Washington’s 1792 Visit to Poughkeepsie

Remembering George Washington’s 1782 visit to the local Masonic Lodge on Market Street

February 22, 2020 marks both the 288th birthday of George Washington and the 125th anniversary of the elaborate dedication ceremonies of the new Masonic Temple on Cannon Street, now known as Revel32. Among the gifts at the dedication ceremonies was a medal noting the December 27, 1792 visit of General Washington. At the time of Washington’s visit, the Masonic Temple was located in the home of Grand Master Lewis Dubois, just north of today’s Bardavon Theater. The medal was a gift of Helmus W. Barrett (1846—1932) who was born in Clinton House at 549 Main St. He was a founder and life-long Director of the First National Bank. For 17 years he was an active member of the Board of Education, giving gifts to local schools, for example, of portraits of Washington and Lincoln.

Helmus W. Barrett (1846—1932), a founder and life-long Director of the First National Bank of Poughkeepsie, and for 17 years a member of the local Board of Education, gave the gift of this commemorative medal. DCHS Masonic Collection. Gift of Jim & Gina Sullivan, 2019.

The new Masonic Temple at 32 Cannon Street dedicated February 22, 1895,  involved a significant enlargement of the 1854 Methodist Church on the site (above, left image from the 1905 Eagle’s History of Poughkeepsie, see page 146 below). The Temple retained the main elements of the church’s facade.

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