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Lodge SpotlightsOhio Freemasonry

Connecting with Community: Fulton County Lodge #248

To continue our lodge spotlight series, the Grand Lodge of Ohio recently interviewed Bro. Craig Szczublewski, a member of Fulton County Lodge #248, located in Delta, Ohio. Read our full interview to learn more about the great initiatives and fellowship opportunities this lodge is offering in the 5th Masonic District.

Image of a Fulton County Lodge #248 Officer Installation meeting.
Fulton Lodge Officer Installation

Tell us about Fulton County Lodge. What makes it unique? What is it known for?

Historically, it is one of the oldest lodges in the 5th Masonic District, dating back to 1854. The temple building was reconstructed in 1894 after a large-scale village-wide fire in 1892, and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The temple building has also been a host to a number of appendant masonic bodies over the years including the York Rite, Rainbow Girls, and Order of Eastern Star. The building’s architecture is iconic in downtown Delta and is the tallest building in the village.  

What is the community of Delta, Ohio like? What is your Lodge’s interaction in the community?

The Village of Delta was incorporated in 1863, but had early settlements dating back to the 1830’s. With a population estimated around 3,400, the main industries within the Village include agriculture and steel foundries. The Masonic Lodge was assigned a charter in 1854 from the Grand Lodge of Ohio and has maintained an active presence for the past 169 years. Since the construction of the current lodge building in 1894, the first floor has always been available for retail shop space, but has been home to the village newspaper as well as the U.S. Post Office for a number of decades. In recent years, the lodge participates in various community service projects, provides financial assistance to educational initiatives, and can always be found in the two parades the Village hosts in the summer and winter.

Image of a Fulton County Lodge #248 Fulton Lodge Steak Fry event.
Fulton Lodge Steak Fry event

We’re aware your lodge has an emphasis on history. Can you tell us more about that?

Since its beginning, Fulton Lodge provided an opportunity for local businessmen, farmers and elected officials to socialize, network, strategize for community improvement and to provide charitable work. Members of the organizations that met and hosted events in the Fulton Lodge temple building were respected as community leaders and have included a newspaper editor, lawyer, local businessmen and politicians. Illustrating the sense of importance associated with local Lodge activities, an article in the Delta Atlas newspaper in January 1887 described the installation of officers of the Fulton Lodge and Octavious Waters Chapter No. 11. The event featured a community supper for three hundred guests following the ceremony in the dining room of the Fulton Lodge. There were a number of other examples of these articles throughout the history of the Lodge, which demonstrates our Lodge’s desire to be part of the community. To this day, we hold steak fry fellowship events, open officer installations in December, an annual Open House to the public in April, and provide tours to the local Elementary school as part of their history walk through the village in September. 

What is the relationship between Brothers in the lodge? How do they interact with each other and engage in Lodge events?

Like many Masonic Lodges, we attract members from a variety of vocational backgrounds, economic status, and social leanings. Though we may work different jobs and have different opinions, we are all on a path to improving ourselves and becoming better men. We encourage our brothers to attend dinners and other social events the lodge hosts, and to bring their families along as well. We always leave divisive issues at the door and create a space where we can really build strong bonds. 

Does your Lodge have any upcoming events you’d like to share?

The lodge will have an open installation of its officers for the 2024 year on December 12, 2023 at 7:00pm.  We will also be participating in the Delta “WinterFest” Parade on December 2, 2023 at 6:00pm and welcome any masonic brothers to join us in passing out stuffed animals and candy to the kids. Check out the Grand View calendar for more HERE.

What about this Lodge made you want to be part of it? What type of Mason does it attract?

I am not a native of Delta, but moved here in 1999 from Toledo. For a number of years I felt disconnected from the community and found it difficult to make new friends or get involved in community activities. After ten years, I built a strong friendship with an individual who turned out to be a Freemason in the local lodge. I had no family ties to Freemasonry, nor any friends in my immediate circle that were associated with the fraternity.  I asked about joining, and after a bit of investigation, I was initiated in 2011. I found the lodge to have strong ties to the community, which gave me an opportunity to build those bonds I had been looking for. I believe the type of Mason we attract are individuals who not only want to make themselves better men, but want to be a force for good in the community as well.

Want to see what other lodges are doing in our great state of Ohio? Read our lodge spotlights on Edon Lodge #474 and Hiram Lodge #18!