Alabama’s largest fraternal organization is celebrating its 200th birthday this weekend.
The Freemasons of Alabama have nearly 300 lodges and more than 25,000 members in the Yellowhammer state. The group was founded in 1821 in Alabama’s first capital of Cahawba.
Teddy Grogan is the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Alabama. He said freemasons have been politically and civically active since their founding.
“Most of the men that formed the state of Alabama were masons, just like most of the men that formed the government of the United States of America were masons," he said. "Through the years, we’ve had governors, senators.”
Grogan said the organization provides its members with a statewide network that continues to this day.
“I know men all over this state, and because of my position here, all over the Southeast, and some nationally, men that I wouldn’t have ever met if I hadn’t been a mason, and they’re some of my best friends in the world now," he said. "We enjoy the fellowship, the meetings and trying to help people.”
The Grand Lodge of Alabama will celebrate its bicentennial at Old Cahawba Archaeological Park near Selma. They’ll place a historical marker at the site of their first lodge in the state.