Dutcher Lodge No. 193 / Douglas
Dutcher Lodge No. 193
Mason's from Douglas, Fennville, and Saugatauk chartered Dutcher Lodge No. 193 on January 19, 1867. From 1867 to 1870 they held meetings in a building owned by Worshipful Master Thomas Dutcher. In 1875, the western portion of this building was constructed on land cleared of a cemetery. Lodge members used the second floor, leaving the first floor available for government and civic meeting. The building was doubled in size with the construction of the eastern half in 1902. That section became known as the village hall. Douglas's fire truck was parked in the lower level until 1969. Dutcher Lodge is a rare example of a Masonic lodge still in use a century after its construction.
Douglas began as two communities separated by present day Center Street. Jonathan Wade platted Dudleyville, named for his brother Dudley Wade, on the south side of "Centre" in 1860. In 1861, William F. Dutcher platted the town of Douglas on the north side of Centre. Dutcher named it for his hometown on the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. The original plat consisted of the area bounded by Union, Chestnut, Water and Centre Streets. The two towns were incorporated as the village of Douglas in 180. Dutcher's son Thomas, a prosperous lumber mill owner built a three-story commercial and residential structure downtown around 1867. The building, the town's first Masonic hall burned in 1870.