“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Daytona Beach in Volusia County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Halifax Lodge No. 81

Halifax Lodge No. 81 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By AGS Media, August 14, 2010
1. Halifax Lodge No. 81 Marker
This Property Has Been
Placed On The
National Register
Of Historic Places
By The United States
Department of the Interior

Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public WorkFraternal or Sororal OrganizationsPatriots & PatriotismSettlements & Settlers.
Location. 29° 12.462′ N, 81° 1.128′ W. Marker is in Daytona Beach, Florida, in Volusia County. Marker is on Orange Avenue east of South Palmetto Avenue, on the right when traveling east. The Halifax Lodge building is within the South Beach Street Historic District (a National Historic District). Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 135 Orange Avenue, Daytona Beach FL 32114, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 128 Orange Avenue (within shouting distance of this marker); The History of the Warren Harding Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Merchants Bank Building (about 500 feet away); St. Mary's Episcopal Church (about 600 feet away); 224 South Beach Street
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(about 700 feet away); First Church of Christ, Scientist (approx. 0.2 miles away); The History of the W.H. Gardener Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Roberto Clemente (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Daytona Beach.
More about this marker. The marker is mounted on the front of the lodge building, to the right of the center doorway.
Regarding Halifax Lodge No. 81. The Halifax Lodge No. 81 of the Free and Accepted Masons Front addition erected in 1924, Original wood Lodge remains from 1888 Known as the Grotto Room. its cornerstone having been laid on May 1 of that year.
The building itself is not listed with the National Register of Historic Places in its own right. It received the NRHP plaque as a Contributing Structure within the South Beach Street Historic District (NRHP #88001597).
Also see . . .  Halifax Masonic Lodge No. 81 History. History page from the Lodge's website (Submitted on August 26, 2010, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.) 
Additional commentary.
1. Update Halifax Lodge
By James W. Bannerman P.M. 1998

Freemasonry traces its
Halifax Lodge No. 81 circa 1925 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Gary Lee Wisniewski, 1925
2. Halifax Lodge No. 81 circa 1925
origin to the building of King Solomon's Temple and is the largest fraternal organization in the world. There are almost 3 million Freemasons in the United States and over 60 thousand Freemasons in Florida. Hundreds of famous Americans have been freemasons; George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Glen to name just a few.
It has been said that every governor of the state of Florida, except four, have been freemasons.
David Sholtz who was governor of Florida from 1933 to 1937 and four mayors, James Slayton 1891, Charles Ballough 1906, Galen Seamen 1908 and John Williams 1909 were all members of Halifax Lodge #81.
The history of Daytona Beach and Halifax Lodge #81 are closely tied together. In June 1876 seventy residents of a settlement just north of Port Orange met to discuss the incorporation of their community into a town. It is said that one reason advanced was to "keep the hogs out". In those days the Florida razor back hog ran wild in the area and insisted on sleeping under the houses at night. The hogs were infested with fleas which spread into the houses and caused discomfort to the residents. Since there were no game laws in the settlement it was felt that incorporation into a town and the enactment of local ordinances banning the hogs would be a solution to the problem.
In any case on July 26, 1876 twenty-five
Halifax Lodge No. 81 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Gary Lee Wisniewski, August 27, 2011
3. Halifax Lodge No. 81 Marker
citizens gathered in William Jackson's store on the corner of Orange Avenue and Beach Street to vote on incorporation. 23 voted in favor and 2 against. And the town of Daytona Beach was incorporated. The first town council passed ordinances protecting public morals and health. As a matter of interest ordinance calling for the town marshal to impound the hogs was passed on December 7, 1876.
They forbid assault and battery, interfering with the marshal, gambling, public swearing, drunkenness, indecent exposure, and the keeping of "houses of ill repute". The ordinance also restricted the use of firearms, the carrying of concealed weapons and horse racing in town. It provided for a fine for anyone who brought into town a vagrant or persons unable to support themselves. It was unlawful to sell unwholesome provisions, keep contagious animals, or dispose of dead animals and refuse in the Halifax River.
Beach Street was a sandy trail and there was only one street opened running west, Orange Avenue which was a path as far as Palmetto. There was no road to the outer world. The three ways of entrance or exit were (1) by sailboat to Port Orange and by foot to Enterprise. (2) By sail boat to the inlet and schooner to Jacksonville. Or (3) by sail boat to the head of the Halifax and then overland to St. Augustine. The Stage road to Volusia Landing did not open until the following year
Halifax Lodge No. 81 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By AGS Media, August 14, 2010
4. Halifax Lodge No. 81 Marker
Mounted to the right of the building's entrance
and George Kingston drove the first stage.
The name Daytona had been applied to the settlement for several years in honor of Mathias Day its founder.. The city budget for the first 3 years was $1,144.16. Expenditures over that same 3-year period were $907.31 leaving a surplus of $236.85 in the city treasury
The towns first Mayor was the Reverend L.D. Houston, a Methodist minister. He resigned his mayoral office on April 25, 1877 stating that since he lived on the East Side of the Halifax River (then called Seabreeze) he was technically not a resident of Daytona and not qualified to serve as its mayor. He and his wife Maria both died of yellow fever in November that year.
It is believed that, in 1870 there were only four Masons living between St. Augustan and Key West They were Captain Burnham and his son-in-law, who were keepers of the lighthouse at Cape Canaveral; Barthola Pacetti from Ponce inlet and T. Shumtelle, a retired army officer.
The first meeting of members of the Masonic order, held south of St. Augustine was in January, 1872, four years before the town of Daytona Beach was incorporated. They met at the old deserted saw mill at Ponce Inlet (then known as Port Orange). Only six Masons were present. Nine members were required before they could apply for dispensation, and it was not until January 1876 (the same year Daytona was incorporated) that they were
Halifax Lodge No. 81 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By AGS Media, August 14, 2010
5. Halifax Lodge No. 81
able to recruit the required members.
On January 11, 1877, the lodge, known as Halifax Lodge #81, received its charter at a meeting in George Steven's store, which was located near the west end of the present Port Orange bridge. There were 25 charter members. The first Worshipful Master was George Stevens. The Senior Warder was William Jackson and the Junior Warden was B.C. Pacetti.
George Stevens died the following summer, and the Stewards Herman and James Knappe moved to Jacksonville, which left the work of the lodge on the shoulders of the remaining officers. It was a tough struggle for the next two years, to keep from losing their charter. William Jackson traveled from Daytona to Port Orange in all kinds of weather to open the lodge. The only road from Daytona to Port Orange at that time was a rough old logging road through the scrub. Jackson, Anderson (the secretary) and Montague (the Senior Deacon) assumed the responsibility for keeping the lodge going. They approached the New Britain Colony (now called Ormond), seeking new members. Four offered to join if the lodge would move to Daytona. William Jackson offered the use of the hall over his store at the corner of Beach Street and Orange Ave. (where the 5th. District court house is now located) and Grand Lodge granted permission to move. On April 2, 1879 Halifax Lodge #81 held its first meeting in Daytona.
Halifax Lodge No. 81 Cornerstone image. Click for full size.
Photographed By AGS Media, August 14, 2010
6. Halifax Lodge No. 81 Cornerstone
F. & A.M.
May 1, 1924
were held on the first Wednesday after the full moon each month. On other nights the hall was used for community events including the town council meetings and dances which were held each Friday night and said to go on until dawn.
In 1888 the lodge moved from the Jackson Hall to its new home at its present location. An interesting story about the dedication of the new lodge hall was published in the Halifax Journal of June 28, 1888 and reads as follows:

"Monday was a gala day with the Masonic fraternity, uniting the celebration of St. John's day with the dedication of the new Masonic hall for Halifax Lodge, No. 81,
F. & A. M.
Excursion trains from Plataka brought crowds of masons and other invited guests from Jacksonville, Platka, Seville, Deland, Enterprise and other place,who came to participate in the ceremonies.
A Grand Lodge was opened in due form in the old lodge room, presided over by Grand Master N.R. Carter. ... Before leaving the old hall a unanimous resolution of thanks to its proprietor, William Jackson was passed for allowing the lodge to use the hall for such a long time. Forming in proper procession the lodge proceeded to the new hall, with its jewels, charter, etc. After the usual impressive dedicatory service a banquet was given in the lower rooms of the building, participated in by a host of guest, as well as members with their wives
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and families. Ample provision was made for the wants of all, and everyone seemed to enjoy the good cheer set out by our ladies in their usual excellent manner, for which they deserve especial credit.
After the banquet numerous toasts were given and responded to in a felicitous manner in the lodge hall.
The building just completed by the contractors S. W. Barlett and E. W. Green is one of the most solid and unique structures of the kind in the state and the contractors deserve particular credit for the faithful and substantial work done on it. The hall is large, beautiful, in design as well as conveniently arranged and hereafter Halifax Lodge will have a home to be proud of. "

Thirty six years later in April 1924 the Building next to where the future addition for the lodge hall was sold and the following article appeared in the April 4, 1924 issue of the Daytona Daily News.

"William V. Carter of Volusia Avenue has purchased the old Old building next to the Masonic Lodge
on Orange Avenue and placed a crew of workmen pulling it down to Make room for the Lodge's future addition. Friday morning. Mr. Carter's bid for the building was accepted at a meeting of the Masonic order held Thursday evening with a request that the structure be torn down and removed from the location within 30 days.

An examination of the building brought out the fact that the materials used in its construction were of the best heart lumber and was considered by many to be far better materials than any thing on the market of the day.
Work on the new Masonic temple is expected to begin the first week in May with the hope of having it completed and ready for occupancy by the opening of the fall season.
The building is to have a frontage of 60 feet on Orange Avenue and will extend back approximately 77 feet. It will be of fireproof construction and will be slightly more than two stories in height in order to provide ample room for the temple in the second floor.
Two commodious stores will be arranged on the ground floor with an arcade leading back to the comparatively new frame building now occupying the rear of the property which will be retained by the order as a commercial property. "

The corner stone for the addition to the lodge, Was laid on May 1st. 1924. (Original Corner stone has not as yet been located but we have hopes with future remodeling plans, it may yet be found on one of the old existing piers)

Daytona’s Dedication of Masonic Hall 58 Years Ago Brings Recollections

Through the courtesy of Mrs. F. W. Pope, The Observer is privileged to herewith reproduce an account of the dedication of Halifax Lodge, No. 81, Free and Accepted Masons, which dedication occurred (at Daytona) May 1, 1879. The account is taken from the Florida Star of May 8, 1879, then published as a weekly at New Smyrna by Capt. Charles H. Coe:
“Invitations to this grand affair were sent out some time before the appointed day – May 1st – and mention was also made of it in the Star, and from the indications, everyone was anticipating something uncommon, - in fact, a splendid time. And when it came off, on the evening of the 1st inst. All – more especially the strangers – were astonished at the magnificence of everything.
“William Jackson, one of the most esteemed and enterprising citizens, (of Daytona) had just completed a large and imposing building, designed for his store below and the hall of the Halifax lodge above, and the affair was held in honor of the said hall.
“The hall is 30 by 50 feet, the best and largest in the county and south of St. Augustine. It was trimmed up beautifully, with evergreens, palmetto fans, and flowers without number, of all kinds. At one end a movable platform about one foot high had been placed. On this there was a large pyramid of flowers, very tastefully arranged by the ladies of the Palmetto House. On the wall at the back of the platform were large letters of evergreen, forming ‘Halifax Lodge No. 81. F. & A. M.’ At the other end of the hall the motto, ‘Peace on Earth, Good Will to All Mankind,” was conspicuous on the wall, also in letters of evergreen, and underneath this a large flag – the stars and stripes. Over each window in the hall (12) were evergreens, flowers and two small flags. The hall looked grand, and we are told that Mrs. M. Hoag was the principal one in designing the decorations.
“At half past seven p.m., a large and intellectual audience of over three hundred persons filled the hall to overflowing, to listen to a lecture by Enos Wasgate, P.G.M., of Jacksonville. Rev. W. H. Carter introduced the lecturer to the audience. Mr. Wasgate is a fine looking man, of commanding appearance, and delivered his address in good style. It was very appropriate, and pleased all, if an attentive audience is any proof. It lasted about one hour. Mrs. Davidson, Miss Carter, Col. M. Huston and H.F. Douglass then gathered at the piano and sang ‘America’ in fine style.
“The hall was then cleared, and the platform moved to one side of the room, covering the inside stairway, upon which the piano was placed. The music consisted of a piano, violin, cornet, etc., the musicians sitting on the platform. We believe the music surpassed

Plaque presented to our Lodge on February 1st 1995 by the Mayor of Daytona Beach Paul Carpenella. Richard RagsdaleWorshipful Master.
NATIONAL REGISTER DISTRICT. The property is also located in the National Register of Historic Places South Beach Street Historic District. The National District was listed in 1988 and has the US National Park Service Listing # 88001597. On the National Register District listing, the building is listed as a contributing structure
CITY OF DAYTONA BEACH LOCAL HISTORIC OVERDAY DISTRICT. The Halifax Masonic Hall building (having the addresses 133, 135 and 137 Orange Ave.) is located in the South Beach Street local historic overlay district as a contributing structure. This overlay district was adopted in 2007 by Ordinance number 07-161. Note To Editor only visible by Contributor and editor    
    — Submitted November 16, 2011, by Gary Lee Wisniewski of Port Orange, Florida.

Additional keywords. South Beach Street Historic District, Daytona Beach Freemasons,Port Orange Freemasons, Daytona Beach History, Masonic Lodge
Credits. This page was last revised on July 22, 2018. It was originally submitted on August 25, 2010, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. This page has been viewed 1,856 times since then and 90 times this year. Last updated on December 22, 2011, by Gary Lee Wisniewski of Port Orange, Florida. Photos:   1. submitted on August 25, 2010, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.   2, 3. submitted on December 22, 2011, by Gary Lee Wisniewski of Port Orange, Florida.   4, 5, 6. submitted on August 26, 2010, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 6, 2023