A pin from the collection of the Iowa Masonic Library and Museums are seen at the lodge in Cedar Rapids Monday, June 10, 2019. The Iowa Masonic LIbrary and Museums is opening a new exhibit that features artefacts from their collection and highlights from 175 years of the fraternity in Iowa. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
(by The Gazette, June 12, 2019)
Iowa Masonic Library and Museums exhibit opening also marks Iowa Museums Week.
CEDAR RAPIDS — T.S. Parvin, the first grand secretary of what would become the Iowa Masonic Library and Museums, died in 1901. However, the makers of his headstone carved an “18–” in anticipation of an earlier year of death. Those who view Parvin’s headstone can see that a tail was added to the eight to correct the mistake, forming a hybrid number on the stone.
Historical documents, photos and items are on display at the Iowa Masonic Library and Museums, 813 First Ave. SE, to celebrate 175 years of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, the organization of Freemasons in the state. Items like Parvin’s headstone and more can be perused in a temporary exhibit called “The Grand Lodge of Iowa, 1844-2019: 175 Years of Masonic Light,” which opened Monday at the start of Iowa Museums Week.
Bill Kreuger, librarian and curator at the Iowa Masonic Library and Museums, curated the exhibit. He gathered all of the information and pieces from the library and museum’s existing collection.
“It’s similar to the Library of Congress, but it’s Masonic in nature,” he said.
The museum is typically open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., but Kreuger said doors also will be open to the public this Saturday from about 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for Iowa Museums Week. The new exhibit will be on display until…