Naval Lodge Interior Photo: Naval Lodge No. 4

The Old Naval Lodge and Freemasonry in Washington, D.C.

April 20, 2010
On April 20, 2010, National Park Service historian Gary Scott presented an account of the role of Freemasonry in Washington’s history, with a particular focus on the Naval Lodge itself, where the lecture was held.

A long time tour leader for Smithsonian Associates, Scott explored the history and iconography of the lodge at 4th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue S.E. The lodge was founded in 1805 by officers and workers at the Navy Yard and went on to became a major institution in the Capitol Hill community. The Lodge moved to its present location at the end of the nineteenth century. In addition to recounting the institution’s history, Scott offered explanations of the symbols and murals adorning the lodge’s Egyptian revival style meeting hall, which was built in 1895. Scott also discussed the extensive Masonic involvement in the building of Washington, including the White House and the Capitol.

Scott further offered a touching remembrance of our project’s namesake, Ruth Ann Overbeck, who took a keen interest in the Naval Lodge’s history and conducted oral history interviews with a number of its older members.

A longtime resident of Capitol Hill, Scott has served as Regional Historian, National Capital Region, for the National Park Service since 1976. He has been a DC Mason since 1975 and served as Worshipful Master of the Naval Lodge in 1996.

Past Lectures