This is the oldest building in Monroe County. It was erected circa 1824 on a bluff high above the Alabama River in Claiborne using funds from a public lottery. The upper floor was used exclusively by Mason’s until around 1919. The lower floor has served a variety of purposes including court room, town hall, school, and church. William B. Travis, while a resident of Claiborne, practiced law in the court room. General Lafayette addressed the people of Claiborne from this lodge on April 6, 1825. In 1981, the Perdue Hill-Claiborne Foundation, Inc., a public non-profit group, was created to acquire the building and be responsible for its care and maintenance. In 1984, the Masonic Lodge was dismantled and moved from Claiborne to nearby Perdue Hill. The building has been restored and it is now used to host special events.
This building was photographed and documented in the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) on March 7, 1934. It was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage (ARLH) on November 1, 1975.
This building is located at the intersection of US Highway 84 and Monroe Co. Rd 1 at Perdue Hill (GPS coordinates 31.516694,-87.496889).
Sources: “Masonic Lodge #3” Historic Marker (located in front of the Masonic Lodge building); 2) USGulfCoastStatesGeotourism.com/MasonicLodge3
B&W photographs courtesy of the US Library of Congress (HABS), photographer: W. N. Manning, date: March 7, 1934.