Dining in History (DIH) is an annual event held at a historic property in Madison County where guests can enjoy a catered dinner and learn about the venue through a program and tours. The site for this year’s DIH is the John Wildi Masonic Temple of Lodge #583 in Highland. The building was originally a grand house built for the Wildi family in 1900. Twenty years later, it was donated to the Masons for a lodge and has been their home ever since.
Freemasons were at the height of their popularity in the 1950s with over 4 million members nationwide. There are still over 1 million members in the organization that places an emphasis on philanthropy. Dan Brown’s novels made Masonry seem very mysterious, but according to David Hickey, the organization isn’t that secretive, and he is privileged to tell its story. A dynamic speaker who knows his subject well, Hickey will provide a program on the history of the Masonic organization and Highland’s Lodge #583.
John Wildi was one of the founders of Helvetia Milk Condensing Company which later became Pet Milk. He was secretary/treasurer of the company for 23 years and participated in perfecting the product, in saving the company from financial ruin on numerous occasions and in marketing the product to national and international markets. The story of the Wildi family was profiled in the September issue of the MCHS News, the society’s award-winning newsletter.
The last date to make reservations is October 25.
Start Silent Auction & Tours
5:00pm – 6:00 pm
Dinner & End Silent Auction
6:00pm – 7:30 pm
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Silent Auction to benefit Madison County Historical Museum and Archival Library. Explore the John Wildi Masonic Temple. Lodge members and local historians will be available to provide insights and information on the former Wildi family home that was donated to the Lodge in 1920.
Meal Catered by:
Urban Farmhouse Eatery and Pie Company
(Vegetarian Option is available)
History of the Freemasons in IL and Highland
David Hickey, Past Master of HML 583.