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      Historic Places: Inside the Masonic Temple

      Before 1930, members of the sole Masonic Lodge in Kirksville had no place to call their own.

      I think they had a fire in one of the, the lodge burned down, one of the buildings burned, so they formed an association and purchased this property here, said David Powell, President of the Masonic Temple Association.

      It took about a year to erect the grand temple with Egyptian Revival architecture. Now hundreds of Masons meet in the temple including the two blue lodges, and the Order of the Eastern Star which is the women's counterpart.

      A lot of our founding fathers were Freemasons, and it's an organization that's going to be around for quite some time, Powell said.

      The Masonic Temple was recently named to the National Register of Historic Places. Powell says the upkeep up the historic building is an ongoing process.

      We've got to keep it from falling down around our ears, Powell said.

      Although members couldn't answer some questions, they were very open about the practices of the Freemasons. One member says they aren't a secret society, but rather an organization with a few secrets.

      I think everybody thinks we know where the Holy Grail is or that there's some big treasure somewhere that the masons are hiding but I think that's just a myth, Powell said.

      And even though some of us will never know what goes on inside the Masonic Temple, Powell says the Masons are founded on brotherly love, relief and truth.

      We try to help our fellow man, not only fellow Masons, but our fellow man also, Powell said.