Polk County High School was recently the recipient of a generous gift from the local Freemasons. The Freemasons of Polk County, specifically from Unity Lodge No. 482, presented the school with a large, color, framed, and matted print of George Washington in his Masonic attire on Wednesday, May 3. The illustration honors Washington’s connections to the Masonic tradition.
Master Mason Jim Steckel views this as a valuable opportunity to introduce young men to Freemasonry, which they may choose to explore further in the future. The Grand Lodge of South Carolina has been offering such prints to their lodges to be gifted to nearby high schools. Unity Lodge in Polk County decided to continue this practice in North Carolina, covering the cost of the artwork. Steckel then reached out to Michelle Bean, the principal of Polk County High School, who welcomed the idea.
Bean expressed her gratitude for the gift, saying, “I think it’s a wonderful idea, and we’re just grateful that they want to put it here.” She invited the AP History students and their teacher to participate in the dedication of the artwork. She believes that the addition of print will enrich the school, particularly because the students have been studying related topics throughout the year.
Freemasonry has a long history in the state, with the first recorded activities dating back to the Wilmington and New Bern regions in the early 1750s. George Washington himself became a Freemason in 1752 in Fredericksburg, VA when he was just 20 years old.