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File:DETAIL VIEW OF TYPICAL WINDOW AND STONE WALL, ON THIRD FLOOR - Masonic Hall, Shenandoah Street, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV HABS WVA,19-HARF,36-20.tif

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DETAIL VIEW OF TYPICAL WINDOW AND STONE WALL, ON THIRD FLOOR - Masonic Hall, Shenandoah Street, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV
Depicted place West Virginia; Jefferson County; Harpers Ferry
Date Documentation compiled after 1933
Dimensions 5 x 7 in.
Current location
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
Accession number
HABS WVA,19-HARF,36-20
Credit line
Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) Team.jpg This file comes from the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) or Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS). These are programs of the National Park Service established for the purpose of documenting historic places. Records consist of measured drawings, archival photographs, and written reports.

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  • Significance: Like many earlier nineteenth-century structures in Harpers Ferry, the Masonic Hall Building was originally conceived by Philip Coons to house commercial stores on the first floor with dwelling quarters above. However, the Masonic Hall Building varies somewhat from this pattern. The first assembly hall of Charity Lodge #111, one of the earlier Masonic Lodges in the area which would become West Virginia, was destroyed in a fire in January 1845. Shortly thereafter, Coons, who was a member of Charity Lodge #111, agreed to allow the Masons to construct a new lodge room on the third floor of the building he had begun erecting the previous year. The third-floor assembly hall was most likely completed by the time of the Masons' first meeting there on November 22, 1845. Although the first two stories generally followed local building conventions, the third floor and roof constructions are unique among the town's surviving buildings. An elliptical vaulted ceiling was suspended from an elaborate king-post roof to create a large, virtually uninterrupted meeting room. The vaulted ceiling is particularly distinctive as it was constructed with salvaged timbers from "gundalows" which ran freight down the Shenandoah River. The third floor continued to function as the Masonic Hall for over a century until the building was deeded to the State of West Virginia in 1952.
  • Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N246
  • Survey number: HABS WV-279
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