Description of Historic Place
The Zetland Masonic Lodge No. 7 is a two-storey rectangular building with nine-over-nine windows, wood shingle cladding, and a gable roof. A two-storey low roofed extension is located on the side of the building. It is prominently located on the corner of Central and Poplar Streets in Alberton.
The lodge is valued for its association with the Masonic brotherhood organization in Alberton; for its colonial era construction; and for its contribution to the streetscape.
The Masonic Brotherhood completed this building in 1867, under the direction of architect John Hubbard of Tignish, and have used it continuously since that time, holding their meetings on the second floor. The September 10, 1866 edition of the Summerside Progress newspaper had reported that the town of Alberton had "a Masonic Hall in course of construction." It was constructed for $800 by a joint stock company who sold $10 shares. Noted members of the Masonic Lodge in PEI were early shareholders.
They also rented the building to various religious and community groups at 25 cents per meeting, sometimes garnering $20 annually. This practice ended in 1888, at which time, the organization had fully paid for the building.
Local groups who used the building included members of the Methodist and Baptist churches; the International Order (or Tokalon Lodge) of Oddfellows; the Sons of Temperance; the Alberton Temperance Alliance; the Good Templars; the Prince Alfred Orange Lodge; the Knights of the Orient; and the International Order of Foresters.
The first floor was also once used as a warehouse, a meeting place for school trustees, and by the Royal Canadian Legion. In 1912 a new furnace was installed and in 1915, electric lighting. In the early 1980s, it was used for commercial space for Sybil MacLean's Fabric and Yarn shop.
Three members of this Masonic Lodge have held the position of Provincial Grand Master. Today, this building is the last remaining example of a fraternal hall in Alberton. In recent years, the exterior has been newly shingled and new windows installed. The location of the windows remains largely unchanged.
With its long history in the community and its historic association with the Masonic Brotherhood, the building remains a landmark in Alberton.
Source: Heritage Places files, PEI Department of Economic Growth, Tourism & Culture, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/A8
Character-defining elements that reflect the heritage value of the lodge include:
- the stone foundation
- the rectangular configuration
- the two-storey wood framed and wood shingled construction
- the gable roof
- the brick chimney
- the location and size of the nine-over-nine windows
- the prominent location of the building on the corner of Central and Poplar streets