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History of the Lodge:
Linn Banks Masonic Lodge No. 126 A.F. & A.M. is Madison County's oldest existing social and fraternal organization. Named for one of Madison County's most famous citizens, Linn Banks Lodge received a dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Virginia on October 21, 1854 and received its charter from the Grand Lodge on December 12, 1855.
The namesake of the Lodge was born in what is now Madison County on January 23, 1784 and was the son of Adam Banks and Gracey James Banks. He attended William and Mary College in 1806 and was admitted to practice law on April 10, 1809. He served as Colonel in the Virginia Militia during the War of 1812. The Masonic Lodge owns his sabre. Colonel Banks served as a member of the House of Delegates from Madison County from 1812 through 1838. He served as a member of the United States Congress from 1838 until his death on January 13, 1842. Colonel Banks served as Speaker of the House of Delegates from 1816 until 1838. His 22 year tenure as Speaker remains the longest term in that office.
Colonel Banks was married to the former Eliza J.H. Sanders. They lived on the Rapidan River in Madison County. He drowned in the Conway River and is buried in Madison County.
The original Masonic Lodge in Madison County was Madison Lodge No. 64. Tis lodge received its charter on December 16, 1801. The first Master of the Lodge was John Booker. Leonard Barnes and Churchill Gibbs were the first Senior and Junior Wardens, respectively. While no one knows for certain where the Lodge held its meetings, it is believed that they were in the home owned by Mr. and Mrs. Harlee Pate in the town of Madison just north and adjoining the current Masonic Lodge. This building originally served as an ordinary, the 18th century name for what we now call a hotel. In addition to being the Pate's residence, it was a bed and breakfast. The top floor of the residence is still set up as a Masonic Lodge. The residence has changed hands since