It still stands at Union and Buffalo Streets, but the old Masonic Lodge is a bit more claustrophobic amid the buildings of Elderwood’s Assisted Living at Hamburg facility.
The cornerstone for the building was laid in 1926, part of realizing “a dream cherished for decades” by the Masons of Fraternal Lodge No. 625, first established in 1867.
There were 650 Masons in the lodge in the 1970s, but as membership dwindled, the lodge was sold to Elderwood Affiliates in 1996.
As Elderwood expanded the grounds from 14,000-square-feet to 62,000-square-feet in 1998 to help make room for 76 residential assisted living apartments, a time capsule was discovered dating back to the original cornerstone laying.
The paper items inside the rough-hewn copper box were brittle, but among the details that could be read from the 1926 newspaper: Coal was $14 a ton, an overnight cruise from Buffalo to Cleveland was $5.50 and a new car was $995.
Fourth-graders at Union Pleasant Avenue School planned and collected items for the replacement time capsule, which included late ’90s treasures like a Beanie Baby, Gameboy video game, a TV Guide discussing the last episode of Seinfeld, and a bag of microwave popcorn.