Monday, February 11, 2008


George Washington National Masonic Memorial, Alexandria, Virginia

About seven miles south of Washington, D.C., on the Potomac River lies the port city of Alexandria, Virginia. One of the oldest cities in the United States, Alexandria was a bustling seaport in its heyday. It was also the halfway point between the new U.S. capital in Washington and Mt. Vernon, the home of America's first president, George Washington.

Washington was, like many of his contemporaries, a Freemason. He became a member in 1752 in the Fredricksburg, Virginia Lodge and remained a Freemason his entire life. In 1793, he and fellow masons laid the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol. Washington also belonged to the Alexandria Lodge and, four years after his death and shortly after the death of Martha Washington, the lodge began to receive items belonging to the Washingtons. Wanting to ensure the safety of these objects, Freemasons from all over the country banded together and created a memorial association.

Side view of the memorial

In 1923, construction commenced on a memorial temple and was completed in 1932. Located in Alexandria, the George Washington National Masonic Memorial is home to many important artifacts related to the life of Washington as a soldier, farmer, president, and mason. The Masonic Memorial is also home to two lodges: the Andrew Jackson Lodge and the Alexandria Lodge.

The memorial is open for tours seven days a week and includes a final stop on the 9th floor observatory where visitors can enjoy a million dollar view of Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 2/08


Dusty Lens said...

The amazing things I learn here on CDPB. Thank you for this fun history lesson with excellent photos! I had no idea about this National Washington Masonic Memorial.

Lara said...

I agree with dusty lens. visiting here is always a wonderful experience!

D.C. Confidential said...

DL: You're welcome! It's part of what I enjoy about doing this blog: it forces me to get out and see things I probably wouldn't and learn stuff I likely wouldn't bother with otherwise.

Lara: Thanks! I love visiting all the photo blogs I do--like yours and DL's. I always learn new things and see places I wouldn't otherwise see. We're all making the world a more accessible place!

Lucy said...

I'm coming back next month. Can I borrow you for my tour guide of DC things to do? I don't need to spend time with NG and those adorable grandkids and the time spent teasing the life out of KoH. They won't miss me at all. Huh??

D.C. Confidential said...

Lucy: You got it! I'm always happy to play tour guide. Besides, visiting your kids is so passe and grandkids are way overrated! ;-)

Seriously, it would be fun to finally meet all of you and I'd definitely be up for running around and seeing things, if you'd like. (The Masonic Temple is certainly worth seeing, if you know what I mean...)