No one knows just how old Freemasonry is because the actual origins have been lost in time. Probably, it arose from the guilds of stone masons who built the castles and cathedrals of the middle ages. Possibly, they were influenced by the knights templar, a group of Christian warrior monks formed in 1118 to help protect pilgrims making trips to the holy land.
In 1717, Freemasonry members created a formal organization in England when the first Grand Lodge was formed. A Grand Lodge is the administrative body in charge of Freemasonry in some geographical area. In the United States, there is a Grand Lodge of Freemasonry in each state and the district of Colombia. In Canada, there is a Grand Lodge of Freemasonry in each province. Local organizations of Freemason are called Lodges. There are Freemasonry Lodges in most towns, and large cities usually have several. There are about 13,200 Lodges in the United States.