History of Charles M. Howell Lodge No. 496
On Thursday afternoon, August 17th, A.L. 5871, A.D. 1871, a special meeting of the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania was held at Safe Harbor, Pennsylvania, for the purpose of constituting a new Lodge of Free Masons to be known as Charles M. Howell Lodge #496. The Lodge was named in honor of the then District Deputy Grand Master Charles M. Howell.
The Lodge originally met in the building owned by the Conestoga Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Safe Harbor holding its first stated meeting on August 24, 1871.
In September of 1899 the members of Charles M. Howell voted unanimously to move from Safe Harbor to Millersville and after contacting the District Deputy Grand Master they did just that in November of 1899. They secured space in Warfel’s Hall (later known as Rettew Store), which at the time served as a meeting place for the International Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, and the Patriotic Order Sons of America. This large number of organizations all meeting in the same location caused the Lodge to begin the search for property of its own.
In January, 1906, the Lodge purchased a building lot for $700 on the Main Street of Millersville (now called Frederick Street). On Tuesday September 1, 1908 the cornerstone was laid for the new meeting hall. Construction was completed in time for the December 4, 1908 stated meeting. The Lodge has resided there ever since.
The members of Charles M. Howell Lodge No. 496 have served the community of Millersville and its surrounding communities for nearly 150 years. It members have included men of character from all walks of life committed to making the world around them a better place.