The Free Grants and Homestead Act opened up several Townships in the Muskoka-Parry Sound Districts in 1968. In the East Parry Sound District four townships were opened up to newcomers. Opened for settlement in this area were the townships of McMurrich, Perry, Ryerson and Armour; the latter two, being those townships surrounding Burks Falls.
Several brethren from the Burk’s Falls area were desirous in forming their own lodged in 1902. As a result, the first Organization Meeting was held on the 19th day of May, 1902. There were 13 members interested in forming a lodge and there were 21 visitors present at that meeting. The meeting was opened at 8:30 p.m. by R.W. Bro. H. Z. Barber, District Deputy Grand Master of Nipissing District #18, assisted by visiting brethren. The Officers of Corona Lodge were presented and organized in due form. The Lodge was closed in due form at 10:45 p.m. after many speeches and presentations. The brethren then retired to the Burk House for refreshments.
At a second meeting on June 2, 1902 three applications for initiation were received, followed by three more at the July 4th meeting. Dues were established at $3.00 per annum, the initiation fee was $25.00 with the affiliation fee set at $2.00.
The Charter was granted to Corona Lodge No. 454 at the Grand Lodge Communication in Windsor, Ontario on June 16-17, 1902. Accordingly, Corona Lodge was duly constituted and dedicated and the Officers of the new Lodge were installed on September 16, 1902. Grand Lodge was opened at 9:45 p.m. with M.W. Bro. John E. Harding presiding. The Lodge was dedicated, the Charter presented and the Lodge numbered 454 on the Grand Registry. The first Officers of Corona Lodge consisted of a number of leading citizens of the day who were proud to be associated with the new Lodge which had been formed on Burk’s Falls.
The original Burk’s Falls Masonic Temple was situated in the Wilson Block. It was swept by fire early in 1906. Temporary quarters were secured in the Burk’s Falls Court House until more regular quarters could be acquired. In 1911 the Lodge was moved above the original Fowler’s Store. The next move was in 1915 to the Sharpe Block where the village green is now located.
In November of 1951 a lease was signed with the Royal Canadian Legion to use their premises for Lodge meetings. These accommodations lasted until June 27, 1976 when the Legion building was sold. Appropriate accommodations were finally found at Algonquin Lodge #434 in Emsdale where the Lodge remained until 1980. Attending Lodge in Emsdale proved difficult for many brethren and in 1980 the Lodge found accommodations in the I.O.O.F. Hall in Burk’s Falls.
In 1972 a member of the Lodge and his wife donated some property at 26 Copland Street for a possible new home for Corona Lodge. It remained a dream until July 18, 1994 when ground was broken for the erection of a permanent home for Corona Lodge. The Lodge was completed by December of 1994.
The successful erection of a new Temple in ancient times was accomplished only by the skills, dedication and personal sacrifice of the many Freemasons who had a hand in its building. This is as true today as in the past and the brethren of Corona Lodge can be proud of their accomplishments. Due to their skills, dedication and personal sacrifices their dream of building their own lodge was fulfilled. The first regular meeting of Corona Lodge No. 454 was held in the newly completed Temple on January 15th, 1995,