Our Lodge’s History

We are the first and the oldest Masonic Lodge in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area.

In its earliest days the Lodge used upper rooms of the officers’ quarters in the original fort of Old Fort Smith for its meetings. This, and other, fort buildings were burned just before the outbreak of the Civil War.

Subsequent to that, attic rooms of the old St. Charles Hotel were used for lodge meetings. Later, rooms on the third floor of the Kennedy Building (predecessor of the Le Flore Hotel) at Sixth Street and Garrison Avenue served as homes for the Lodge.

On December 6, 1889 the Lodge dedicated its first truly Masonic home, the Baer Memorial Masonic Temple, at North 6th and C Streets. This building housed Belle Point as well as other Masonic bodies until it was destroyed by fire on September 4, 1919. Many records from the Lodge’s early history were lost in the fire.

In a showing of true fraternal spirit, the Knights of Pythias offered the Masons the use of their hall and equipment. The Lodge met there until a lease could be secured for the third floor of the Progress Club Building. The Lodge met at this location for the next two years.

In 1921 the Lodge purchased an existing building at North 8th and A Streets. After remodeling this location became home to Belle Point on December 27, 1921.

Belle Point and the other Masonic bodies in Fort Smith continued to grow as the town grew, and in February of 1928 the half-block site at North 11th and B Streets was purchased for the erection of a new Masonic Temple. On September 10, 1929 the current Masonic Temple was first used for meetings. It was officially dedicated by the Grand Lodge of Arkansas on September 16th of that same year.

Belle Point moved out of the Masonic Building in 2014,when it was sold and moved into their present building on South Zero Street.