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Forestburg Masonic Temple


Other Names:
Masonic Hall

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Heritage Value

Character-Defining Elements


Street Address: 4811 - 50 Street
Community: Forestburg
Boundaries: Plan 4750 BV, Block 5, Lot 6
Contributing Resources:

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
4 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel
4750 BV

Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
52.582329 -112.064167 GPS NAD 83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Registered Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 1987/12/10

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)
Historic Function(s): Religion, Ritual and Funeral : Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Current Function(s):

The initial settlement of the Forestburg area took place between 1902 and 1908. The creation of the Forestburg town site, however, did not occur until 1916 upon the arrival of the Canadian Northern (CN) Railway in January. Prior to 1916 a number of rural general stores and post offices had served area residents.

Following the arrival of the railway, Forestburg developed in a manner similar to other prairie communities with the construction of elevators, and the opening of various businesses including a drug store, two lumberyards and a newspaper. The town site was incorporated as a village on August 19, 1919.

An important part of the social development of the community was the creation of a Masonic Lodge in 1921. Local interest in the Masonic Lodge was evident as early as 1919 when several men of the area joined Excelsior Lodge No. 80 in Strome. On August 14, 1921 a meeting at Forestburg arranged to apply to the Grand Lodge of Alberta for permission to form a Masonic Lodge. Permission was granted and the first formal meeting of Forestburg Lodge No. 128 took place on December 23, 1921 in the Assembly Hall of the Forestburg Consolidated School. Until 1927, the Lodge continued to hold its meetings at the school. When the school was destroyed by fire, the Masons built their own meeting hall. They used this building until 1982 when a second hall was constructed.

The Masonic Order is a fraternal society whose origin can be traced to the stonemasons of the middle ages. The Masonic Lodge was first introduced into Alberta in 1883. In the context of the small western Canadian town the Masons - and other groups like the Elks and the Rotarians - performed a public service by their charitable and benevolent activities, in addition to providing a vehicle for social and recreational activity.


The hall was constructed under the direction of Allen Shillinglaw who was probably also responsible for its design. He was a well-known carpenter in the area. The Masonic temple is one of many Alberta halls of utilitarian design with some architectural detailing on the front facade. In the case of the Masonic Hall, the abundance of classically inspired detail on the front facade in contrast to the plain appearance of the rest of the building makes it one of the more unique community halls in Alberta.

(Site Information Summary)

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0643
Designation File: DES 1395
Related Listing(s): 4664-0248
Heritage Survey File: HS 32261
Website Link:
Data Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 1395)
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