Mildred Sends the Masonic Temple – Fort Wayne, Indiana (1926)

Miss Jessie Malone lived in Canton, a city on the Nimishillen Creek – about 60 miles south of Cleveland in northeast Ohio.

In the early 20th century, the city was center of manufacturing due to the abundance of railroad lines.,_Ohio

In July of 1926, Jessie received a postcard from Mildred.

Mildred was in Fort Wayne, Indiana – the site of a French trading post established in 1706 and developed as a Fort by the US Army under General Anthony Wayne in 1794.

Completion of the Wabash and Erie Canal, and the later growth of the railroad led to rapid growth of Fort Wayne as an industrial and commercial center.,_Indiana

The face of the postcard is a drawing of the Masonic Temple and Scottish Rite Cathedral in Fort Wayne.

Many cities and towns across the United States boasted handsome buildings related to the Masons.

There is an enormous literature related to the mythic origins of this fraternal order and secret society- and there have been many “revelations” and disparaging books and articles about the rites and legendary power of the order.

In several eras, there was a populist revolt against “Freemasonry” – sometimes fueled by fear of the apparent wealth and success of this secret society, sometimes by a class resentment of the prosperous and educated men who were initiated into the order’s mysteries, and sometimes related to religious objections to ancient lore and wisdom that was deemed inimical to Christian traditions.

(Becoming a mason was prohibited for churchmen of many denominations for many years.)

This picture postcard was published by Wayne Novelty & Publishing Company of Fort Wayne.

On the reverse, Mildred inscribes only a lot of kisses and signs her name.

Thus, we can only speculate about Mildred’s presence in Fort Wayne, imagine what she might have done during her sojourn in the city, and wonder about the nature of the relationship between Mildred and Jessie.

Jessie preserved the postcard throughout her life.

One hopes that Mildred was able to share with Jessie, in person, more stories about her travels.


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