So how does the story of Singleton Lodge cross paths with Christian Heurich, the owner of the largest brewery in DC? It's just another typical DC-esque story that involves power, politics, and land.
Mr. Heurich, in his prime, was the largest landowner in Washington, DC, with the exception of the Federal Government. In 1901, the newly chartered William R. Singleton Lodge #30 was looking to build its own masonic temple in the Tenleytown neighborhood of DC and appointed a committee to find a site. In April 1901, the committee reached out to Mr. Heurich, who owned much of Tenleytown, requesting that he donate a plot on Wisconsin Avenue for the temple. He gladly agreed to do so and drafted up a deed. However, the deed proposed by Mr. Heurich included the following provision:
"And the trustees and their successors will at all times hereafter, whenever required by the said Christian Heurich, his heirs or assigns, sign all applications for license to conduct or carry on the liquor business upon such property, adjacent, adjoining, abutting, contiguous, opposite, or in the neighborhood of such conveyed real estate as may be owned or controlled by the said Christian Heurich, his heirs or assigns, and will not object to or oppose the granting or issuance of said license; and that the said William R. Singleton Lodge, if the law in force shall require its consent to the granting of such license or licenses, will by its proper officer or officers signify such consent in such manner and such form as may be required by law."
The DC Grand Lodge prohibited its member lodges from involving themselves with the business of alcohol. Singleton Lodge countered and proposed a provision whereby the Lodge would not oppose his liquor licenses but that wasn't sufficient for Mr. Heurich and he refused to sign that deed. As a result, Singleton Lodge respectfully backed out of its dealings with Mr. Heurich. A couple of years later a different location was purchased by the Lodge from brother Eli Riley.
Just goes to show you that no good story about DC is without drama, politics, and well...alcohol.