Our Lodge and its history in East Stroudsburg

A Digital Walking Tour

 

As it has been told from Brother Boyd Butz, PM, J. Simpson Africa Lodge originally held their first meetings at 95 Crystal Street, East Stroudsburg, above what was the old Security Bank, which now LizTech and currently an empty retail space; across from Sidetracks Restaurant.

 

LizTech makes handmade jewelry designed by Jill Elizabeth. The Liztech’s store is a blend unique their jewelry, furniture, and home decor. Visit the Web site www.Liztech.com, which has the current designs for sale along with a gallery of all of the past designs.

After the sale of the building JSA moved into this building at

585 Main Street in Stroudsburg, owned by Barger Lodge #325. Both lodges met in this building until it was sold 1998.

 

Like the old J Simpson Africa Lodge on Washington street, the Barger building, on Main Street in Stroudsburg still stands today much like it did when both Lodges occupied it, proudly housing its new owner: Dunkelberger’s Sports Outfitter. 

 

They started as a one-man shop on North 6th Street in Stroudsburg, PA, February 18, 1972. Jere Dunkelberger offered the local (and not so local) anglers and hunters the necessities that they needed. As the business developed, Dunkelbergers acquired many brand named products that in the region, and are exclusive to the store. Two moves and many years later Dunkelberger’s set up shop in the former Barger building, where they currently remain. Here is a recent close up shot by Bro Kenny Foulkes Secretary showing the brickwork and the Masonic emblem still there.

J. Simpson Africa Lodge then built its own lodge building at the corner of Main and Washington streets in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. J  Simpson Africa held its meetings in this until the building was sold in 1983 due to the need of major repairs and unreliable rental income at the time.  The old lodge building is still stands today in down town East Stroudsburg, looking much like this photo housing its new owner, Frazetta's Fantasy Costumes.

 

Owner Bill Frazetta opened up Frazetta's Fantasy Corner , now Frasetta;s Costumes, twenty-three years ago. Enjoying entertaining people since an early age and always having a love of Halloween, Frazetta seemed to be a natural in this type of business. Frazetta also credits his father, famous fantasy illustrator Frank Frazetta for inspiring him. His father had a documentary recently released on the Independent Film Channel. Growing up with these influences at an early age is what encouraged Bill Frazetta's visions of this specialty store.

 

Frank Frazetta (born February 9, 1928) is one of the world's most influential fantasy and science fiction artists. He is one of the most emulated artists of these genres in the world. Some of his works are:  Conan the Barbarian, Dark Kingdom, The Death Dealer, Egyptian Queen, Man Spider, The Silver Warrior, and Snow Giants.

In 1998 when the Barger Lodge building was sold, a resolution was drawn up for both lodges to build a new lodge, that was ADA compliant, had central heating and air conditioning, and was one level to meet the needs of our older Masonic Brothers.

 

The new lodge was to be built on donated land at 900 Rimrock road in Bartonsville, PA. With a Stroudsburg's Mailing address.  The building was to have central heat, and Air conditioning, a larger dining space to house 100 people.  The new lodge building was named, The Rimrock Masonic Center, and is to be run democratically in the spirit of cooperation that surround all Masons.

Marvin A. Cunningham, Sr., R.W. Senior Grand Warden (second from left, the above pictures) pours the wine during the ceremonial

cornerstone-laying ceremony for the new Rimrock Masonic Center and the dedication of the lodge room June 19

by R.W. Grand Master James L. Ernette (left at lectern) and the officers of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.

 

There was a large attendance by members of the lodges, appendant bodies, and ladies' organizations who would be meeting in the new Lodge building. The Rimrock Masonic Center is current home for;

 

 Barger Lodge No. 325

J. Simpson Africa Lodge No. 628

Gideon Lodge No. 145, Prince Hall Affiliate

Monroe Royal Arch Chapter No. 281

Samuel S. Yohe Commander No. 81

Pocono Forest No. 124 Tall Cedars of Lebanon

The Order of the Eastern Star Chapter No. 99

Dorothy Lim Memorial Court No. 110, Order of the Amaranth. 

 

It also houses the 50th Masonic District School of instruction, and for a while The Pocono Mountain DeMolay Chapter (Now closed).  For more information on the above Lodges and Chapters, click on the button below.

© 2019 by JSA628.org

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J. Simpson Africa Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, Lodge 628, 

is part of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania