The Masonic Temple was built as a meeting place for the Freemasons, an international fraternal organization. The first Freemason’s Hall was constructed at Long’s Hill in 1885.
When the Great Fire of 1892 destroyed the hall, plans were quickly drawn to construct a new and larger building.
Sir William Whiteway, a Freemason and the longest-serving premier of colonial Newfoundland, laid the cornerstone of the new Masonic Temple on August 23, 1894.
By late 1896, the building was close enough to completion that the first Lodge meeting could be held there. The building was officially opened on April 23, 1897.
The August Gern Musical Organ was built in 1883 by August Gern Organ Builders in London. The August Gern organ is one of only two ever built of its kind with its counterpart being located in a cloistered convent in Notting Hill, London.