Built as a roadhouse and store in 1817 near the bustling riverbanks of the Ohio in the growing city of Madison, Indiana, its claim to fame among Indiana Freemasons is the Birthplace of their Grand Lodge on January 13, 1818. The 200th anniversary of the Indiana Grand Lodge was January 12, 2018. To mark the importance of the Schofield House to Indiana Freemasons, and our veneration for it, the Grand Master makes an official visit each year to our Grand Lodge's birthplace and invites all of the Brethren to join him.
BECOME A MEMBER
Move your Charter for the Day and Confer a Degree & Make a Memory for a Lifetime
Freemasons in Indiana can become a member of Schofield Lodge, No. 1818 U.D.
PLAN A VISIT
Are you looking for the opportunity to stop by and visit this historic location? We are open to the public (reservation required.)
The Masonic Heritage Foundation
The Board of Directors of the Masonic Heritage Foundation, Inc are responsible for the maintenance of the Schofield House not only for maintaining the building today but also the fiscal responsibility for maintaining the building's future. The members of the Board of Directors are appointed by the Grand Lodge of Indiana and the Scottish Rite of Indianapolis, who are the owners of the Corporation and are as follows:
Carl Culmann PGM by the GL
David Westmeyer, PM by the GL
Cliff Carnes, PM by the GL
W. Dirk Rader, PM by the SR
Kent Watts, PM by the SR
The house, built circa 1815, is said to be the first two-story brick inn and tavern in Madison. The original ground floor was divided into a tavern room, a bedroom (now a parlor), and a kitchen (now a dining room). Upstairs were a meeting room and a sleeping, loft. Thus, the original house had space for business, eating and sleeping. The original bricks were made by hand in the back yard. The interior bricks were
sun-dried adobe, and the exterior bricks were kiln dried.
The predominately Federal Style house was built by William Robinson. There is good documentation, though, that Alexander and Drusilla Lanier, the parents of James F. D. Lanier, lived in the house and operated several businesses there. Alexander was raised and educated in North Carolina. He lived a time in Kentucky, having purchased considerable property. Unfortunately, he lost his estate through default of title, and moved to Ohio. He was a Major in the War of 1812 under William Henry Harrison, in charge of defenses in Northwestern Ohio. Shortly after the war, he brought his family to Madison. They came from Cincinnati and opened a business at the corner of 2nd and Jefferson Streets. Alexander was probably better known for his charity (he tended not to collect his bills) than his financial sense. It was his son, James, who went on to make the family fortune, after first taking a couple of years to settle his father's financial affairs.
The Masonic Schofield House is the birthplace of The Indiana Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons. When Indiana joined the Union as a state in 1816, Indiana Freemasons, then under the jurisdiction of Kentucky and Ohio, discussed forming their own Grand Lodge. On January 12-15, 1818, fourteen Masons representing nine lodges in Southern Indiana, convened in the upstairs meeting room to draft the constitution for the Grand Lodge of lndiana. Lodges represented were from Vincennes, Corydon, Salem, Charlestown, Madison, Vevay, Patriot, Rising Sun and Brookville.
In the early 20th Century, William Schofield acquired the house, and it stayed in his family until the 1970's. In 1972, the Scottish Rite Masons of Indiana purchased the house, which was in terrible disrepair, and instituted a total restoration. What you see today is mostly the result of that endeavor.
The Mission of the Masonic Heritage Foundation, Inc. which owns and operates the Schofield House is to preserve and protect this 1800's home as a living museum, which is the Birthplace of Freemasonry in the State of Indiana for all future generations of Masons.
The Vision of the Board of Directors is to enable Schofield House to serve actively, through public tours and private degree work by Masons from all over the Area, as the living embodiment of the Historic Birthplace of Freemasonry in Indiana allowing today's Mason to connect with his rich History in our State.