How did Freemasonry come to Ohio?
In the United States, many of the founding fathers, such as George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, were Freemasons. The fraternity was already popular in America during the 18th century. As the new nation expanded, pioneers brought Masonry with them.
Ohio Freemasonry is older than the state itself. The first lodge meeting was held in Marietta in 1790. By 1808, there were six lodges working in Ohio under charters from Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Kentucky. These lodges united in 1808 to form the Grand Lodge of Ohio by a convention of five of the six Masonic lodges in the state.
The “Father of the Northwest Territory,” General Rufus Putnam, was elected Ohio’s first Grand Master. Since then, Ohio’s hardworking and tightly knit communities have made it a fertile place for our brotherhood. Today, with 70,000 Masons and 450 local lodges, Ohio has one of the largest Masonic memberships of any state in the country. Learn more about the history of Freemasonry in Ohio in our blog.