It was Mrs. Mary Barry, the Right Worthy Grand Matron in 1900, and also known as the Mother of the Eastern Star, who first declared the goal she had for the future of the organization: that they should build a masonic retirement home, a caring community for elderly Masons and their elderly family members.
Brother Robert Russell was inspired by Mary Barry’s vision, and in 1930 he donated a portion of his 800-acre ranch to the cause. His explicit stipulation for donating the land was that the Order of the Eastern Star was to build a home for its aged and indigent members on it. He was present when the cornerstone was laid on September 18th, 1930, and the following year, the Robert Russell Eastern Star Masonic Retirement Home was dedicated.
Additions and Improvements
The original house consisted of 17 single rooms, five double rooms, a dining room, a kitchen, a large living room, plus the matron’s living quarters.
Over the years, many more improvements were made to the property, ranging from large private rooms to a large lounge, a chapel, a spacious social hall, and medication and exam rooms. Improvements were essential projects to ensure that the masonic retirement home had everything residents needed to be healthy, happy, and safe. As recently as 2014, the latest addition to the campus was opened; the Mary Barry Building.