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Cornerstone Masonic Historical Society

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Historical Organizations, History Museums

Mission: To promote and encourage public awareness, study, research, and appreciation of the history of the village of Monroe, NY and of the historically distinguished residents of the area, particularly those from late 1790 through the Civil War. To illustrate the social influence and the contributions of the Free and Accepted Masons in Orange County, NY. To preserve and maintain historic structures, including the McGarrah Stagecoach Inn, artifacts, materials, books, fine art, and similar items.

Results: Major Activities of CMHS During 2013: - Installed roadside marker along Stage Rd. - Began working restoring bedrooms - Continued airplane renewal - Co-sponsored Civil War general memorial - Held Pancake Breakfast - Coordinated ghost investigation groups - Participated in Cheese Festival - Organized/held silent auction - Completed landscaping of front - Cooperated with raffle/spaghetti dinner - Arranged Haunted House presentation with Linda Zimmerman lecture - Planned Wallkill Scholl/Hudson River School of art lecture and show - Schedule Bill Beale - WSPK "Woodman in Morning" broadcast from building - Met with Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney & State Senator Larkin - Implemented placement of building on historical marker registry & website of historical markers

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Board Member

Rating: 5

CMHS is now planning a "Grand Opening" for late spring or as soon as the snow melts!! We invite you to watch the newspapers for announcements of the opening of the Museum dedicated to local Monroe history, architecture, & Masonic history. In addition, McGarrahs Stagecoach Inn & Museum is available for use for private parties, both inside the building and on the grounds for corporate & family picnics. Drop by and see us on the first, second and fourth Wednesdays of the month about 6:30 PM. Ask to speak to a trustee of the historical society.

Previous Stories


Rating: 5

The CMHS is a dedicated group of young men and woman who took on a huge job of renewing the McGarrah Stagecoach Inn, 300 Stage Rd, in Monroe, NY. What great job they did in 2011! Drive by, walk in, on the first Wed. of the month at 6 PM and take a look around. Ask how you can help with the reconstruction of the building and serve the town of Monroe. Community service projects are going to be even better in 2012.

Clifton P.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

The Cornerstone Masonic Historical Society has done a wonderful service to Monroe and a wonderful job rescuing and restoring the McGarrah's Inn - Bravo!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Before I ever became associated with the society, let alone a board member, I was intrigued by the architecture and age of the house. Although new to the Monroe area at the time, having grown up in New England, both myself and my wife have an appreciation for the quality of craftsmanship, one that McGarrah’s Inn (as the building is known by its membership) still retains.

The fact that it also home to one of the oldest Masonic lodge rooms in the country makes this already unique home even more intriguing. Obviously, my initial intrigue has blossomed into something far deeper. I am honored to be a board member of this fine organization, and can say unequivocally that our core members, many of whom are on the board of directors, always go above and beyond in order to protect and promote the character of the building.

It should be mentioned that our board serves on an all volunteer basis, and consists of part time volunteers who give a full time effort. Our ranks our varied and include knowledge trades people, professionals from the field of historic preservation, established administrators, and engineers. Such a wide diversity of skills and backgrounds has been instrumental in our success in the painstaking process of persevering and maintaining what is both an active meeting place and a historic homesite.

A common misconception that we are actively working on dispelling is that you need to be a Mason to be a member of our historical society. Although proud of our unique Masonic heritage, we also celebrate the non-Masonic role that our building has served the community over the years, from as stagecoach inn to a sanatorium to a private residence for notable historical figures. Thus we welcome our ranks to anyone with a love of history and buildings of character, and appreciate your support, both past, present and future. For more information on membership or how you can help, feel free to contact us – we’d love to hear from you.


Rating: 4

Cornerstone Masonic Historical Society has hosted many events, and I have attended and even helped out at a few. The people at the building have always welcomed me into the house and what an amazing house it is at 300 Stage Rd. Monroe, NY. I look forward to the upcoming Pancake Festival and events to come. I always leave feeling good about being there. Thanks for your hospitality and making me feel welcome. Hope I can help at another event.



Rating: 5

McGarrah's Stagecoach Inn was built around 1799. It was an Inn under John McGarrah and then Mr. Goff for almost 100 years. The third set of owners was the Hulse family, one of them Fredrick, was the Mayor of Monroe, NY and was a prosecutor on the Nuremberg trials. The Historic Society purchased the building as a foreclosure from a bank barely beating out a neighboring car dealership who wanted to tear it down and turn it into a parking lot. There are so many original elements left in the building from crisp moldings, hand carved fireplaces, an amazing cantilever staircase to the oldest Free Masonry Lodge room in the state of NY and the 3rd oldest on the USA. It is a gem in the rough and a proud part of Historic down town Monroe.