Lodge member looks into building history

Published 7:00 am Thursday, August 1, 2019

Charles Manberg, a member of Moses Cook Lodge #111, is trying to solve a historical mystery of where the lodge was located for 17 years of it’s existence during the late 1800s.

The Lodge was founded in Gainsville by probate judge Moses Cook in 1850, Manberg said, and remained there until 1886.

A newspaper article by Lt. Col. John Napier published in the 70s claims the Lodge moved to Nicholson before it came to Picayune in 1903, but Manberg is looking for a source to verify the Lodge’s existence in Nicholson.

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Lodge buildings are always two stories, Manberg said and he does not know of any two-story buildings in Nicholson that could have been a previous location.

Gainsville was a bustling town when the Lodge was founded, because of its sawmills and waterways, Manberg said. However, when railroads were built in this area, the Gainsville population declined and places like Picayune and Nicholson flourished. Manberg believes that may be why the Lodge changed locations.

He hopes to find someone who has documentation of a Nicholson address for the lodge.

“I know people can’t be alive when all that happened, but maybe their grandparents were and they still have records I could use,” Manberg said.

Manberg wants to uncover the building’s history to honor and celebrate the Lodge’s founder, he said.

“We’ve been enjoying the fruits of the Lodge for years and years, so I think it’s important to record him as being the key factor in starting the Lodge in the first place,” Manberg said.

Anyone with information that could help Manberg’s historical research can call him at 769-926-1002, or send an email to chas8377@att.net.01