Carter County Commission considers purchase of Dashiell Masonic Lodge for archives

Published 9:53 am Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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By Robert Sorrell
Star Correspondent
The Carter County Commission is expected to consider the purchase of the Dashiell Masonic Lodge near downtown Elizabethton for archives space.
On Monday, the Budget Committee unanimously approved a plan to purchase the property on Doe Avenue. The Dashiell Lodge No. 238 of the Free and Accepted Masons has been at the property since 1922.
The full commission will consider the purchase at its meeting on Feb. 20. The meeting is being held on Tuesday, instead of Monday, due to the Presidents’ Day holiday.
The Carter County Records Committee has been searching for an appropriate site for several years. The county is required to hold records, but in recent years, documents have been stored in various locations. The archives would house documents from several departments, including the circuit court clerk’s office.
Last year, the county learned members of the Dashiell Lodge were interested in downsizing. In August, the commission gave County Mayor Patty Woodby approval to pay for an appraisal of the property, which is required when the county considers buying property.
If the commission approves the purchase, the lodge’s members must give final approval.
County Historian Lisa Germaine previously told commissioners that the one-level, approximately 10,000-square-foot building would be an ideal location for the archives. She said some renovations will be necessary, which could include new walls and a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system.
The lodge was first organized in 1845 at the old courthouse, according to an Elizabethton Star article from 1939. It said the present lodge building was erected in 1922 at a cost of $23,000 during the mastership of Fred Wetzel. The building committee was Maj. C.R. Hathaway, F.W. Wetzel, E.H. Holly, E.L. Edens, and Lill Pierce, the article states.
The Dashiell Lodge property consists of two parcels, according to tax records.

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