Freemasons of Polk County present artwork to Polk County High School

Published 12:13 pm Thursday, May 4, 2023

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Saluda Unity Lodge honors George Washington’s ties to Masonry


COLUMBUS–The Freemasons of Polk County presented a gift of a large framed and matted color print of George Washington dressed in his Masonic regalia to Polk County High School on Wednesday, May 3. The gift comes courtesy of the Masons of Unity Lodge No. 482, located at 662 Ozone Dr. in Saluda.

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“It’s a wonderful opportunity to expose Freemasonry to young men who may be interested, or at some point investigate Freemasonry further,” said Master Mason Jim Steckel.

The Grand Lodge of South Carolina has offered these framed prints to their lodges to present as gifts to the high schools located near Masonic Lodges. The Polk County Unity Lodge then voted to carry on the practice in North Carolina and paid the fee for the artwork. Steckel then contacted PCHS principal Michelle Bean, who liked the idea.

“I think it’s a wonderful idea, and we’re just grateful that they want to put it here,” said Bean. “I’ve invited our AP History students and their teacher to come to be a part of the dedication because, of course, this is what they’ve been talking about this whole year. And I think it’s going to be a really good addition.”

The first documented evidence of Freemason activity in the state can be dated to the Wilmington and New Bern areas in the early 1750s. Washington joined the Freemasons in 1752 in Fredericksburg, VA when he was 20 years old.