The History of John E. Mair Lodge No. 729

Who was John E. Mair?

The John E. Mair Lodge was chartered on March 5th, of 1924, right here in Mars, PA by our founder and local businessman John Ervin Mair. 

John Ervin Mair, was born in 1883 in Chicago, where he was still living in 1910, was an electrical engineer but with an interest in aeronautics sufficient to result in the construction of a home-made biplane, as recorded by the Chicago Daily News (August 30, 1910) and glass plate negatives preserved in the Chicago Historical Museum.

History (at least as recorded in the pages of the Daily News) is silent as to whether Mair's airplane ever flew or for that matter whether he managed to get it out of his back yard.

In any case, by 1920 Mair was in Emsworthy, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania, though during the interim he had passed some time in Ohio, for his son Earnest was born there around 1911. 

Past Masters Apron of Founder John E. Mair

The Mairs subsequently lived in Mars, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, where he worked for many years as an electrical engineer. (C/O OSU Knowledge Bank)Mair served as the first Worshipful Master of the lodge in 1924 and 1925.

Mair was president of the Crescent Sales Company, an electrical equipment sales firm, and president of the Play Time Equipment Company.

He was a Mars resident for 26 years. Mair served as Deputy Grand Master of the 54th District of Free and Accepted Masons of PA. He was also a member of the Syria Shrine, Masonic Veterans, the Pittsburgh Athletic Association and the Mars board of education. He was also active in the local Butler County Boy Scouts. 

John E. Mair died in September of 1949, but his legacy as a Freemason lives on in the lodge named after him. 

Our Lodge Building

The original John E. Mair Lodge building had outlived its usefulness and had fallen into disrepair by the 1970s. Meetings with heavy crowds were famously known to cause the floor to sag!

The trains which frequent the borough only a stone's throw away from the building would rattle the aging timbers.

Forward thinking members of the lodge decided to undertake a new building project to create a home for Mars Freemasons well into the future. 

John E. Mair New signage 2019

Beautiful New Signage

Our 2018, 2019, and 2020 Worshipful Master Eric did a fantastic job on creating new signage for our Lodge and installation with the help of his cousin and fellow Brother, Matt.

The new lettering and familiar square and compass help to let one and all recognize our place in Mars, PA. It was installed in April of 2019. 

What is Freemasonry?

(From Wikipedia) Freemasonry or Masonry consists of fraternal organizations that trace their origins to the local fraternities of stonemasons, which from the end of the fourteenth century regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their interaction with authorities and clients. The degrees of freemasonry retain the three grades of medieval craft guilds, those of Apprentice, Journeyman or fellow (now called Fellowcraft), and Master Mason. These are the degrees offered by Craft (or Blue Lodge) Freemasonry. Members of these organisations are known as Freemasons or Masons.

The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania has been the premier fraternal organization in PA for nearly more than 250 years.

What is a Masonic lodge?

Lodges of Freemasons can be found in nearly every sizable Pennsylvania city and town. #729 is our local Masonic Lodge.

(From Wikipedia)  "A Masonic lodge is the basic organizational unit of Freemasonry. It is also commonly used as a term for a building in which such a unit meets. Every new lodge must be warranted or chartered by a Grand Lodge, but is subject to its direction only in enforcing the published constitution of the jurisdiction.

Freemasons gather together as a Lodge to work the three basic Degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason.

Interested in learning more about becoming a Mason in our lodge?

Please visit the Pennsylvania Grand to find out more: