Columbian Lodge # 7 is the oldest, continuously operating Masonic lodge west of Macon, Georgia.
On either December 22 or 24 (both dates are given in different sources), 1827, the Georgia Legislature passed "An Act to lay out a trading town, and to dispose of all the lands reserved for the use of the State near the Coweta Falls, on the Chattahoochee river, and to name the same." This trading town was laid out and named Columbus. The first sale of town lots took place between July 10 and July 23, 1828, at which time the population was about three hundred.
In 1828, there were no churches in Columbus. There were occasional "circuit-
riding" preachers that visited the frontier heathen, but that was it. The first steamboat came to Columbus in March, 1828. During the day, in those days, hundreds of Creek Indians from Alabama would be in Columbus, but they were not allowed to stay on the Georgia side of the river at night.
Sometime during 1828, Luther Blake, F.S. Cook, Beverly Rue, C.I. Atkins, Edwin E. Bissell, Ira Scott, Pleasant Robinson, Isaac Holland, Thomas G. Gordon, Thomas Miller, W.D. Lucas and William H. Carter, all Master Masons, petitioned the Grand Lodge of Georgia to form a lodge in Columbus. In compliance with their request, on October 9, 1828, a dispensation was granted by William Y. Hansell, Deputy Grand Master, authorizing the formation of Columbian Lodge. This original dispensation is in the original Minute Book of the lodge, which is still in the possession of Columbian Lodge. In it, Luther Blake was appointed as the first W.M. with Edwin E. Bissell as S.W. and Thomas G. Gordon as J.W.
The original number of the lodge was 28; however, due to the closing and consolidation of other lodges, the number was changed to # 8 in November, 1838, and finally to # 7 in December, 1849. The original charter, the lodge furniture and some of the records were lost in a fire on October 10, 1846, and a second charter was issued on November 14, 1846. In April of 1865, when Federal troops raided Columus from across the river in Girard (now Phenix City), AL, the lodge was broken into and pillaged by those troops (obviously ignorant profanes). The 1846 charter was destroyed or stolen, along with the furniture and other property of the lodge, including some records of about ten years. A third charter was issued in 1865, which still adorns the lodge walls.
See the "Early Membership" section for early members and what is known about them.