Coin celebrating the centennial anniversary of East Dallas Masonic Lodge 1200. Photo by Renee Umsted.

Many may have heard about the Freemasons through the 2004 film National Treasure, starring Nicolas Cage. But the Masons aren’t a bygone group. They’re active all across the world, even in East Dallas.

East Dallas Masonic Lodge 1200 has historic local connections to notable politicians, police officers and district attorneys. In fact, this lodge is known as the “Policeman’s Lodge” because of the many officers who were among its members.

The East Dallas lodge, which was chartered Dec. 8, 1922, just celebrated its 100-year anniversary. In recognition, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson declared June 14, 2022, as East Dallas Masonic Lodge #1200 Day. The Masons met to share the history of the lodge and of Masonry in Texas, as well as to celebrate their longevity in Dallas.

Today, the East Dallas Masonic Lodge is located on E. Grand Avenue, not far from the Hollywood/Santa Monica neighborhood. But the lodge has been housed in several locations over its 100-year history, including at 6318 Gaston Ave., which is right across the street from the Advocate‘s office in Lakewood. The building at the corner of La Vista and Gaston is now home to Allie Beth Allman and Associates, but back in the 1920s, the lodge was atop a gas station.

Over time, as membership dwindled, three lodges located in our neighborhood merged into one and eventually became known as the East Dallas Masonic Lodge.

The East Dallas Masons give back to the community by hosting blood drives and supporting local schools through donations. In general, Masonry spends more than $2 million each day in the United States to help people in need.

Popular culture often suggests that the Masons are a secretive bunch. Though there are some rituals, passwords and knowledge known only to members of the fraternal organization, much of the Masons’ activities are public, and the Masons themselves don’t hide their identity. Audie Murphy, Gene Autry, Buzz Aldrin and J. Edgar Hoover were all Freemasons.

Learn more about the Masons here.