Old Town Hall in Farmington Has Rich History

Learn more about Masons and their historic building at Farmington Road and Grand River.

The Old Town Hall in Farmington was once a center of government. Photo credit: Farmington Masons
The Old Town Hall in Farmington was once a center of government. Photo credit: Farmington Masons
You probably know the building in the northwest corner of Grand River and Farmington Road as the Masonic Hall. But while it is home to the Farmington Masonic Lodge, the building is also Farmington's former town hall. 

Below, Hal Groat shares a bit of the building's history, and information about the Masons: 

Where is Old Town Hall located?
23715 Farmington Road Farmington, Mi 48336

When was it founded?
December, 1876

Tell us how the Farmington Masons got started.
In 1863, twelve Masons who had moved to the Village of Farmington decided to Petition the Grand Lodge of Michigan requesting a Charter to form a Masonic Lodge. That Charter was granted on January 15th 1865 and it was named Farmington Masonic Lodge #151. They met on the second floor of the Dry Goods Store owed by a Mason (Oliver B. Smith).

In 1872, a fire destroyed the businesses on the north side of Grand River. Most of the Masons were the Founding Fathers of Farmington. It was decided to build a New Town Hall and the Masons contributed towards the cost to build for a perpetual Lease of the Second Floor. The design was for a two story brick building 30 feet by 60 feet ( the same dimensions as King Solomon's Temple) symbolic to Masons. The building was dedicated in December 1876.

In 1915, additional space was needed so an addition was added to the west end of the building identical to the original structure. The first floor was City and eventually Township offices, the Police department and Library. By 1963, the City and Township moved to their current locations and the Masons purchased the building from the City and Township.

Why was the location chosen?
The Village of Farmington was started along the Shiawassee Trail at Farmington Road. After Grand River (Old Plank Road) was constructed, businesses sprang up along the north side of Grand River. After the fire of 1872, a location for the new Town Hall was needed. A Blacksmith and Wagon Repair was on the north west corners of Farmington and Grand River. The Village Fathers purchased the 5/8 of a acre from Mrs. Collins for $800.

What do Masons offer?
The Masons are a Fraternal Organization dating back to 960 A.D. Four Lodges gathered in London, England in 1717 to form the First Grand Lodge of Masons. Records of their activities became standard practice and Governing Rules were established. The Masons are a service organization donating their time and money to help their members and their community. Their believe is in GOD, Family, Country and Community.

What do you want the Farmington Masons to be best known for?
An organization for men to become better men, sons, brothers, husbands and fathers.

How can people find out more about the Masons and Old Town Hall? 
Write to hal.groat@gmail.com


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