The White House stone given to the Grand Lodge of California by U.S. President Harry Truman has recently returned to the Henry Wilson Coil Library and Museum of Freemasonry.
The historic item had been on display for two years at the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Washington, D.C.
In 1945, when Truman entered office, it became clear that the White House required major structural repairs. The presidential home was so damaged that builders were only able to retain its facade and some of the stones from the original foundation.
During a tour of the construction site, Truman, a Freemason himself, identified Masonic markings on a pile of discarded stones. These stones revealed the history of the men who built the White House in the early days of America – skilled stonemasons from the Lodge of Journeymen Masons No. 8 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Truman contacted the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia and arranged for more than 100 stones to be delivered to its headquarters. In 1952, to honor Masonic contributions towards White House construction, Truman asked the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia to send one of the marked stones to every Grand Lodge in the U.S.
Affixed with a small White House brass plaque, each stone was accompanied by a letter to each state’s grand master from President Truman.
To view photos of California’s stone and letter, please visit the Museum’s online archive.
Photo: Stone from the original construction of the White House, affixed with a White House emblem, given to California Grand Lodge by U.S. President Harry Truman – a Freemason – in 1952.