The story of Oshkosh Lodge #27 F & AM dates back to December 1849 when it was granted a charter. Since then a number of buildings have housed the organization over the years, each larger than its predecessor. By 1923, there were two Masonic Lodges and two York Rite bodies, with a total membership around 1000, plus an Eastern Star chapter and youth groups. That fall, land on the corner of Washington and Mount Vernon was purchased. The architectural firm of Auler and Jensen designed the building. The cornerstone was laid August 16, 1924 and the building was completed by January 1926, although formal dedication was postponed until May to allow a more extensive ceremony with a parade, banquet and open house.
The Historic Oshkosh Masonic Temple is 91 by 94 feet, and includes a full basement with a kitchen and dining rooms able to seat 600. The first floor held a lounge, billiards room (now the Lincoln Room), card room and offices, while the second floor was a large 2-story ballroom, with a stage at the east end and a balcony at mezzanine level which now houses the York Rite Library & Museum. The upper two floors, house Oshkosh Lodge #27 F & AM and are used for official lodge purposes, are ornately decorated with classical and Masonic symbols.
In June 2017, The Historic Masonic Temple became part of The Washington Avenue Neoclassical Historic District and is now part of the National Register of Historic Places.
FUN FACT: In the Spring of 2008, the exterior of the Masonic Temple was used to portray a bank building in the motion picture Public Enemies.