Thanks to the original suggestion by lodge member, Denny Barlow, and the monetary donations from various individuals, the Newcomerstown Masonic Center now has a new elevator.

Gary Shryock, master of Lone Star Lodge 175, said the lodge now has the ability to provide access to the second level for their members that are physically unable to utilize the staircase. The second floor consists of the lodge's chapel room, and some older aged members are becoming less able to climb stairs. The elevator will also facilitate access for any new, prospective members that have physical inability to use the stairs.

Shryock said the monetary donations received for the project were generated through the kind monetary donations from many various individuals in the community, other lodges, and the Eastern Star Oriental Chapter 106. The lodge also had several fundraiser dinners that helped generate some of the donated funding.

The lodge members had a special dedication ceremony for the recently installed elevator on Oct. 22.

The Lone Star Lodge 175 of the Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio currently consists of approximately 150 members. The Newcomerstown lodge was chartered in 1849 and is located on N. Bridge Street. The lodge building was constructed in 1952. At one time, the lodge held their meetings in the St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Free Masonry is the world's oldest and largest fraternity. Each new prospective member must seek consideration in order to join, as the Masons do not recruit new members. Emphasis is placed on morality and good citizenship. Each member is required to practice the Christian faith, believing in God. Members are free to attend the church denomination of their choice. The Masons is also one of the county's most patriotic organizations, many members being proud veterans of the armed forces.

While the Lone Star Blue Lodge is only open to men, the Oriental Chapter 106, Order of the Eastern Star also shares the Newcomerstown Masonic Center. The Eastern Star is a family oriented organization that both a husband and wife can attend together.

The Masonic Center offers rental of their lodge's community room for family gatherings (graduation, birthday and wedding anniversary celebrations), community meetings and fundraiser dinners. The Masonic Center does not permit any alcohol, nor gambling activity on the premises.