|From The History of Mason's Hall, 1887|
|Carpenters' Hall, Philadelphia, 1774|
|Old City Hall, Philadelphia, 1791.|
|Federal Hall, New York, New York, 1788|
|Charleston County Courthouse (1790-92)|
|Ripon Town Hall, Yorkshire, England, 1799.|
In Richmond during the 1780s, and until the Market Hall was completed in 1794, there was no place for large public and private gatherings other than the church, the courthouse, and the temporary statehouse. Masons’ Hall, completed in 1787, must have been an impressive structure that dominated the nearby Market Square during its first decade. Throughout the 1790s, there was no other building with an appropriate tower from which a bell could signal important events and emergencies. In 1793, the Governor loaned a bell belonging to the Capitol to be used as a public bell in the cupola of the nearby Masonic Hall to call alarms and signal the opening and closing of the market.
|Williamsburg Masonic Lodge, (c 1775) photographed in the early 20th century,|
|Mason's Hall, Richmond, Virginia Mutual Assurance Society policy, 1802|Detail from the 1865 panorama of the city of Richmond looking west from Church Hill [Library of Congress]. The cupola of Mason's Hall is center left. The market and its bell tower is seen behind it. Contemporary Photograph of Mason's Hall from 1906 article concerning the fire in the adjacent building [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 18 Dec. 1906, 14].
Mason's Hall Postcard, c. 1910
Masons Hall should be saved. It is in dire need of repair and restoration. Preliminary estimates exceed $2.0 million. It should be restored and made available to the public so future generations may visit this exciting and important structure and learn about those who served freedom and tolerance during times this nation was born and strived to survive. Masons Hall 1785, a Charitable Foundation, was established as a tax-exempt foundation by Richmond Circuit Court Judge James B. Wilkinson to preserve Masons Hall. For additional information, visit the links on the side of this page. To make a tax-deductible contribution and help us Save Masons’ Hall, please click here. All donations go directly to preserving this historic structure.