Looking Back: Black Masonic Nursing Home


On Labor Day of 1923, 25 acres and a 15-room private residence (1040 S. Main St.) near the south corporation line of Urbana was dedicated to become a home for aged members of the black Masonic fraternity. The home was enlarged to greatly increase the accommodations.

A circa 1925 photo (courtesy of Tim Carrig, collector of vintage cameras & curious photographs, Kenton, Ohio) shows residents on the front porch of the home. The Black Masonic Nursing Home operated here until the late 1950s.

On Sunday Aug. 14, 1927, the cornerstone for a new Eastern Star dormitory just south of the Black Masonic Home was laid. The cornerstone contained interesting documents and other items. The brick building to be completed later that year or early in the next year was to have 16 rooms and would become the official state home of the Masonic auxiliary of the Eastern Star. The completed building is shown in ca. 1930 photo. In 1948 this building served as the temporary location of the Champaign County Courthouse.


The Champaign County Historical Museum is a not-for-profit organization that depends upon donations and dues to preserve, protect, archive and display the artifacts that tell the Champaign County story. The free public museum located at 809 E. Lawn Ave., Urbana, is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Info from Champaign County Historical Society (CCHS).

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