The Central #6 Masonic Temple was built in the 1862-64 time frame. The Eureka Street level, where Ermel’s Thrift Store is located, was designed to be retail space. Ermel’s is operated by St. James Methodist Church and serves as the Gilpin County thrift store. Ermel’s has been located in our building for more than 25 years. We also support Ermel’s with quarterly donations of clothing, household goods, toys and tools in partnership with the Clear Creek County Veterans Coalition.
The Weekly Register-Call print shop and business office occupy the back half of the second floor. The press, linotype machines and printing/folding equipment were all brought from Ohio in 1864 by train and freight wagon by DC Collier, a member of Central #6 and the man who built the Masonic Temple. Brother Collier was an attorney and friend of Henry Teller, but really wanted to be a newspaper journalist. He came to Central City in April or May of 1859 and built his house directly across East 1st High Street from the Lodge building. His home is believed to be the oldest residential building in Central City and is now owned by the Central City Opera Association. Cast and crew members of the Opera stay there during the Opera season.
The second floor of the Temple also includes the “Parlor Room”, leased to the Peak-to-Peak Players, the Gilpin County community theater group. The furniture is on loan from the Teller House and is from the 1870’s. The Peak-to-Peak Players restored this room to its original beauty. Central #6 is proud to be supportive of the arts in Gilpin County, especially for the younger folks that are involved with the Peak-to-Peak Players. The high arched windows look out onto Eureka Street at the Teller House, celebrating its 150-year anniversary this summer with an impressive display of memorabilia.
The Tiler’s Room and the entryway to the Lodge Room had a major makeover. When we pulled back the old stained carpet, we discovered the original 1864 floor and were able to restore it to its early-day splendor. We did a lot of painting and cleanup and the visual appeal to the entry of the Lodge increased greatly.
The dining room and kitchen improvements are our most recent work. Remember this rickety old table that is now as good as new? Lots of Howard’s Feed-n-Wax and elbow grease returned the table top to like-new and new casters and reinforcing the legs has made the table great once again. New LED lights have brightened the entire room.
We re-finished the original 1864 floors, painted, preserved the 1864 wallpaper behind the stove and the sink, added a new range and dishwasher, and re-purposed the old sink cabinet into a serving counter.
Across Eureka Street from the Lodge is the Teller House, built in 1872 by Past Grand Master Henry Teller. The Teller House is having a 150-year celebration this summer and we will be given private tours of Henry Teller’s Suite at our August 28 celebration. This is the reception area, with his desk on the left.