Masonic tradition holds that on June 24, 1717, the Masons of the four old lodges in London, England met to revive the tradition of feasting on St. John the Baptist Day (June 24) and on St. John the Evangelist Day (December 27). In order to maintain the revival, these men created a Grand Lodge. Over the last 300 years, the administrative responsibilities of this Grand Lodge have evolved, and other Grand Lodges have been formed as the fraternity spread across the globe.
“Masonic lodges existed before that time,” explains C. Michael Watson, Grand Secretary, “but the 1717 date represents the basic, creative step in the overall continuity and agreement of principles that still govern the international fraternity we have today.”
The Grand Lodge of Ohio was formed in 1808 and observed its 200th anniversary a few years ago. In the United States, there is at least one Grand Lodge in every state. Often there are two. The Grand Lodge of Ohio and the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ohio govern their lodges within the state. Total US membership numbers nearly 1.2 million.