Eight members of the Catawba Mason Lodge in Ashville fixed their name to a petition in 1860, in the hopes of forming their own lodge in Springville. As the petition reads, the Springville residents did so mostly out of convenience.
“It was a long drive by wagon from (Springville) to Ashville,” Dixon White said.
Those records are still intact, and will be part of the lodge’s celebration. Springville Masonic Lodge (280) will celebrate its 150th anniversary on Saturday, Aug. 14.
“One-hundred fifty years,” said White, secretary at Springville Lodge. “That’s really something, isn’t it?”
Officials from the state office will be on hand to dedicate the Springville lodge. It is the third such lodge the chapter has used; most notably, the Masons built and owned the facility that is now the Springville library for most of the 1900s.
According to Present Master Mike Deming, the current lodge — on Village Springs Road, next to the VFW Hall — was never formally dedicated.
“Normally in a Masonic order, we’ll dedicate the building,” Deming said. “There’s a ritual to do that. This building has never been dedicated as far as we can find.”
As part of the ritual, which begins at 10 a.m. and is open to the public, state officials will lay the “cornerstone” of the building, as well.
“It is the responsibility of the state to dedicate the lodge,” Deming said. “It is the responsibility of the hosts to prepare the site.”
To serve as master at any lodge is a great enough honor, according to Deming. To serve at one celebrating such a milestone, he says, is very special.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to serve as an officer in a Masonic lodge,” he said. “To serve in one that has obtained the milestone of 150 years, that’s really something.”
Commemorative coins will also be available for the occasion, for a $10 donation. The organization, which supports multiple charities, is also very welcoming to anyone interested in becoming a Mason.
There is one catch, however.
“I cannot ask you to be a Mason,” said Don Consola, a past master. “We don’t select membership. You have to show interest, and then we can open a dialogue.
“To be one, ask one.”
All insist the Masonic organization is not a secret one. It is, however, one that edifies its membership.
“It’s not a religion,” Consola said. “We open all our meetings with Scripture reading and prayer. There are no atheists here.
“If a man will live according to Masonic teachings, he will be a better man.”
Contact Will Heath at firstname.lastname@example.org.