In 1920, plans and construction commenced to build a series of grand complexes called the Masonic Home and Children’s Cottage. Throughout the years, these buildings were a combination poor-house, elder care, and orphanage for Master Masons and their families, before being bought and renovated by the McMenamins in the fall of 1999.
McMenamins Grand Lodge is set in Forest Grove on 13 acres of beautiful gardens and sweeping lawns that surrounds this majestic architecture, originally built as a Masonic Lodge. Welcoming gathering spaces abound, including sunny parlor rooms, an elegant auditorium and a cottage full of charming meeting rooms, accompanied by lush outdoor spaces extending the possibilities.
It is an impressive structure with Ionic columns, marble accents and French doors opening into gathering spaces filled with natural light, along with hardwood floors and cozy fireplaces. A variety of interesting characters once called the place home – Alice Meek Inkley, granddaughter of some of the first Oregon pioneers; WWII photographer Paul Shrock; and jeweler/wind chime craftsman Edwin Fish, to name just a few.
When the Masonic and Eastern Star Home relocated to a new facility in 1999, McMenamins leapt at the opportunity to infuse its lyrical sense into the Masons’ historic tradition. The buildings were given a creative and respectful renovation that enhanced their classic, original features and added some fun new twists.
Legends and stories began to circulate regarding the Grand Lodge being plagued by strange apparitions and occurrences. Staff and clientele have noted particular locations that have shown to have a consistent amount of paranormal or unexplained activity. Among these “hotspots” are a couple of the guest rooms in the main lodge— especially room 215, the second and third floor hallways, the Gift Shop, the Doctor’s Office Bar, the Equinox Meeting Room, the Billy Scott Meeting Room, and the Children’s Cottage.
Some of the more frequent paranormal complaints from staff and visitors alike have been the appearance of odd smells, locked doors unlocking themselves from the inside, cold spots, disembodied footsteps, the playful movement of objects from one location to another, knocking, whispering, laughing, and the distinct, uneasy feeling of being stalked by “presences.” Also witnessed by numerous people is the apparition of an elderly woman known as the “Lavender Lady”, as well as an elderly man and a doctor who plays tricks on people such as moving items. Other apparitions include fleeting glimpses of children-shaped shadows darting in and out of rooms in the Children’s Cottage. Apparitions are said to be seen mostly at night but in the basement they are common at any time of the day.
A portrait of an apparition seen by many employees is on prominent display in the 1922 Grand Lodge. The ghost is a white-haired woman in a print dress and slippers. One report says she bears a strong resemblance to Anna, a woman who lived in the building for many years. Be sure to read the “Ghost” log when you visit.
Our Investigators reserved rooms 115, 217 & 219. They investigated the surrounding grounds and the main Masonic Lodge building. Unfortunately the Children’s Cottage was kept locked during our investigation.
We will post our findings after reviewing the Audio and Video recordings.