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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Adams in Robertson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

1859 Masonic Lodge & General Store

 
 
1859 Masonic Lodge & General Store Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 24, 2013
1. 1859 Masonic Lodge & General Store Marker
Inscription. This building served as a lodge, general store, and post office from 1859 until the 1950s. Today it serves as the Port Royal State Park Headquarters.

The lower floor is divided into two rooms, the larger served as the general store and the smaller served as the post office and later a telephone exchange. The upper floor was used as a meeting space for the Free and Accepted Masons, Hampton Lodge No. 137 which was established in 1858. Hampton’s Lodge No. 137 remained at Port Royal until 1921 when it consolidated with the Red River Lodge No. 537 in Adams, TN. The lodge is the only remaining building from the town of Port Royal. It was built at the end of the Civil War and Reconstruction began a slow decline until the town faded away. However this building remained a constant and was continuously used as a store until the 1950s.

Stories of Murder---
In 1863 on a Sunday morning, George Whitehead shot and killed Simpson Rosson, both members of this lodge. Whitehead was arrested and tried under military law with at least part of the trial taking place on the upper floor of this building. Whitehead was convicted and sentenced to death. Supposedly, a relative of Whitehead’s made a deal with the Defender, Gen. John Garner in the back room of this building. He would pay Garner $3000 to cross enemy lines and
1859 Masonic Lodge & General Store Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 24, 2013
2. 1859 Masonic Lodge & General Store Marker
get President Lincoln’s pardon. He is thought to have received the pardon.

…and Folklore---

In 1903 a bridge over Red River was under construction when it came time to remove the supports. Though people were instructed to leave the bridge during the process, a few remained including 17 year old Willie Wooldridge. As the supports were removed the bridge collapsed, critically injuring Wooldridge and two other men. Woodridge was taken to the upper floor of the lodge building to receive care from a doctor but soon after died from his injuries. His mother arrived shortly after his death and was overcome with grief and died there as well. It is said that both of their ghosts still haunt the lodge building today.

(Inscription under the photo in the bottom left)
The lodge building around 1890.

(Inscription under the photo in the bottom center)
The lodge in 1965. A tornado had hit the building in 1921 removing a portion of the upper floor. Instead of rebuilding it, the roof height was adjusted.

(Inscription under the photo in the bottom right)
The Lodge in the late 1970s. When the State of Tennessee acquired the building, it was in shambles and had been abandoned for several years, it was soon after renovated to serve as the Park Headquarters. Efforts to restore the Lodge to a late 19th
1859 Masonic Lodge & General Store Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, July 24, 2013
3. 1859 Masonic Lodge & General Store Marker
century appearance began in 2011.

(Inscription under the photo on middle right)
Solon and Lucille Carden, owners and operators of the Port Royal general store during the early 20th century. Photo taken in 1930s.
 
Erected by Tennessee State Parks.
 
Location. 36° 33.236′ N, 87° 8.53′ W. Marker is in Adams, Tennessee, in Robertson County. Marker is at the intersection of Port Royal Road (SR238) and Old Clarksville Springfield Road, on the left when traveling north on Port Royal Road (SR238). Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Adams TN 37010, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Town of Port Royal (within shouting distance of this marker); Stores of Port Royal (within shouting distance of this marker); Port Royal (approx. 1.1 miles away); Renfroe's Station (approx. 3.3 miles away); Red River Church (approx. 4.7 miles away); Bell Witch (approx. 4.9 miles away); Fort Redmond (approx. 4.9 miles away); Adams War Memorial (approx. 4.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Adams.
 
Categories. Settlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 12, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 355 times since then and 50 times this year. Last updated on April 9, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 12, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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