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Bel Air Masonic Lodge Apron returns to town in April after more than 225 years

On April 20 at 7 p.m., the Brothers of Mount Ararat Masonic Lodge in Bel Air will host a lodge history night, featuring a visually stunning Masonic apron originally belonging to member of the short-lived Belle Aire Lodge No. 14, which met in town from 1794 to 1796. This free event is open to the public and will mark the first time in over two centuries that this one-of-a-kind artifact will return home to the Town of Bel Air.

The evening will also feature a talk from Edward Heimiller, curator of the Maryland Masonic Museum, who will discuss how this apron came in to the museum collection in 2017 by way of a direct descendant of the apron’s original owner. Heimiller will also discuss the importance of Freemasonry in early Harford County history, as well as a brief history of Mount Ararat Lodge, one of Maryland’s oldest and largest Masonic lodges.

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Also, on display that evening will be the original Mount Ararat Lodge Charter from 1809, handwritten minutes and lodge records from the lodge’s 212-year history, long-forgotten photographs, and Masonic artifacts never before seen by those from outside the Masonic fraternity.

Freemasonry is considered the world’s oldest fraternity, and its members are dedicated to charity, goodwill and community service, according to a news release.

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Mount Ararat Lodge has been a fixture in Harford County since 1809, and its rolls have included a host of notable Harford County names, including educator C. Milton Wright, Congressman Stephenson Archer (son of Dr. John Archer), and Revolutionary War Hero Dr. Zenas Macomber, who was one of George Washington’s personal guards.

Founded in 1819, the Maryland Masonic Museum at the Grand Lodge of Maryland in Cockeysville is home to one of the most comprehensive collections of Masonic Regalia in the world. Open to the public, among the treasures of the museum is the desk used by George Washington to submit his resignation as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in addition to other items owned and used by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, as well as artifacts related to the Titanic and NASA.

To visit Mount Ararat Lodge online, go to www.belairmasons.org.

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