Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Brightwood 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
Reverse Side of Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 12, 2011
2. Reverse Side of Marker
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 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.
 
Erected 2008 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 5.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Fraternal or Sororal OrganizationsRoads & VehiclesWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Brightwood Heritage Trail series list.
 
Location. 38° 57.685′ N, 77° 1.692′ W. Marker is in Brightwood in Washington, District of Columbia. Marker is at the intersection of Missouri Avenue Northwest and Georgia Avenue Northwest (U.S. 29), on the right when traveling west on Missouri Avenue Northwest. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5900 Georgia Avenue Northwest, Washington DC 20011, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
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
Marker in Brightwood image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 12, 2011
3. Marker in Brightwood
(about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Rock on Brightwood Avenue (approx. 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); Mayor Emery and the Union Army (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brightwood.
 
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.
 
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
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 was last revised on May 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 13, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,103 times since then and 19 times this year. Last updated on April 6, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 13, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   4. submitted on May 19, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   5. submitted on November 13, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. submitted on May 19, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Jun. 2, 2020