The lot where the Masonic Lodge now stands on Main Street in downtown Dallas was once the place where residents went to do business.
The original brick structure was built by Erastus Guile out of bricks that were made locally at a property on Confederate Avenue across from its intersection with Polk Street. It was accepted by Paulding County in 1853, and it was used as the county’s courthouse until 1892, when the historic courthouse across the street on the Dallas Square was built.
The Dallas Masonic Lodge was chartered in 1853, and they used a building across Memorial Drive from what is now Dallas City Hall—where Georgia Highlands currently has a building—for their meetings. But in 1892 when the county began using the new courthouse, the Masonic Lodge purchased the original courthouse building, using the upstairs for their meetings and renting out the first floor to various people. In 1905, the building at the Masonic Lodge’s first location was torn down.
In 1924, the building burned. At the time, the bottom floor was being rented out to Dr. W.H. Hansard, a dentist, and Col. A. J. Camp, who ran a law practice out of the downtown building. Paulding County Historian Jason Edwards said he doesn’t know what started the fire.
“There aren’t any (copies) of the (Dallas) New Era from when it happened,” Edwards said.
While some of the walls still stood, members of the Masonic Lodge completely rebuilt the structure. That work was completed the year following the fire. They continued to rent the downstairs space to various people for several years. For many years, it was used as the Dallas Post Office.
In the 1950’s, the post office was moved and, since then, the first floor has housed numerous offices and businesses. And, 60 years later, the first floor continues to be rented out to businesses.