master of Sanford L. Collins Lodge #396 and the first elected Worshipful Master of Collingwood Lodge #457

The charter was approved on October 17, 1871 at the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge and Collingwood became a fully chartered Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons.

The Lodge quickly grew and in the early 1890's it moved to a room over a grocery store at the corner of Sylvania Avenue and Lewis Avenue. This store was run by Brother Ira Bolton. Brother Bolton served as Worshipful Master in 1897, 1901 and 1912

Again the lodge grew and a new place was needed. In 1931, the lodge moved into its new quarters on Phillips Avenue. Over the years improvements were made to the building and the West Toledo Masonic Complex Temple became a total Masonic Complex. Collingwood Lodge remained there until a decline in Masonry caused many of the bodies that used the building to dissolve and the building was closed in the summer of 2002 and later sold.

Collingwood Lodge then moved to Point Place in Toledo and shared the Harbor Loght Masonic Temple with Harbor Light Lodge until October of 2006 when they consolidated with Damascus Lodge.

Collingwood Lodge #457 History

Damascus/Collingwood Lodge #643 F & A M was formed on October 2, 2006 when the Grand Lodge of Ohio approved the consolidation of Collingwood Lodge #457 into Damascus Lodge #643. The Worshipful Master of Collingwood Lodge #457 returned the Charter to the Grand Lodge at the following Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge later that month.