Old Masonic Lodge to become antiques mall

·3 min read

An old Masonic lodge in Salisbury is about to be filled with old things.

Jazz and Dwayne Mann purchased the Main Street building, which sits next to Aaron’s Coffee shop, at the beginning of January, and said they have plans to turn it into an antiques mall.

“We were just sitting in the Aaron’s Coffee Shop parking lot, and we thought 'That would make a good antique mall,'” said Dwayne.

The owner had been trying to sell the building, but had taken it off the market at that point, he said.

But the Manns phoned him, paid the asking price, and it was theirs.

The retired military couple said they have always loved antiquing wherever they lived.

They moved to the village, the community Dwayne’s family is from, 14 years ago, and started operating Recollections by Jazz out of a garage shop on their property, said Jazz. The new business will be called Recollections by Jazz Antique Mall, she said.

They are hoping people from Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and other provinces, in addition to New Brunswick, will come to the mall to antique hunt, something the Manns love doing themselves throughout the region. And if it can draw people off the highway into the village, that will also help other small businesses in town, said Dwayne.

The hope is to provide a venue for other "antiquers" who may be selling out of their home or who may have lost other venues, said Jazz. Ten vendors upstairs and eight downstairs is the goal right now, she said.

“The building is basically two big rooms and a little over 1,000 square feet with two floors, plus a basement,” said Dwayne.

The building, which opened in 1931 according to a plaque affixed to the exterior, is pretty mysterious to many in the village; few have darkened its doors, said Dwayne.

“My own father was a Mason, but I know nothing about it,” he said.

Given the topic of vaccinations during the COVID pandemic, some in the village recall entering the building to get booster shots at a clinic many years ago, said Jazz.

Aided by the mystery of the building itself, they believe their grand opening could have a lot of foot traffic for that reason alone, said Dwayne.

The problem is, they don’t know when that grand opening will be.

At Salisbury council this month, their application for re-zoning from community use to village centre for the purpose of operating a retail business reached the next stage, and will be open to input from residents in the next few weeks.

The couple is learning that re-zoning takes longer than they would like. Initially they hoped to open in the spring, but it now looks like it might be summer, said Jazz.

Electrical work also needs to be done, but that awaits the rezoning, Jazz said. There are walls with cracks, no insulation in the halls, a carpet they have just torn out and other issues in need of repair, but they aren’t planning any changes that will impact the character of the building, she said.

The red brick building is a beautiful one, full of quirky things, she said, and the woodworking is impressive. There are three, five and seven steps between landings on the staircase, numbers of significance to the Masons. The Masonic symbol is prominent on the floor, she said.

The Manns say they have always been big on re-purposing. “We don’t like seeing things thrown away,” said Jazz, adding that re-purposing this building is taking that philosophy to the next level.

“It’s a part of the community’s history,” she said.

Clara Pasieka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal