An ancient city of Phoenicia, which in the time of King Solomon was celebrated as the residence of King Hiram, to whom that monarch and his father David were indebted for great assistance in the construction of the Temple at Jerusalem. Tyre was distant from Jerusalem about one hundred and twenty miles by sea, and was thirty miles nearer by land. An intercourse between the two cities and their respective monarchs was, therefore, easily cultivated The inhabitants of Tyre were distinguished for their skill as artificers, especially as workers in brass and other metals; and it is said to have been a principal seat of that skillful body of architects known as the Dionysiac Fraternity.
The City of Sidon, which was under the Tyrian government, was but twenty miles from Tyre, and situated in the forest of Leballon. The Sidonians were, therefore, naturally wood-cutters, and were engaged in felling the trees, which were afterward sent on floats by sea from Tyre to Joppa, and thence carried by land to Jerusalem, to be employed in the Temple building. Doctor Morris, who visited Tyre in 1868, describes it in his Freemasonry in the Holy Land (page 91) as a city under ground, lying, like Jerusalem, twenty to fifty feet beneath the debris or rubbish of many centuries. It consists, to use the language of a writer he has cited, of "prostrate and broken columns, dilapidated temples, and mounds of buried fragments."
- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry