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The History of Summit Lodge # 213

Ohio was granted statehood in 1803, the Grand Lodge of Ohio was established in 1808, and the city of Twinsburg was originally founded as Millsville in 1817 by 16-year old Ethan Alling, who hailed from Connecticut.  His family purchased 400 acres of land that later became Twinsburg. Alling established the city we know and love as Twinsburg, calling it Millsville due to a large mill in the area.  Alling's many jobs included postmaster, stagecoach operator, merchant, and hotel proprietor.

In 1819, Aaron and Moses Wilcox purchased 4,000 acres of land in the Millsville area. Soon after, they began selling small plots of land to attract new settlers. The Wilcox twins donated 6 acres of land to Millsville for a public square and $20 (quite a bit of money at the time) to start the first school.  This was all done on condition that the name of the municipality be changed from Millsville to Twinsburg.

Prior to Summit Lodge’s founding in 1851, the Masonic men of Twinsburg that wished to attend Lodge would travel to downtown Akron, more than twenty miles away, on horseback or carriage over dirt roads.

In late 1850, the Grand Lodge of Ohio issued a dispensation to the Masonic men of Twinsburg to establish a new Lodge, titled St. John’s Lodge, but another Lodge in Cincinnati was already operating as St. John’s Lodge. Grand Lodge re-issued a charter to Summit Lodge # 213 on Oct. 28, 1851.

The ten charter members include some recognizable names such as Alling, Dodge, Crankshaw, Oviatt, Lacy, Taylor, Andrews, Thompson, and Boswell.

The Lodge met in a rented hall in downtown Twinsburg from 1851 until 1855 when a fire destroyed the building that they were renting along with all of the property and records of the Lodge, including the original (re-issued) Lodge Charter. The Charter was re-issued again Oct. 22, 1856.

When the smoke cleared, The Lodge chose to meet in a hall owned by a Lodge member, George Alling, descendent of Ethan Alling.  As was common during that time, the new meeting hall building also caught fire in July, 1866. However, the charter was saved by Brother Henry Livingston who braved the flames, running into the blazing Lodge to save it.

After the second fire, the Lodge decided to discontinue renting and purchased a building from a Mr. Dunshee at the SW corner of Rt. 82 and 91 for $900, $869 of which was donated by Summit Royal Arch Chapter # 74 from their insurance proceeds from the 2nd fire. Meetings were held there from 1866 to 1958. The site is currently occupied by Starbucks. 

The cornerstone for our current Lodge building on Shepard Road was laid June 8, 1958 and the new Lodge room was consecrated on September 18, 1958. According to some of our Past Masters, most of the labor and materials for our current building were donated by members of Summit # 213 and other Lodges.

Summit Lodge has hosted many different Masonic bodies and youth groups since its beginning in 1851 including an Eastern Star Chapter, a Rainbow Girls Chapter, and a DeMolay group. Current tenants include Ashlar Lodge, Allenby Commandery, Summit Baker Royal Arch Chapter, the York Rite College, and Boy Scout Troop # 213.

We drink from wells that we did not dig. We eat from trees that we did not plant. Let us all work from the strong foundation of the founders of our Lodge and to continue to uphold the tenets of Freemasonry: Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth as we move forward together.

Respectfully,

David Wilkie
Past Master
Summit Lodge # 213