On June 26, 1926 a group of 33 men, originally members of the Springwells Square Club, were granted dispensation by Most Worshipful Grand Master Charles A. Donaldson of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Michigan to meet, confer the three degrees of Masonry and eventually to form a new Masonic Lodge in the Village of Springwells.
Hotchkiss Hall on Schaefer Road was newly completed and became available for rental. These quarters were approved by the Grand Lodge of Michigan and permission was granted to begin work while under dispensation as Olive Branch Lodge, beginning June 15, 1926, with Brother Jack Elliott, formerly of Plain City Lodge #449 in Paducah, Kentucky as Acting Worshipful Master.
The Charter allowing Olive Branch to become a Lodge was granted by the Grand Lodge of Michigan on May 25, 1927.
The first officers to serve Olive Branch under the new charter were:
The first Worshipful Master of Olive Branch Lodge #542, Worshipful Brother Jack L. Elliott who served in 1926 and again in 1927.
• Worshipful Master Jack L. Elliott
• Senior Warden Samuel H. Watkins
• Junior Warden Glenn G. Keeling
All of the charter members have since passed on to the celestial Lodge above.
Worshipful Brother Jack Elliott was re-elected for the year 1927. Worshipful Brother Elliott was the only twice serving master of Olive Branch until Worshipful Brother Donald E. Buxton received that distinction by serving as Worshipful Master in 1990 and 1995, followed by Worshipful Brother Todd J. Harper who served as Worshipful Master in 2006 and 2009. Worshipful Brother Elliott, after serving two years as Master, was elected secretary and served in that capacity for 36 years until his death on March 20, 1963. More than any other individual, this dedicated Mason was responsible for the beginnings of the traditions which have made all of us so proud of our Olive Branch heritage.
Olive Branch Lodge continued to meet at Hotchkiss Hall until 1933. In 1933, the Lodge moved its’ Great Lights and Charter to the Dearborn Masonic Temple, where it met for 51 years until May of 1984. Olive Branch Lodge thrived during this period, becoming the second largest Lodge in the State of Michigan, reaching a peak of just over 1,600 members in 1971. Although there was a good Masonic relationship with the brother Lodges at the Dearborn Masonic Temple, it was generally felt by the brethren that a Lodge of our size and enthusiasm should have a home of its own.
On March 6, 1974, articles of incorporation were submitted to the State of Michigan, and filed by the State on March 14, 1974 forming an Olive Branch Masonic Temple Association. The stated purpose of the Association was to provide a building or buildings to be used for Masonic purposes.
In the fall of 1983, the Dearborn Odd Fellows Organization approached the association about purchasing their building at 1170 Mason Street. In January of 1984, the Grand Lodge of Michigan agreed that the building would be a suitable place for Olive Branch Lodge to meet. The lodge voted to move the Great Lights and the Charter, and the association closed on the building on March 16, 1984.
After six weeks of top to bottom renovations, the Lodge Room was dedicated for Masonic purposes by Most Worshipful Grand Master Russel C. Wells and the Grand Lodge of Michigan on May 12, 1984. The Gulley Road property was sold in April of 1986. In May 2014 we celebrated our 30th anniversary at the 1170 Mason Street location.
In the fall of 2018, Olive Branch Lodge moved the Great Lights and the Charter to our new home at Garden City Masonic Temple.