A Rare Find

Brother Bruce Crouch was exploring the former site of John Bigger’s Trading Post in¬†Ellettsville, Indiana (Monroe County) and discovered this unusual Masonic relic.

It is a bronze suspender buckle featuring a Masonic square and compass,  patented in 1872 by inventor J. O. West.

According to Brother Crouch, the land was deeded to John Bigger in 1814 by the government while still part of the Indiana Territory. It remained a trading post for many years, with evidence of activity left by Indians, settlers and the military. By the 1860s, it had become a farm, but the house that stood there was gone by the early 1900s. The property is now owned by the town of Ellettsville, but Bruce is still trying to find the name of the owner in the 1870s so we can determine his Masonic record.

Bruce has graciously donated the buckle to the Masonic Library & Museum of Indiana.