Taken from atop the Martings Building on Chillicothe Street, this photo captures the majesty of the Masonic Temple, which is offset by the plain red brick facade of the then new Montgomery Ward Department Store. The new and the old were frequently juxtaposed in Portsmouth in the 1960s, when color began to show up in the photographs of the Carl Ackerman Collection.
The Masons of the Aurora Lodge No. 48 trace their origins back nearly two hundred years to 1818, soon after the city’s incorporation. The Temple on Chillicothe Street was designed by Edward Musselman of Dayton, Ohio; its cornerstone was laid in November 1927; its construction was completed a year later for a total of $930,000.00, and its meeting rooms were dedicated in a private ceremony on Valentine’s Day, 1929.