Masonic Garden to be rededicated during service at Fort Steuben Burial Estates

Restoration work done on the grounds at the Masonic section at Fort Steuben Burial Estates in Wintersville will be celebrated during a rededication ceremony set for 4 p.m. Saturday. It is open to the public. -- Contributed

WINTERSVILLE — The deputy for Ohio, Illustrious and Most Worshipful Douglas Kaylor and the Grand Line of Ohio will be at Fort Steuben Burial Estates in Wintersville on Saturday for a 4 p.m. ceremony of rededication for the Mason section of the cemetery.

The Masonic section had fallen into a state of decay over a period of time with the monuments crumbling and in danger of being lost, a spokesperson noted.

The condition was brought to Kaylor’s attention by a fellow Mason from Toronto, resulting in Kaylor contacting the Valley of Steubenville through his representative, Illustrious Edsel Emery.

In 2018 and 2019, the Valley of Steubenville coordinated and helped finance the restoration of the grounds with materials donated and work crews organized. Led by Master craftsman Michael DiLeonardo, a team of Freemasons from throughout Jefferson County “performed a magnificent labor of love and restored the monuments to their former glory,” the spokesperson noted.

In addition to DiLeonardo, other individuals who assisted with the project were Wayne Fulmer, Tom Hunter, Ronald Callahan, Dennis Chapman, Tim Walters, Jason Gorney, Ken Gilcrest, Jim Gilday, Tom McNeil, Damien Williamson, Dave Cesaro, Brian Cooley, Chris McClain, Scott Pasco, Rich Purks, Willie Pierce, Shane Marker and Bill Moore.

“The altar now has a beautiful brick band, a true poured cement surface and is graced by an engraved black marble Bible,” the spokesperson explained.

All three chairs have been restored and repainted. A cast bronze plaque will be unveiled at the altar as part of Saturday’s rededication ceremony.

The estimated cost of the restoration was $2,000, an expense shared among blue lodges Jenkins No. 471, Pilgrim No. 691, Steubenville No. 45, Smithfield No. 182, Toronto No. 583, Unionport No. 333 and the Valley of Steubenville Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite.

Most Worshipful Jess N. Raines, Grand Master of Ohio, and the Grand Line will perform a Masonic ceremony of reconsecration at the altar at the conclusion of a brief program.

The officers of the Valley of Steubenville, the Worshipful Masters of all lodges in Jefferson County and the project workmen will all be recognized.

Anyone is welcome to attend the ceremony.