Early history of the lodge from its founding to the dedication of the current Masonic Temple.

In 1876 several Master Masons residing on the West Side, in Grand Rapids, petitioned to form and open a lodge. The dispensation was granted, and the first meeting was held August 31, 1876, at the hall over 37 West Bridge Street, in the Covell Block. At that meeting the officers were appointed, and Doric Lodge was organized for work. The first Regular Meeting was held September 27, 1876, when several petitions were acted upon. September 29th there was a special communication, at which brother George Witworth received the first degree of Masonry. During the next month there were four special communications, at which four candidates received the Entered Apprentice Degree, and three received the Fellowcraft Degree. Doric Lodge commenced its voyage on a tide of prosperity. The Lodge continued to hold its meetings in the Covell Block until December 1886, when the Strahan Block was completed, and the Lodge moved to the hall located at 52 West Bridge Street.

The upper stories of which were constructed for the express use of the Lodge. At that time, new furniture, carpets, plate glass windows, and other masonic paraphernalia were purchased, and the Lodge found itself well equipped, but several hundred dollars in debt. After two years and a half afterward, the entire indebtedness was paid, and on the evening of May 9, 1889, the event was celebrated by a grand banquet. While the Masonic Temple was being constructed (the first one near the current Van Andel Arena) the question of Doric Lodge moving into the temple was earnestly discussed. After the situation was thoroughly canvassed a decision was reached at the annual meeting in December 1894, when the Lodge voted to move into the temple being constructed. In October 1895, the last meeting was held in Doric Hall, and the occasion of "out of the old house into the new" was celebrated by a big banquet. The meeting was also historical because eighty-five petitions for degrees were received and referred that evening.

The first meeting of Doric Lodge in the Masonic Temple was held on November 7, 1895, and from that date the Lodge records started to read "Masonic Temple" instead of "Doric Hall." However, the practice of using "Doric Hall" was brought back by a lodge Secretary in the late 90s.

To the efforts of Brother William K. Wheeler Doric Lodge owes its existence. He was its first Worshipful Master. For years he devoted one evening of each week to a school of instruction at the Lodge rooms and was always ready to give light to the members of Doric Lodge at his own home. He took a parental interest in the Masonic life of each member and by all the members was universally called "Father Wheeler." He laid the foundation for the excellent work that has always characterized Doric Lodge, as he was never satisfied with any but perfect work, which he did up until his ninety-third year of age.

During the last years of his life, it was customary for Doric Lodge to celebrate the Thursday evening nearest his birthday by having him in the East and the other chairs filled by the Past Masters and was known as Past Masters' or Father Wheeler's night, at which time the M.M. degree was exemplified. After the degree the Lodge was closed and adjourned to the banquet room for a social time. That practice continued with the same enthusiasm for several years but has fallen off some in the past few decades. The steady progress and growth of Doric in its early years may in great measure be traced to excellent start and wise management with which Father Wheeler imbued the officers and members.

From the time Doric Lodge moved into the quarters on Ionia and Louis streets (aka the 'old Masonic Temple') its progress was onward and upward. Membership increased each year. Each year the Lodge appropriated money for the needy and laying aside a little each year against the time in the future when it might be called upon for an unusual requirement. At the regular communication in April 1909, the sum of $1,500 was appropriated for a Charity Fund to be instituted. This appears to be the origins of the fund later known as the Kindel fund for the relief of distressed members. At one point a portion of each initiation fee was set aside as a precaution of caring for our aged members in the future.

The year of the dedication of our current Temple, 1915, proved to be the most prosperous year in Lodge history. 106 candidates were raised, and the Lodge firmly believed that every candidate that was raised was a worthy man. Despite how busy the lodge was it, for many years, set aside one night when it gathered with its families and a reunion known as "Doric's Home Coming." For several years the Old Temple had been inadequate to house the event because of its size. This event continued for many years as the Annual Banquet of the Lodge, but the practice of involving the entire family has faded.

When Doric was founded, its watchwords were often said to be "Quality" instead of "Quantity."

Doric Lodge No. 342 was Chartered on January 24, 1877

Malta Lodge No. 465 was Chartered on May 29, 1929, and combined into Doric Lodge No. 342 on March 20, 2002

Ada Lodge No. 280 was Chartered on January 12, 1871, and combined into Doric Lodge No. 342 on January 14, 2003