Masonic lodge contemplates moving from Lincoln Square Local news

A Masonic lodge in Lincoln Square in Gettysburg is exploring the possibility of moving to the town of Franklin.

The Lodge of the Good Samaritan № 336 has been on the square since 1899, but the ornate three-story structure creates access problems for senior members and offers limited parking, said member Darin Cats. He is also the District Deputy Grand Master of the 42nd Masonic District of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania.

The lodge is on the “very, very first step” of a process that could potentially lead to the relocation and potential sale of the Gettysburg building, Cats said.

A public hearing is scheduled for June 15 on an application for a special exception that would house the lodge building with meeting rooms and a banquet hall at 545 Crooked Creek Road, about four miles northwest of the lodge’s current location. The Zoning Council (ZHB) is scheduled to meet at 4pm on June 15 at the Franklin Township Municipal Building, 55 Scott School Road.

If the township allows use, the lodge will still have to go through an extensive process of developing and dividing the land, Cats said. There is no specific schedule, he said.

If the project is implemented, “we would certainly like the construction cost to drop a bit before we shove the shovel into the ground,” Cats said.

He said a building in downtown Gettysburg could be sold to offset the cost of the project.

The lodge was considering relocating some time ago, but COVID-19 stopped the case, Cats said.

The proposed site, near Mumasburg Road, belongs to Frank and Lonnie Buck, who are developing a World War II museum there under a previously issued permit.

According to the zoning application, they plan to transfer the necessary land to the house.

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