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Forestburg Masonic Temple


Other Names:
Masonic Hall

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Forestburg Masonic Temple is a one-story, rectangular wood frame building located at 4707 – 50 Street in the Village of Forestburg. Constructed in 1927, the building’s façade incorporates several classically-inspired features.

Heritage Value
The Forestburg Masonic Temple is valued for its use as a meeting place for the Masonic orders and as a community hall. The Masons have been active in Forestburg since 1921, the longest continually-operating group. The Temple was the first community hall to be constructed and is early evidence of individuals working together to meet the social needs of their group. It was the home of the Forestburg Masonic Lodge and the Order of the Eastern Star from 1927 – 82, as well as Royal Arch Masons from 1952-82. The Masonic order in Forestburg was the only lodge to have their own building constructed specifically for use as a temple in the Flagstaff area. When the Temple was not being used for meetings and social events, the Masons made it available for community uses. The large meeting room - the Lodge Room – hosted Elks and Orange Lodge meetings, wedding banquets, anniversaries and church services, and in later years, even kindergarten classes on a temporary basis. Since 1986, the building has been home to the Forestburg & District Museum.

The Forestburg Masonic Temple is also valued for its design. The neo-classical features on the building’s façade such as the portico with Tuscan columns make it the most unique building in Forestburg. These features contrast with the utilitarian design of the rest of the building and were added to reflect its use as a Masonic Temple. For example, columns have Masonic significance and are frequently seen on Masonic buildings.

Source: Village of Forestburg Bylaw, 6-2009.

Character-Defining Elements
The heritage value of the Forestburg Masonic Temple resides in its character-defining elements:

Those elements associated with its use as a Masonic Temple, such as:
- the large Lodge room, including the platform in the East where the Worshipful Master sits (and in this Temple the East is actually on the east wall of the building). It is raised three steps, signifying the three degrees in Masonry and the three principal officers of the Lodge;
- the Masonic floor plan, with the anteroom just inside the entrance, the door to the Lodge room on the right, and on the left, the preparation room where candidates were readied for their degrees;
- the original fir tongue and groove flooring, and original front and interior doors;
- the original small windows placed high on the side and rear walls of the building for privacy (to discourage “cowans and eavesdroppers”).

Those elements associated with its neo-classical design influences, such as:
- the portico supported by Tuscan columns and the flat roof;
- the gable roof of the portico that is a tympanum;
- the narrow pent roof on the façade returning slightly onto the side walls, repeating on the small annex on the south side of the building;
- the portico and pent roofs finished in cedar shingle cladding; and
- the clapboard and trim exterior with original paint colours.


Street Address: 4707 - 50 Street
Community: Forestburg
Boundaries: Lot 6 and Portion of Lot 7, Block 5, Plan 4750BV
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 1

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
6 & one-half of 7

Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
52.58233987546 -112.064852398536 Digital Maps NAD83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Local Governments (AB)
Designation Status: Municipal Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2009/06/04

Historical Information

Built: 1927/01/01
Significant Date(s) 1927_1982
Theme(s) Building Social and Community Life : Community Organizations
Historic Function(s): Community : Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club
Current Function(s): Leisure : Museum
Builder: Allen Shillinglaw

Additional Information

Object Number: 4664-0248
Designation File:
Related Listing(s): 4665-0643
Heritage Survey File: HS 32261
Website Link: http://www.forestburg.ca/home/community_services/museums
Data Source: Village of Forestburg, 4902-50 St, Forestburg, AB T0B 1N0
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