Lake Lodge History


Excelsior Lodge

On December 16, 1868, 36 Master Masons had an organizational meeting that was held at South Side Hall. They received dispensation to form a new Lodge on January 21, 1869. Excelsior Lodge #175 F.&A.M. received their charter on June 9, 1869. The first meetings were held in Druid Hall at Oregon and Reed Streets. The Lodge moved to various locations starting with the new Cream City Lodge of Odd Fellows on May 1, 1874, National Block in June 1884, Stumpf and Langhoff Building at 2nd and Wisconsin Ave. in May 1899. In December 1917 the Excelsior Masonic Temple Association was formed by Excelsior Lodge #175 F.&A.M., Excelsior Chapter #40 R.A.M. and Galilee Commandery #38 K.T. This organization was charged with securing a site, building and overseeing a new Masonic Temple. The cornerstone was laid on May 20, 1923 and they remained in this building until it was sold in the 1990's. They eventually moved to Lake Masonic Center. Excelsior Lodge #175 consolidated with Lake Lodge #189 on May 18, 2009.


Lake Lodge

A number of members from Excelsior Lodge #175 received dispensation to form a new Lodge on September 27, 1872. Excelsior Lodge remitted the dues of these brothers so they would be able to undertake this endeavor. Lake Lodge #189 F.&A.M. received their Charter on June 11, 1873. Lake Lodge first met in Puddlers Hall. They moved to a building at 960 K.K. Avenue and finally built the first new building by a Masonic Lodge in Milwaukee in 1908. This building is located at 2535 S. K.K. Ave. Due to a lack of parking and a second floor Lodge Room, they built their currrent building at 1235 East Howard Avenue. The cornerstone was laid in August 1964.

We are currently home to:

Lake Lodge #189 F.&A.M.
Damascus Lodge #290 F.&A.M.
Ivanhoe Commandery #24 K.T.
     * Ivanhoe Drill Team
     * Ladies of Ivanhoe
Electa Chapter #75 Order of the Eastern Star
Vega Chapter #76, Order of the Eastern Star
Aloha Conclave #4, The Order of True Kindred
Bethel #6, International Order of Job's Daughters
West Allis Chapter #84, Royal Arch Masons (June 2013)
Kilbourn Council #9, Royal & Select Masters (June 2013)
Milwaukee Bible Students


Organizations that once called Lake Masonic Center their home:

Lake Chapter #86, R.A.M. (consolidated with West Allis)
Bay View Chapter, DeMolay (consolidated with West Allis)
Bay View Court No. 8, Order of Amaranth (consolidated with Racine)
Faith Chapter #23, White Shrine of Jerusulem (moved to Racine in 2013)



Puddlers Hall



960 S. K.K. Avenue (picture pending)



2535 South K.K. Avenue



As seen form the Bayview Library


The Groundbreaking ceremony 


The Cornerstone ceremony


 Lake Masonic Center


When there were trees!

Click here to view a slideshow of the building construction narrated by Br. Max Vandenburg.



Excelsior's former building at 2422 W. National Avenue



Stumpf and Langhoff Building, circa 1914






There are one-story intellects, two-story intellects, and three-story intellects with sky-lights. All fact collectors, who have no aim beyond their facts, are one-story men. Two-story men compare, reason generalize, using the labors of the fact collectors as well as their own. Three-story men idealize, imagine, predict, their best illumination comes from above, through the skylight. -Oliver Wendell Holmes