Masonic Homes of Kentucky celebrates 150 years - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Masonic Homes of Kentucky celebrates 150 years

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In the late 1800s, the Masonic Homes of Kentucky opened its doors. The history of the iconic facility includes thousands of people, each one helped in their time of need.

People like Allene Hitron, who was 10-years-old when her father died.

Orphaned with no place to go, Hitron moved to the Masonic Homes 70 years ago. She still remembers how it felt.

"Lonely," she said. "I'd never been away from home."

"As a result of the Civil War, there were a lot of families that were missing their head of household," said Nicole Candler, Sr. Vice President of Communications and Marketing Masonic Homes of Kentucky.

In the last 150 years, the Masonic Homes has made a drastic transformation.

"In about the 1980s, we were able to scale down the services that we provided to the orphans," Candler said.

The residents have changed, but the mission remains the same.

"We changed our focus to support strictly seniors in a senior living community," Candler said.

There's also a rehab center, and after more than 30 years, there are children on campus again.

"Today, we have about 100 children who visit our campus daily at our Sproutlings Pediatric Day Care and preschool center," Candler said.

In January, the Masonic Homes kicked off a yearlong celebration of 150 years of serving people.

"They have been very, very proud of our progress throughout the years," Candler said. 

That's why it felt like home, even after 70 years, for some of the seniors who lived here as children and are back.

"I didn't know anybody, but it was like going back home," Hitron said.

The celebration continues in June with a reunion for widows and orphans who once called the Masonic Homes of Kentucky their home.

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