Star in the East Lodge  - A brief history Established in 1860, Star in the East Lodge #33 has a rich history of Freemasonry in Owatonna, MN. In 2010, the Lodge members celebrated its Sesquicentennial with a 150th year celebration at the Owatonna Arts Center in the West Hills Complex.     Stained glass window in balcony of Lodge room. The Beginning Owatonna became a city in 1854, and Freemasons were among the earliest residents. Several area men petitioned the Grand Lodge of Minnesota to charter a Lodge in Owatonna. Dispensation was granted on November 20th, 1859. The first meeting was held on December 16th, 1859. Some notable Freemasons from Owatonna that attented that meeting were Samuel C. Williamson, Eli M. Morehouse, John Kelso, W.F. Pettit, Thomas Thompson, David Lindesmith, H.S. Jones and Addison Phelps. The charter for the Lodge was received on October 24th, 1860. In the state of Minnesota, Lodges are numbered in the order that they are chartered, so that is why Star in the East has the honor of being numbered #33.     Early Locations of Star in the East Lodge The Lodge was originally located in a room at “Morehouse Hall” located on the site of the current fire hall station. The Lodge members met there for one more year and then moved to the upper floor of Morford’s Hall until 1866.The members then moved to Morford’s new Hall which was the Masonic building until 1874; afterwards, when Dresser’s Hall became available , which was located on the third story of the Farmers National Bank became the Lodge building for all Masonic bodies for the next 28 years. Next, was the third floor of the Kelly block on Bridge Street became our home from 1903 until 1931. Interestingly, the members of the lodge at the time gave a down payment to the Owatonna school board to purchase the old Court House property on East Main Street in 1925, but sale for the property was never completed. In 1931, the members of the Lodge moved into the Metropolitan Opera House which was later named the Roxy Theatre. In 1960, Star in the East bought the St. Lutheran Church on South Oak where we are still located to this day.   Prominent Masons in Owatonna Many of the builders of Owatonna were members of Star in the East Lodge. We currently have a portrait of every past master displayed proudly in the Lodge (we are missing two from the 1800’s). Names like Kinyon, Morford, Lewis, Holden,Dodge, Burlingame, Wheelock, Chadwick, Schafer, Pinkham, Brown, Dinsmore, Mork, Adair, Partridge, Nelson, Conklin, McCrady, Morehouse, Pettit, Phelps and Hartle. These names are still familiar to many from early days to modern times. The Names of current members of the lodge will also go down in history as men who contributed to the betterment of Owatonna’s community.