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Gem of the Week: Grand Forks' Masonic Center

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GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - There's hundreds of years of history in a fixture of our downtown scene.

The Grand Forks Masonic Center houses the oldest fraternity the world has ever known.

William Sellers, Mason: “We are a society of secrets, but not a secret society.”

Some secrets behind artifacts, some stories literally behind some pictures.

The Masons have origins tracing back to the Renaissance Age. Originally, a group of stonemasons, they've evolved into a group of do-gooders.

Sellers: “You know, you can be a high class lawyer on the outside, you can be judge or whatever. But when you walk into this building, all that ceases. We're all men.”

This building has stood since 1913. The first Masonic Temple burned to the ground on Demers Avenue sometime after 1907. Now this place serves a multitude of purposes.

Meeting rooms, a theater, a museum, and a place to kick back to shoot some pool. All of this built on stones shaped more than one hundred years ago.

Sellers: “I mean it's still standing, with the tools that had back then, compared to the tools that we have today, and for this building to be solid that's amazing.

One of two temples in the state, it shelters the group that says their mission is to help good men be better, even though much of their philanthropy work may go unnoticed.

Sellers: “It's from the heart. It's not because, ‘oh, I want the fame and the glory, I did this.’”

In the room where they can just kick back, a reminder that there's people doing good all around the world.

Sellers: “I have a brother, anywhere in this world, I can go to it, if I need a helping hand, someone from one of these great nations will be there to help me.”


WDAZ wants to know about the special people, places, and things in your area. Send your ideas to or give us a call at (701) 775-2511 – they will be featured Thursdays at 6 on WDAZ.

Ryan Laughlin

Ryan Laughlin joins your home team from Minnetonka, Minnesota. Ryans journalism career started in high school. He was the sports editor of his high school newspaper. Then, at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire he made the jump into broadcasting. Ryan started a hunting and fishing show called, EC Outdoors on the student-run TV station. He is excited to be living in a town thats as enthusiastic about hockey as he is and likes to hunt and fish when he has time. Hes a die-hard Minnesota sports fan and is glad to be out of Packer country.

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