In a previous article, “Built on Freedom“, we shared information about the George Washington Masonic Memorial, it’s history, mission, and how to support it. This article will share more about some of the artifacts and Conejo Valley Lodge’s connection to this historical memorial.
The George Washington Masonic Memorial sits on top of a hilltop and stands 333 feet in height. The main entrance to the building and memorial tours is set at the top of several flights on stairs.
After entering through the front doors of the building, the first thing that you a greeted with is a huge brazen statute of George Washington in Masonic reglia, which is flanked from both sides with famous scenes of George Washington as a Mason. For those who have visited Conejo Valley Lodge’s Hall, have seen a much smaller replica of this painting at the entry way to the Bolton-Wilson Hall. Depicted in that painting is an illustration of George Washington laying a cornerstone.
In a room adjacent to the entry ways of the building is a replica of the Lodge room where George Washington attended. Many Masons will likely recognize the similarities of the Lodge room that George Washington attended compared to many Lodge rooms in the United States today. Of course, in modern times many Lodge rooms have much newer looking paraphernalia, but in general comparison and for all intents and purposes are the same. If you look carefully in the picture above, you will also see the actual chair that George Washington sat in when he served as the Worshipful Master of the Lodge.
After a few short elevator rides up, you will arrive at a room dedicated to the life of George Washington. One of the first things that greets you is George Washington’s Family bible. According to one of the docents on the tour, this is one of the most valuable artifacts in the Memorial’s possession. Seeing it in person is truly and awe and inspiring moment.
In that same room are two floors of artifacts that pertain to George Washington and his life. These corridors are divided into several sections, each representing a phase of his life. These sections include George Washington’s life on the farm, as a Mason, as Master of the Lodge, being the first President of the United States of America, his life after Presidency and his death. A short trip up a spiral staircase, and you will find yourself on the second level of this floor. The second level have several other things that are related to the building and dedications made to the George Washington Memorial. Among these things are pictures of the building of the Memorial, gifts that were donated, and even a picture of former U.S. President William Howard Taft in his Masonic apron along with a copy of the check he made in contribution to the Memorial.
There are several other floors with George Washington Memorabilia, and one of the floors near the top of the building is currently a active York Rite temple. Contained within the room are four beautiful stained glass images that look equally beautiful in the light and in the dark.
At the very top of the building is an observation deck that has a 360 degree view of everything in the surrounding area. Being that the building is perched on top of a very tall hill gives the Memorial a stunning view in all directions. From the observation deck you have a clear view of the George Washington Monument, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Capital Building, and other very prominent buildings in the Washington D.C. area.
When you look down at the entry way of the building from the top, you will see a very big Masonic Square and Compass that faces the front entry way. If you look closely in the picture above you will see another area in front of an AmTrak train station that has a memorial built. The staff of George Washington Memorial informed me that this used to be a part of the property, but was later donated to build a WWI memorial, which can be viewed in the picture, as well as, on the street level.
All the way back down to the ground level floors are several Lodge rooms, auditoriums, and offices. The Lodge room pictured above is just one of the Lodge rooms in the building. An interesting sight to see is the second floor of the Lodge room along both sides of the building.
A walk outside the front doors, down the stairs, and after a series of winding walkways to the front of the building is a tree that was dedicated by the Brethren of Conejo Valley Lodge #807 in 2011. In a picture below is the Japanese Snowball that was donated that year, and the plaque below is at the foot of the tree to mark that special dedication.
There are several ways to support the George Washington Masonic National Memorial including visiting the memorial, learning more about Freemasonry and American history, and donating to preserve the memorial. Click the button below to learn more about all the different ways you can support the George Washington Memorial.