Opening Knight: Pythian Cornerstone Is Laid

On December 5, 1901 the cornerstone of the second Knights of Pythias lodge hall was laid at Main and 3rd streets.

This is the first hall, built in 1881 at the same location. The original suit of armor—nicknamed “St. George”—can be seen in the corner niche. At some point in time St. George lost his right “hand” to gunfire, possibly administered by rowdy cowboys.

The current St. George is a replica that was made when the second building was restored in 1981.

The cornerstone of the first building boasts that it was the first Pythian temple ever built, although it certainly was not the first Pythian building.

pythias cornerstone sanguinet

In 1899 the two local Knights of Pythias lodges had announced plans to replace the 1881 building.

This is the 1901 sketch of the second building by architects Sanguinet and Staats.

In the 1970s Haltom’s jewelry store moved into the building.

The new building opened on May 19, 1902. The fraternal organization was founded in Washington, D.C., in 1864. Pythias was a figure in Greek legend who exemplified friendship.

Some views:

window pythiaspythias column ionicwindow pythias2glass pythiasglass pythias gables

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2 Responses to Opening Knight: Pythian Cornerstone Is Laid

  1. Steve A says:

    How can they make that claim when the K of P Building in Virginia City was built in 1876 and still stands? Perhaps there is some difference between a building, a castle, and a temple that escapes me.

    • hometown says:

      I wondered about that, which is why I attributed the claim. Because so many lodges rented space in their halls–retail, etc.–I wondered if this one was built with no such intention (although I know the replacement hall was used by outsiders, including non-Pythian lodges). Or, as you say, the key may lie in the word “temple.”

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