A cornerstone ceremony was held in 2008 at the Teas County Justice Center. (file photo)

The cornerstone at the new Texas County Justice Center was dedicated this afternoon in a ceremony at the northeast corner of the $10 million structure.

The Masonic Lodges of Texas County oversaw the ceremony for the building that will open this fall.

The 30-minute dedication comes after a ground-breaking ceremony last year for the structure at Grand Avenue and Spruce Street in Houston.

Masons, Circuit Judge Mary Sheffield and Presiding Commissioner Don Shelhammer spoke.

Earlier: The Masonic Lodges of Texas County (Licking, Houston, Summersville, and Plato) will hold a cornerstone ceremony at the new Texas County Justice Center at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The cornerstone is situated on the northeast corner of the $10 million building at Grand Avenue and Spruce Street in Houston.

What is a cornerstone? “Until the development of steel-frame construction in the 20th Century, most buildings were erected by stacking stone on stone. Each part of the building was marked by ceremonies. The foundation stone was the first stone placed underground at the beginning of the building’s foundation. The cornerstone was the first stone placed above ground level – it is a massive stone, marking the northeast corner of the building. At the top of the building was the capstone.” The information is found in the “Cornerstones” pamphlet provided by the Masonic Information Center.

Why do Freemasons place cornerstones? Freemasonry is the oldest and largest fraternity in the world. The traditions of Freemasons date back hundreds of years. The country’s forefathers laid the first cornerstones in North America, and Freemasons continue their tradition. Freemasons conduct cornerstone ceremonies on public buildings dedicated to religion, education, government and philanthropy.

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