Masonic Retirement Center

(currently inactive as a retirement center)
23660 Marine View Drive South
Des Moines, WA 98198-7394
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FS Land Lodge
Business Meeting

History of the Masonic Retirement Center

In 1892 the seeds were planted for the establishment of a haven for needy Masons, their wives, widows and orphans. Grand Master Thomas Amos asked Grand Lodge to appoint a committee "to investigate the subject of soliciting locations for a Masonic Home." It was recommended Grand Lodge set aside income for this project.

It wasn't until 1900 that an actual committee was established and reported in 1901 that Lodges were favorable to the erection of a Home. Grand Lodge voted to levy a per capita tax of 25 cents on each Lodge member, with a levy of $1.00 for each degree conferred for Home purposes. The fund accumulated $10,870 by 1904.

By 1909 Grand Lodge was ready to take some concrete action and directed the Finance committee to "receive tenders or offers of sites..with prices and terms." Proposals were investigated by a committee established in 1910 and at a report of this committee in 1911 the first Masonic Home site in Puyallup, Washington was selected. The Puyallup location had the benefits of an eight room house, a four room house and two barns. The site was purchased, renovations started immediately and Brother Grove L. Stillman of Puyallup was employed as superintendent and his wife as matron for $90.00 per month plus board and lodgings.

On February 12, 1912 the first resident of the Home, Brother John Thomas, age 84, from Tacoma Lodge #22 was accepted.

By 1922 it was obvious that expansion was necessary. The Puyallup site was deemed inadequate and on May 19, 1924 the present grounds were purchased for $78,624.95 -- a total of 82 acres.

The new building was dedicated on June 21, 1927. On July 12, 1927 59 guests were transferred from the Puyallup location. The first year the Home had 107 guests.

Time and expenses caused many changes over the years including the sale of a total of 47 of the original 82 acres. In 1959 a cold room and walk-in freezer were added to the kitchen. In 1960 a new elevator was added. The first infirmary was added in 1965 along with a new, modern kitchen. New wings were added to the Health Center in the 80's and a portion of this building has been converted to assisted living units.

At this time the Masonic Retirement Center is currently inactive as a retirement center, but is open for various events, such as weddings and meetings.