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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Northwest in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Build It And They Will Come

Battleground to Community

 

—Brightwood Heritage Trail —

 
Build It And They Will Come Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 12, 2011
1. Build It And They Will Come Marker
Inscription.
In 1818 the Private Rockville and Washington Turnpike Co. began building a road to link Washington City to Rockville, Maryland. This road helped create a village. A toll gate on what today is Georgia Avenue between Quackenbos and Rittenhouse streets encouraged travelers to pause here. Lewis Burnett built a roadhouse, or restaurant, just across Missouri Avenue to your left. By the early 1860s the roadhouse became Moreland Tavern, offering sleeping accommodations. During the Civil War, the tavern housed the officers who would lead the defense of nearby Fort Stevens during the Confederate attack.

The tavern made way for the wood frame home of Stansbury Masonic Lodge No. 24. The hall, in addition to meeting and secret ceremonial spaces, included the income producing Brightwood Hotel. The Freemasons are an ancient fraternal organization with roots in the building trades. Members continue to do good works and create fellowship. Washington’s Freemasons served in all professions, from bricklayer to president.

In 1919 Stansbury Lodge member Frank Russell White designed a grand new limestone temple. Its main meeting room could hold 200 and had a mezzanine and balcony with a pipe organ. The first floor initially housed a post office, then a Sanitary (later Safeway) Grocery and eventually a Pontiac car dealership.

The Freemasons
Reverse Side of Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 12, 2011
2. Reverse Side of Marker
rented meeting spaces to a Greek Sunday school, high school fraternities, synagogues and others. After Stansbury Lodge moved to Takoma in 1987, the neoclassical building was sold. In the 1990s. it gained brief notoriety as a nightclub. In 2007 it reopened as the Lofts at Brightwood.

[ Reverse Marker : ]
Welcome to Brightwood, one of Washington, DC’s early communities and the site of the only Civil War battle to take place within the District of Columbia. Along with nearby Battleground National Cemetery, Fort Stevens is a daily reminder that the Civil War greatly affected the citizens of Washington. This crossroads community developed from the Seventh Street Turnpike, today’s Georgia Avenue, and Military Road. Its earliest days included a pre-Civil War settlement of free African Americans (one of whom, Elizabeth Proctor Thomas, appears on each Heritage Trail sign). Eventually Brightwood boasted a popular race track, country estates, and sturdy suburban housing. In 1861 the area was known as Brighton, but once it was large enough to merit a U.S. Post Office, the name was changed to Brightwood to distinguish it from Brighton, Maryland. With a stock of solid, attractive houses and apartments, the recreational attractions of nearby Rock Creek Park, and longstanding houses of worship, Brightwood has welcomed generations of families whose aspirations have
Marker in Brightwood image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 12, 2011
3. Marker in Brightwood
shaped its life and character.

Follow the 18 signs of Battleground to Community: Brightwood Heritage Trail to discover the personalities and forces that created this remarkable community.

Battleground to Community: Brightwood Heritage Trail, a free booklet capturing the trail’s highlights, is available in both English and Spanish language editions at local businesses along the way. To learn about other DC neighborhoods, please visit www.CulturalTourismDC.org.
 
Erected by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 5.)
 
Location. 38° 57.685′ N, 77° 1.692′ W. Marker is in Northwest, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of Missouri Ave. NW and Georgia Ave. NW, on the right when traveling west on Missouri Ave. NW. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20011, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Crossroads Create Community (within shouting distance of this marker); A Streetcar Named Brightwood (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Hold the Mayo! (about 500 feet away); The Rock on Brightwood Avenue (approx.
Build It And They Will Come Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 18, 2013
4. Build It And They Will Come Marker
In front of the Stansbury Masonic Lodge Building
0.2 miles away); “Get Down You Fool” (approx. 0.2 miles away); Aunt Betty's Story (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fort Stevens (approx. 0.2 miles away); School Days (approx. 0.2 miles away).
 
More about this marker. A picture of Elizabeth Proctor Thomas appears at the upper right of the marker. Several photographs include “Children of Aqudath Achiam dramatize Chanukah on the Stanbury Masonic Temple stage in 1952.”; and an interior look of the temple with the caption “Masonic ceremonial rooms were found upstairs.”
A photograph of the Stansbury Masonic Temple appears at the top of the back of the marker. It has a caption of “The Stansbury Masonic Temple housed a post office when it first opened in 1920.” The lower left of the marker features a map of the Brightwood Heritage Trail and indicates the location of the marker.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Follow the Brightwood Heritage Trail
 
Categories. Fraternal or Sororal OrganizationsRoads & VehiclesWar, US Civil
 
Fort Stevens image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 12, 2011
5. Fort Stevens
The site of the Civil War battle mentioned on the marker is located a short distance from the marker.
Stansbury Masonic Lodge, 1920 image. Click for full size.
circa 1920
6. Stansbury Masonic Lodge, 1920
The Stansbury Masonic Temple housed a post office when it first opened in 1920.
Close-up of photo on marker
General McCook and Staff at the Moreland Tavern, 1864 image. Click for full size.
circa 1864
7. General McCook and Staff at the Moreland Tavern, 1864
Major General Alexander M. McCook and staff on the porch of the old Moreland Tavern 1864, headquarters for the defense of Fort Stevens
Close-up of photo on marker
Chanukah at Stansbury Masonic Temple image. Click for full size.
circa 1952
8. Chanukah at Stansbury Masonic Temple
Children of Agudach Achim dramatize Chanukah on the Stansbury Masonic Temple Stage, 1952.
Close-up of photo on marker
Ceremonial Rooms image. Click for full size.
9. Ceremonial Rooms
Masonic ceremonial rooms were found upstairs.
Close-up of photo on marker
Under Construction image. Click for full size.
10. Under Construction
Stansbury Masonic Temple under construction.
Close-up of photo on marker
F D R image. Click for full size.
circa 1919
11. F D R
Secretary of the Navy and Freemason Franklin D. Roosevelt attended the Stansbury Temple cornerstone laying in 1919.
Close-up of photo on marker
Laying the Cornerstone image. Click for full size.
circa 1919
12. Laying the Cornerstone
Cornerstone Laying, Stansbury Lodge No. 24, Brightwood D.C., Nov. 21, 1919
Close-up of photo on marker
Stansbury Masonic Lodge Building image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 18, 2013
13. Stansbury Masonic Lodge Building
Cornerstone image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 18, 2013
14. Cornerstone
Masonic Temple
Stansbury Lodge
November 21, 1919
Architectural Detail<br>Stansbury Masonic Temple image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 18, 2013
15. Architectural Detail
Stansbury Masonic Temple
Map -- Your are Here image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, May 18, 2013
16. Map -- Your are Here
Close-up of map on marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 815 times since then and 7 times this year. Last updated on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   4. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   5. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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