Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009 • Westwood Masonic Hall up for sale

One of Westwood’s Historic buildings is on the real estate market. The Masonic Hall, which most recently was the headquarters for Dyer Mountain Associates, is up for sale.  

According to Ron Martin, owner of Ron Martin Realty United Country, the property is not in foreclosure. It is being sold by Briar Tazuk, one of the developers of the Dyer Mountain project, a planned four-season resort near Westwood that failed to obtain adequate financial backing. 

The asking price for the 6,800 square feet of commercial space is $295,000. The building, located at 325 Cedar St., is on the Lassen County Historic Building Registry. 

The current owner applied for historic status in 2004 after the purchase of the hall that was built in 1925. According to an interview for the Westwood PinePress with a partner in the building at that time, the intent was to be part of the preservation of the historic buildings left in Westwood. 

New owners of the property should not have any problems obtaining permits for remodeling should they desire to make renovations, according to Steve Fuller, a building official with the Lassen County Office of Community Development.

He said the historic building code, rather than the state building code, would apply to the property which was less restrictive. Also a listing on the historic registry requires that owners keep the architectural integrity of a building but there is no historic review board. Remodeling could include putting up partitions within the building and installing new lighting among other things, said Fuller. The plans would be reviewed by a building official.    

Research for the application for historic status determined that George Peltier, the carpenter foreman for the Red River Lumber Company, was the architect and builder of the Masonic Hall. The Westwood Masonic Lodge formed on Dec. 4, 1918 voted to ask the lumber company to either build it a meeting place or find a club location.

Although the building was primarily the meeting place for the Masons, other organizations used it. For a time it served as temporary classrooms when the grammar school was destroyed by fire.

The Red River Lumber Company provided the electricity, garbage, sewer, steam heat and maintenance for the building during the time it owned the town of Westwood. Eventually the town was sold to Fruit Growers Supply Company who sold it to Wershaw and Weise in 1962. The new owners gave the Masonic Hall to Masonic Homes of California who then presented it to the Westwood Lodge. 

According to the application submitted to the historical review committee, the second floor “ballroom” that was formerly the lodge meeting room is in near perfect condition and would make a unique space for live theatre, concerts and receptions. There is an outside balcony off the second floor ballroom.

The Masonic hall has seen a few changes over the years. Around 1964 new siding was placed on the building and an outside porch was added in 1980. Also a room off the kitchen was built in the 1980s. Several windows have been blocked on the building.