Written by W.Bro. Roy F. Weingarten P.M.
What will a man not do for gold? No obstacle is too great, no hardship too severe when there is a reasonable hope that gold may be had for the taking. The streams and hills of Colorado have yielded many fortunes for the hardy adventurers who went after them. The search for gold is the story of early Colorado and the story of early Colorado is the story of Masonry in Colorado and Nevada Lodge No. 4.
Ten Years after the golden sands of California called in 1848, another wave of excitement, augmented by the success of California, carried eastward. Gold had been discovered at Pike’s Peak and the “Prairie Schooner” with its “Pike’s Peak or Bust” slogan came to the Rockies. Men flocked to this part of the country, always in search of gold. They first settled at the junction of Cherry Creek and the Platte River which location was then known merely as the “Pike’s Peak Region,” or “Cherry Creek”, Kansas Territory. This settlement was named Auraria while the settlement on the other side of Cherry Creek was named Denver City. In 1860 the two towns were consolidated under the name Denver City.
Through the first days of May in 1859, in a bleak and desolate gulch, high up in the mountains, a lone and weary prospector, slowly worked his way, looking, searching, digging and panning. Then on the 6th day of May, this man, John Gregory by name, found a deposit of the precious metal about forty miles up the mountains to the west.
As newcomers swelled the population along the rivers and streams of the area, communities sprung up. Eventually these towns were in such close proximity that they became indiscernible, one from the other. These early towns just happened. They were not laid out by city planners but by staked claims and these outcroppings of civilization included such names as Blackhawk, Bates, Bald Mountain, Nevada City, Bobtail, Gregory, Mammoth, Cast, Gunnell. Nevadaville, Central City and Quartz. Over a period of time, these communities evolved into three settlements, Blackhawk, Central City and Nevadaville.
It should not be inferred that miners were the only ones attracted by a gold discovery. There were five distinct classes of people who rushed to the site of a new strike. First is the prospector or miner who discovers and takes the precious metal from the earth. Second is the merchant who sells his supplies or services for the miner’s “dust” in legitimate trade. This class also includes the lawyer, doctor, preacher, builder, freighter law enforcement official and laborer. The third class is the saloon keeper, who furnishes the “firewater” so often the cause of trouble. Closely allied to the saloon keeper, is the fourth class, the gambler, who by his wits and nimble fingers separates the miner from his newly gained wealth. The last is the motley crowd, the thief, the highwayman and the murderer. These are the ones who wait until the miner or merchant who accumulates a “pile” and then go in and take it by force. There is yet a sixth group, small in numbers, which later comes on the scene and which exhibits the attributes of several of the other classes. From a position of seeming respectability and always within the law, one of this class seeks, through loans, followed by foreclosures of mortgages, to secure possession of property at a small price and sells at a big profit.
By 1859 these settlements included permanent business, homes, schools and churches. When people are removed from their roots, they tend to seek others with similar roots, and so it was with the Brotherhood of Masonry. Many of these men were Masons away from the hometown, probably for the first time in their lives. What then would be more natural than that they should seek out their Brethren in the new community. Thus the first meeting of Masonic Brethren, in Nevada City, Kansas Territory, is believed to have been held at Ira H. Morton’s cabin, in the latter part of 1859. Here several Men let it be known that they were Master Masons and petitioned the Grand Lodge of Kansas to establish a Lodge. After Communicating by mail and meeting with the Grand Lodge of Kansas Territory, which took several months, Nevada Lodge received a warrant from the Grand Lodge of Kansas Territory December 22, 1860. George H. Fairchild, Grand Master, signed the warrant at Atchison, Kansas. Among the petitioners for the warrant were Brothers Andrew Mason, J. W. Guest, W. H. Grafton and others.
In the early days of 1861 John Milton Chivington, destined to be the first Grand Master of Colorado, arrived as presiding elder of the Methodist Church. Grand Chaplain of Nebraska at the time, he supposedly brought blank dispensations for Lodges with him. Dispensations from Nebraska resulted to Summit Lodge at Parkville (near Breckenridge)and Rocky Mountain Lodge at Gold Hill (near Boulder).
Following the recognition of the “Territory of Colorado” by the Federal Government in February 1861, sentiment for a local Grand Lodge developed. The three chartered Lodges, Golden City No 34 of Kansas jurisdiction; Summit Lodge No. 7 and Rocky Mountain Lodge No. 8, of Nebraska jurisdiction formed the Grand Lodge of Colorado on August 2nd 1861. Nevada Lodge holding that the Grand Master of Nebraska, in instituting Lodges in Colorado Territory was an infringement on the Grand Lodge of Kansas refused (upon invitation) to join in the convention for organizing a Grand Lodge.
The Grand Lodge of Kansas seemingly unaware of the formation of the new Grand Lodge, due to slow communications of the time issued charter No. 36 to Nevada Lodge U.D. and charter no. 37 to Auraria Lodge U. D. on October 15, 1861.
At Colorado’s first annual Grand Lodge communication December 10,1861 Nevada Lodge surrendered its Kansas charter and asked for a Colorado charter which was issued as Nevada Lodge No. 4. The Nevada Lodge Brethren are said to have delayed until this time to satisfy themselves about jurisdictional regularity.
Grand Master Fairchild appointed Andrew Mason as W. M., I. H. Morton as S. W. and James Dyke as J. W. There were 33 charter members.
Andrew Mason P.M.
A. L. Miller
W. D. Perkins
J. W. Chiles
J. W. Guest P.M.
C. S. Albott
F. D. Darlington
I. J. Peck
John H. Adams
I. H. Morton
C. A. Clark
C. H. Morgan
N. H. Gaines
D. D. Crum
A. D. Gambell
A. J. Van Deren
Wm. C. Jones
N. H. Boswell
Seymore L. Angell
J. W. Nesmith
G. A. Smith
E. W. Henderson
L. M. Chase
J. M. Van Deren
W. L. Sawtell
John Osten Jr.
John S. Mason
The first meeting of Nevada Lodge U. D. was held Jan. 12, 1861 at which time a committee, consisting of James Dyke, A. L, Miller and W. K. Boswell, was appointed to draft resolutions for the government of the Lodge. The Lodge held its meetings in the upper room of the building owned by Ira H. Morton and met there continually until the town of Nevada burned in September of 1861. The Lodge held no regular meetings in September and October of that year. In November they began meeting in Central City until the Lodge built a second story Lodge room over the store of L. L. Welch. On February 8, 1862 the Lodge held their regular meeting in their newly purchased Lodge hall which was just west of the lodge hall currently in use at the present time.
At The next Meeting of Nevada Lodge U. D., held Jan. 26, 1861, the following resolutions were presented and adopted.This Lodge shall be known as Nevada Lodge U. D. A. F. & A.M.The annual communication of this Lodge shall be held on the regular meeting next preceding the festival of St. John the Evangelist. The regular communications of this Lodge shall be held on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month to-writ from the 20th of Sept. to the 20th of March at 7 o’clock p.m. and from the 20th of March to the 20th of Sept. at 7 1/2 o’clock p.m.
All candidates for initiation or membership must be proposed in writing at a regular communication and recommended by three members of this Lodge.
Every petition or application for initiation, or membership, shall be referred to a select committee of three whose duty it shall be to carefully investigate the qualifications, character and standing of all such candidates and report the same to the Lodge at the second regular communication thereafter.
The fees for conferring the three degrees in this Lodge shall be $35.00. To-writ $15 for the degree of E.A., $10 for the degree of F.C., and $10 for the degree of M.M. Each adjoining member shall pay $5 which must accompany the petition. Also $5 shall accompany each petition for the degrees which sum, if the candidate is elected, shall constitute a part of the fee for the 1st degree conferred. In case of rejection of any application by this Lodge, the five dollars, so paid, shall be refunded by the secretary.
The yearly dues of each member of this Lodge shall be $4 payable quarterly on the 2nd Saturday of February, May, August and November.
Any member of this Lodge who is guilty of habitual intoxication, profanity, licentiousness or any other vice or misdemeanor incompatible with the character of a just and upright Mason shall be reprimanded or expelled for the evening or be subject to such other punishment as the majority of members present at a regular communication deem proper to inflict.
Any charges for unmasonic conduct shall be preferred in writing at a regular communication of this Lodge and such action had as prescribed by the constitution and usages of the order.
That the W. M. instruct the Secretary to request every Master Mason visiting this Lodge, more than 3 times, to contribute $1 per quarter for the benefit of this Lodge. Every M.M. who conforms to this request shall be admitted all the rights and benefits of the members except balloting and voting.
At the regular communication held on the 13th of April, 1861, it was resolved and adopted that no candidate be initiated in this Lodge unless he shall have resided within the limits of the Territory of Colorado six months. In the early years Nevada Lodge No.4 rejected more candidates than they accepted because being a Mason in these early mining towns meant that a man was honest and upright and carried with it the privileges of being an outstanding member of the community.
The first man raised in Nevada Lodge U. D. was J. W. Ratliff on the fourth day of March 1861. The first special communication of Nevada Lodge U. D. was held on the 20th day of April 1861 for the purpose of conferring the 1st and 2nd degree. The first Masonic funeral was conferred upon Brother A. F. Stoddard on July 20, 1861.The Lodge was subsequently presented with a bill in the amount of $30 for his coffin.
A special communication of Nevada Lodge No. 36, A.F.& A.M., by virtue of a charter from the state of Kansas, was held at the Masonic Hall in Central City the 16th day of Nov. 1861.(Charter received on the 15th) The Lodge opened on the3rd degree of Masonry for the purpose of installing Officers. Brother J. W. Guest P.M. and D.G.M. by the authority from the Grand Lodge of Kansas, proceeded to install the following Officers for Nevada Lodge No. 36 A.F.& A.M.
Bro. Andrew Mason, W. M.
Bro. A.J. Van Deren as Proxy for I. H. Morton, S.W.
Bro. S. M. Chase, JW.
Bro. J. M. Van Deren, Treas.
Bro. A. S. Miller, Sec.
Bro. J. S. Prichard as proxy for W. S. Sandell, S. D.
Bro. J. C. Russell as Proxy for W. T. Potter J. D.
Regular meeting of Nevada Lodge No. 4 A.F.& A. M. was held by virtue of the charter from the Grand Lodge of Colorado Territory, at the Masonic Hall in Central City, December 14, A. D. 1861. (Charter was received on 11th) The announcement was made that this was the annual communication for the election of officers. The following officers were elected, appointed and installed.
Bro. J. M. Van Deren W. M.
Bro. A. J. Van Deren S. W.
Bro. S. W. Chase J. W.
Bro J. C. Russell Treas
Bro C. Whithrow Sec.
Bro. Robert Russell as proxy for W. T. Potter S. D.
Bro. J. W. Ratliff J. D.
At this same communication, the bill of Mr. J. D. Hall, for making alter and pedestals in the amount of, $19.50 was ordered paid. The Alter and pedestals are still in the Lodge room in Nevadaville at the present time. They were originally white but were painted brown in the middle to late 1980’s. The bill of Mr.’s Clark and Dehouff, for chairs, for the East, West and south, in the amount of $28.00 was ordered paid. This beautiful furniture still adorns the Lodge room in Nevadaville. Brother Hosher presented a ballot box, as a donation, which was graciously received and thanks of the Lodge returned. This ballot box is unlike any other ballot box being used today and is still being used by the Lodge at the present time.
The following resolution was read and adopted to wit on the 21st of March A. D. 1862. Be it resolved that Nevada Lodge No.4 allow their tyler the sum of $2 per night for each regular and each special communication to take effect from and after the 8th day of Feb.1862.
At a special communication of Nevada Lodge No. 4 A.F. & A.M. held at the Masonic hall in Nevada City, held on 5 April A. D. 1862, Lodge was opened on the first degree of Masonry. Mr. C. P. McLean was prepared, introduced and initiated an Entered Apprentice Mason. Labor upon the first degree was dispenced with and Lodge opened in due form on the second degree, when by unanimous vote, Bros. D. Sees and W. D. Gracy were duly prepared, introduced and passed to the degree of a Fellowcraft. Labor upon the second degree was dispensed with and Lodge opened on the third degree, when by unanimous vote, Bro. J. H. Hames was duly prepared, introduced and raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason. The Lodge was then closed in due form. This is the only time in the history of the Lodge that all three degrees were conferred on the same day.
At the regular meeting of July 25, 1863 a suggestion was made and by motion, which was carried, a committee consisting of Bros. W. T. Potter, Orlando Borsh and J. F. Phillips,was appointed to confer with a committee from Chivington Lodge and Blackhawk Lodge to procure a suitable place for a burial ground. A burial ground was purchased and is still owned and maintained by the three Lodges. On December 12, 1863, the bill of Bro. G. A. Pugh, for fencing the burial ground, was ordered paid. A Motion was made by Brother S. W. Chase, on March 12, 1864, that the Worshipful Master, Senior Warden and Junior Warden and their successors in office be appointed as a committee, to hold in trust, the deed of the Masonic burial ground. On motion by Brother A. M. Jones on April 23, 1864, which as carried, a committee of three was appointed, consisting of Brothers D. Lees, John Elesaine and A. T. Sparks, to superintend the removal of the deceased Brethren of this Lodge to the new Masonic Burial Ground. On June 14, 1864 the bill, of Brothers John Elesaine and A. T. Sparks, for removing the deceased Brethren Robert Repell and P. M. Garr to the New Masonic Burial Ground for $35.00 was received, read and ordered paid.
A communication was received and read, from Blackhawk Lodge No. 11, on August 10,1867, that they had appointed a committee to confer with a like committee from this and Chivington Lodge, if appointed, in relation to enlarging the burial ground. Whereupon Bros. A. M. Jones, J. T. Phillips and Gil Sparks were appointed to said committee. On November 9, 1867 the committee to which was referred the matter concerning the enlargement of the Masonic burial ground would respectfully report that we have not done as well in the case as we might have done, but the enlargement and repairs have been done by Bro. George A. Pugh for which he has rendered a bill, for our third, which is $62.29 and we think it fair and reasonable and respectfully recommend that it be paid. The following resolution was offered, in writing, as an amendment to the by-laws on December 11, 1869. Be it resolved that the Master and Wardens be appointed as a committee to erect suitable and uniform tombstones for all Brethren buried by this Lodge and also for the members of the families of Master Masons if buried in our ground.
The following resolution, purporting to have been adopted by Central Lodge No. 6 and Blackhawk Lodge No.11, was presented, read, approved and adopted February 8, 1873 to wit:
Be it resolved that it is the sense of this Lodge that the Masonic Cemetery was established for the exclusive use of Masons and And their relatives and that burial, therein, conducted by any Order, other than Masonic or Ecclesiastic, would not be in accordance with the purposes for which the cemetery was established. Be it further resolved that this Lodge refuses to entertain any proposition which may tend to subvent the original uses of the cemetery as above declared.
A communication from Central Lodge No. 6 was received, on June 12, 1875, containing the following resolution. Be it resolved that a committee be appointed from Central Lodge No. 6 to confer with a like committee from Nevada Lodge No. 4 and Blackhawk Lodge No.11. The purpose of reporting to the several Lodges above named, a series of rules and regulations to govern the interments to be hereafter made in the Masonic cemetery. On motion of Past Master Hamor, Past Masters W. M. Finlay, J. W. Ratliff and Brother W. J. Lewis Junior Warden, were appointed as the committee to act on behalf of this Lodge. The following report from the joint committee of Nevada Lodge No. 4, Central Lodge No.6 and Blackhawk Lodge No.11, on right of burial in the Masonic Cemetery, was read on July 10, 1875 and on motion adopted subject to the approval of Central Lodge No.6 and Blackhawk Lodge No. 11.
WHEREAS: The question of burial in the Masonic Cemetery is assuming a phase which under present rules gives the officers of the several Lodges, in the Jurisdiction, trouble in determining who are entitled to burial in said cemetery. Therefore now for the purpose of regulating said cemetery and for the guidance of the Officers heretofore said, it is hereby resolved by Nevada Lodge # 4, Central Lodge # 6 and Blackhawk Lodge #11 owning and controlling said cemetery, except for burial, a deceased Master Mason belonging to one of the above named Lodges, deceased Master Masons sojourning in our midst, the deceased wife, children, father, mother and unmarried sisters and brothers , under age, of Master Masons in good standing, together with deceased Entered Apprentices and Fellowcrafts in either of the heretofore mentioned Lodges.
The following amendment or other by-law was offered, on July 12, 1886, which was laid over under the rules.
It shall be the duty of the Worshipful Master upon his installation, as such, to appoint a committee of one on the cemetery. Whose duty it shall be, in connection with a like committee from Central Lodge No. 6 and Blackhawk Lodge No. 11, to superintend the general maintenance of the cemetery. To look after the digging of graves and to report the doings of said committee to this Lodge annually or oftener if so required by the Lodge or the Worshipful Master.
On March 23, 1889 a bill was received from Central Lodge No. 6 for 1/3 of the expenses laid out in erecting a building on the cemetery and placing boards as head marks of graves not marked. This building still stands and is regularly maintained.
A motion was made by Brother J. W. Guest, September 26, 1863, that a committee consisting of the Worshipful Master, Senior Warden and the Junior Warden be appointed to procure a carpet for the Lodge Room, not to exceed $1.50 per yard. The motion was carried and the carpet was procured.
At the regular meeting on October 10, 1863, Brother C. Withhrow made a motion, which was carried, that the sum of $13.00 be drawn from the treasury for procuring a seal for the Lodge and on November 14, 1863 a bill of extra charges for the seal in the amount of $3.95, was read and ordered paid.
A motion was made and carried on February11, 1865, that Nevada Lodge loan to Central City Royal Arch Chapter U. D. $400.00 for the term of three months, without interest, with A.M.Jones WM, A. North SW, J. W. Ratliff JW and Chase Withrow as sureties for the same. Again on February 25, 1865, a motion was made and carried that Nevada Lodge loan to Central City Royal Arch Chapter U. D. an additional $200 dollars. On the same date the bill of A. M. Jones for recording the deed to the Lodge room was received, read and ordered paid.
An interesting item, of unmasonic conduct, from the July 22, 1865 minutes. To the Wardens and members of Nevada Lodge No. 4 A. F. & A. M. I hereby charge Brother Chase Withrow Past Master with habitual drunkenness and also with having treated me with disrespect and unmasonic conduct at our last special communication of July 20, 1865. “A. M. Jones WM.” Then on August 12, 1865 Brother A. M. Jones WM wished to withdraw the charges preferred against C. Withrow and on motion of the Secretary was carried.
A motion was made and carried, September 9, 1865, that a committee of three consisting of Brothers W. T. Carothers, J. T. Phillips and B. L. Waterman be appointed to look into the matter of procuring a lot for the Lodge in view of building a new Lodge room. At the next meeting a motion was made and carried to indefinitely postpone procuring a lot..
At the regular meeting held on December 8, 1866 a motion was made and carried was carried, that Brother A. J, Van Deren’s dues be remitted so long as he chooses to remain a member of this Lodge. Also at the same meeting a motion was made and was carried that the first ballots for Worshipful Master, Senior and Junior Wardens and Tyler were informal after which the officers were declared elected for the ensuing Masonic year. It was then written, on December 22, 1866, that the election of Worshipful Master and Tyler at the last regular communication having been decided by the Grand Master as having been illegal and void for want of the required majority to constitute an election. A motion was then made and carried that the Lodge request dispensation from the Grand Master to hold an election for the Worshipful Master and Tyler. Dispensation was granted December 28, 1866 and the Worshipful Master and Tyler were elected and installed January 12, 1867.
A committee report on the revision of the by-laws was given on January 26, 1867 and reads as follows. The Worshipful Master, Wardens, Treasurer, Secretary and tyler shall be annually elected at the first regular communication in December. A majority of all the votes cast shall constitute an election. The Senior Deacon shall be appointed by the Worshipful Master elect, the Junior Deacon by the Senior Warden elect and two Stewards by the Junior Warden elect. Each Brother raised in this Lodge may become a member of the same by signifying his intention so to do at the communication when he is made a Master Mason by signing the by-laws within thirty days thereafter. Each Brother elected to membership, shall sign the by-laws within thirty days thereafter. Each member shall pay to the Secretary on or before the regular communication in the month of February, May, August and November the sum of $1.50, provided however, that no Brother raised in this Lodge shall be bound by this regulation until he has been a member four weeks. Any Brother who is in arrears for dues for the space of twelve months shall not be eligible to any office or allowed to vote.
On October 28, 1868 A. M. Jones PM made a motion, which was carried that the Lodge donate $15 for the use of the Grand Secretary to procure jewels and regalia for the Grand Lodge of A. F. & A. .M. of Colorado.
On motion, which was carried January 9, 1869, a committee was appointed to confer with Brother L. L. Welch in regard to the purchasing of the lower part of the building. On February 27,1869 the committee to whom was referred the matter of conferring with Brother L. L. Welch in regard to procuring the lower part of our Lodge building have endeavored to perform this duty and would respectfully submit the following report.
We have conferred with L.L. Welch and the price he asks for the lower part of our Lodge building is nine hundred dollars and with the dwelling house the sum of fifteen hundred dollars and no deviation from either price. (buy or not, sell or not) Your committee, therefore, under the circumstances and high price of the property would not recommend the purchasing of the property at those stated prices.
On motion at this same meeting, a committee consisting of B. L. Waterman, A. M. Jones and J. F. Phillips, was appointed to purchase the lot adjoining our Lodge building, on the east owned by Mr. Stephen Martin, limited to six hundred dollars. The committee to whom was referred the duty of purchasing the lot, east and adjoining our Lodge building, submitted the following report On March 13, 1869. We have purchased and obtained deed to the said lot with the appurtenances there to belonging, consisting of a barn, for the sum of five hundred and fifty dollars. We have paid four hundred and fifty down and have agreed to pay one hundred the first of April.
On motion November 11, 1871, The committee on repairs of the Lodge Hall, consisting of Past Masters A. M. Jones, J. F. Phillips and D. A. Hamor, were instructed to negotiate for the lot on which the Masonic Hall stands. Together with the building, store room underneath the Lodge room and the frame residence in the rear, at a price not exceeding one thousand dollars. Also on motion the finance committee was instructed to procure chandeliers and new lamps for the Lodge room in place of the old ones.
On November 25,1871, The bill of W. S. Haswell for $34.45 for chandeliers was read, allowed and ordered paid.
On motion by Brother W. S. Haswell JW on December 9, 1871, the committee on repairs and the purchase of the lot on which the Lodge room now stands, were authorized to raise the money necessary to pay for the same. Whereupon on motion an order for one thousand dollars, in payment to Brother J. C. Russell for the lot and buildings thereon, was ordered drawn on the treasury.
The following resolution was read on January 25, 1873 and laid over under the by-laws as follows: Resolved that article one of our by-laws be amended by striking out the words second and fourth Saturdays and inserting in lieu thereof, the words first and third Tuesdays. Signed J. W. Ratliff, D. A. Hamor and A. M. Jones. The resolution offered up one month ago changing or amending our by-laws, changing the night of the meeting from the second and fourth Saturdays to the first and third Tuesdays in each month, was called up and adopted.
In conformity to a resolution adopted by the Grand Lodge of Colorado, at its last annual communication, Brother Isaac Hallenback was examined on the third degree, on April 1, 1873, passing a very credible examination.
On motion, November 4, 1873, the following resolutions were adopted. Be it resolved that the fifth line on article eight of our by-laws be changed by striking out the words fifty cents so as to read one dollar. (Grand Lodge per capita) and be it further resolved that the first section of our by-laws be so amended as to read second and fourth Saturdays instead of first and third Tuesdays.
On motion, March 18, 1874, the Worshipful Master and Secretary were instructed to summons all members one year in arrears to appear and show cause why they do not pay their dues. In accordance with the authority given by the action of the Grand Lodge of Colorado, at its recent session in Denver, and on August 22, 1874 fifteen Brothers were then, by a vote of the Lodge, dropped from the roll of membership for non-payment of dues.
A communication from Denver Lodge No. 5 was received, On February 13, 1875, announcing the expulsion of Brother W. W. Thompson from the rights and benefits of Masonry for visiting a Colored Lodge of Masons.
On motion, March 27, 1875, Past Masters W. M. Finlay and D. A. Hamor were appointed a committee to confer with L. C. Rodgers in regard to payment of rent with instructions to demand payment of rent. In case of the inability of Brother Rodgers to pay the rent, notify him to vacate the house.
On motion, November 25, 1876, it was voted to have a supper on the night of election, being the next regular communication to be held on December 9, to be for paid out of Lodge funds. Also that the Worshipful Master be authorized to contract with Mrs. P. F. Bennett for supper for thirty persons at one dollar each. Further that the Lodge pay for all members and visitors, who may be present and eat supper, in excess of thirty at the rate of one dollar each. Nothing further appearing, after the election on December9, 1876, the Lodge closed to go to supper peace and harmony prevailing, and on December 23,1876 the bill of Mrs. P. F. Bennett for $40 was allowed.
A communication was received from the Masonic Board of Relief of San Francisco, California under the date of January 22, 1877 stating that Brother Isaac Sands of our Lodge had applied to that board for relief. They are asking if they should grant the relief and draw on Nevada Lodge for the same. The person making the application being supposed to be our suspended Brother Isaac Sands, the Secretary was instructed to inform the board of the standing of Brother Sands in this Lodge and that the Lodge declines to be responsible for any relief granted to Brother Sands. A communication from the Masonic Board of Relief of San Francisco was received, February 10, 1877, informing this Lodge that for good and sufficient reasons they had placed the name of Brother Isaac Sands, a suspended Mason of our Lodge on their black list.
On motion July 14, 1877, the Secretary was instructed to notify all members two years in arrears for dues, the amount of their indebtedness. Those living in the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Colorado, that unless they reduce their indebtedness to within less than the amount of two years dues by the next regular meeting, steps will be taking to drop their names from the roll of membership. Those residing outside of this State, that unless their dues are thus reduced within three months from this date, their names will be dropped from the roll of membership for non-payment of dues.
On motion of Brother D. A. Hamor, April 27,1878, P. A. Kline WM, Past Masters A. M. Jones SW and W. J. Lewis, were appointed a special committee to devise plans and get estimates for the erection of a new Masonic building for this Lodge. On July 13, 1878 the committee previously appointed on the building of a new hall was continued with full power and authority to negotiate for means and let a contract for the building, according to specifications submitted to the Lodge.
An invitation was received from Central Lodge No. 6, on December 14, 1878, to attend public installation and banquet Friday evening, December 20,1878, was accepted with the thanks of the Lodge. And at the same communication, an amendment to article 10 of our by-laws fixing the Secretary’s salary at $60 per year and the tyler’s at $2 for each communication at which he tyled, was adopted.
On motion, July 26, 1879, it was voted to subscribe twenty five dollars to the Nevada Water Scheme for building tanks and laying pipes to bring water from the Jones Lode Mine for fire and other purposes.
The feasibility of erecting a new Masonic building on our ground adjoining the present building was discussed on August 23, 1879. The same committee appointed the previous year, was directed to take into consideration the matter of building and if found practical to call a meeting of the members at an early day. All that the said committee may lawfully do in this matter, be notified to and confirmed by this Lodge.
On September 13, 1879, the building committee reported that they had in accordance with the authority vested in them, by vote of the Lodge, made arrangements for procuring the necessary funds to erect a new building. Also they had entered into a contract with Mr. M. S. Burhaus to erect a brick and stone building edifice, fifty five by sixty feet, two stories in height with two store rooms on the ground floor,with a Lodge room and other rooms on the second floor at a cost of $6800.00. On motion it was resolved that the action of the committee be approved by the Lodge and the committee be authorized to sign a contract . The Worshipful Master Brother A.M.Jones PM and the Secretary Brother J. W. Ratliff PM, be authorized to execute and sign a trust deed on the lot and new building for the necessary funds, for its erection and completion. Aggregating in amount to about five thousand dollars to be borrowed from Lucy H. Jones, for that purpose, and the committee is to proceed and finish the building with all possible speed. For the further and more perfect arrangement of prosecuting the work of erecting the new building on our lots on the North side of Main Street, in the town of Nevadaville, the following resolutions were offered and unanimously adopted by the Lodge as follows to wit:
Be it resolved that we, the members of Nevada Lodge No.4 Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, do hereby certify that at a regular meeting of the above named Lodge at their hall in Nevadaville on September 13, 1879 the following resolutions were unanimously adopted by the members of said Lodge.
Be it resolved that we, the members of Nevada Lodge No. 4 Ancient Free and Accepted Masons in Lodge assembled, do hereby authorize Aaron M. Jones WM and John W. Ratliff Secretary to negotiate a loan of $5,000 with Mrs. Lucy H. Jones for the purpose of erecting a building on our lots in Nevadaville. We hereby further authorize our said officers to execute notes for and on behalf of this Lodge for said sum with interest on the same at ten percent per annum for the term of two years from the date they shall execute said note. We further authorize our said officers to make, execute and deliver to David A. Hamor, a good and sufficient trust deed of our lots on the North side of Main Street in Nevadaville and of the brick and stone building to be constructed, on said lots, with the money so obtained of said Lucy H. Jones. The said deed to be in trust to David A. Hamor as security for the payment of said notes to Lucy H. Jones and “so conditional.”
Be it resolved that we, the members of Nevada Lodge No. 4 of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons in Lodge assembled, do hereby authorize Aaron M. Jones WM and John W. Ratliff Secretary to make and sign for and on behalf of this Lodge, a certain contract with M.S. Burhaus. For the erection and completion of a certain brick and stone building, 55 X 60, feet on our lots on the North side of Main Street in Nevadaville, Gilpin County, Colorado. We hereby further authorize and require our said officers to take and approve a good and sufficient bond, with sureties from, the said M. S. Burhaus, for and on behalf of said Lodge, conditional for the faithful performance of said contract. According to the plans and specifications, that may be agreed on between said M. S. Burhaus and our building committee consisting of A. M. Jones, P. A. Kline and W. J. Lewis.
Be it resolved that we the members of Nevada Lodge No. 4 Ancient Free and accepted Masons in Lodge assembled do hereby authorize Aaron M. Jones WM and John W. Ratliff Secretary to make execute and sign under the seal of this Lodge a lease of the store in the brick and stone building to be constructed for this Lodge on our lots in Nevadaville. To John E. Agsmith for the term of three years upon his paying them the sum of one thousand dollars as rent in advance. The said lease to commence upon the final completion of said store room by our contractor M. S. Burhaus.
Application for lease of the old lodge room was made by the improved order of Redmen on November 22,1879 and the matter of renting to them referred to the Worshipful and Wardens.
Regular communication of Nevada Lodge No. 4 A.F. & A.M. was held at the New Masonic Hall Nevadaville, Colorado at 7 1/2 o’clock P. M. on January 24, AD 1880 AL 5880.
The building committee submitted the following report.
Original contract price $6,800.00
Bill of extras $233.80
Second bill of extras, labor and glass on hand $68.55
Platforms and painting $38.55
Cost of building $7,140.90
Paid M. S. Burhaus $6500.00
Paid Lightburne $200.00
Paid Howard Wealock $300.00
Paid _____________ $55.00
Paid painters balance $60.00
Paid painters extra $10.00
Balance due M. S. Burhaus $1,590.00
Funds procured for the building
Oct. 1, 1879 Recd. From A. M. Jones $2,000.00
Oct. 17, 1879 Recd. From A. M. Jones $1,000.00
Nov. 4, 1879 Recd. From A. M. Jones $1,000.00
Nov. 8, 1879 Recd. From A. M. Jones $1,000.00
Nov. 8, 1879 Recd. From A. M. Jones $500.00
Dec. 12, 1879 Recd. From A. M. Jones $500.00
Amount from Lodge fund $800.00
Contribution W. J. Lellers $50.00
Contribution P.A, Kline $50.00
Contribution Shanstrome Brothers $100.00
A. M. Jones paid labor for front sign $28.50
A. M. Jones paid insurance $105.00
A. M. Jones paid carpet $161.75
A. M. Jones paid for______ $11.00
Interest due to date $155.10
M. S. Burhaus painting not in contract
And paid by the Lodge extras $10.00
Total cost of the building $7,471.35
On motion Brother A. M. Jones WM and Brother J. W. Ratliff Secretary were authorized and instructed to execute a note to Lucy H. Jones for the sum of $1,461. 35, with the interest at fifteen percent per annum, bearing the date of January 24 A. D. 1880, until paid.
The Worshipful Master and Wardens were empowered to procure a cupboard or bookcase, on February 14, 1880, and bring in a bill for the same. This bookcase is presently in the entry way to the Tilers room in the Temple at Nevadaville.
The old building committee, consisting of Brothers A. M. Jones, P. A. Kline and W. J. Lewis, was authorized to have a suitable water closet erected for the use of the occupants of the Masonic Block and residence.
On February 12, 1881, P. A, Kline PM presented the Lodge with a set of rosewood columns, gavels, square, level and plumb which were accepted by the Worshipful in a neat and appropriate speech and a vote of thanks tendered by the Lodge. The columns are still in the Lodge room in Nevadaville. One of the gavels was found in some of the paraphernalia that was in storage during the time that the Temple was closed.
Brother P.A. Kline PM, on behalf of the new officers, presented the Lodge with a full set of officers collars on January 14, 1882 and a vote of thanks was moved and carried unanimously. These collars are decorative collars and are used in the Lodge on special occasions by dispensation of the Grand Master.
It was resolved on April 22. 1882 that a new article be added to the by-laws of Nevada Lodge No. 4 to read as follows. The Secretary and Treasurer of this Lodge shall give bond to the Lodge with at least two sureties to be approved by the Lodge in such an amount, as shall from time to time be fixed by a vote of the Lodge. Being conditioned for the faithful performance of their duties and for the faithful and timely payment of all monies coming into their hands and offices. On motion the bonds of the Secretary and Treasurer were fixed at five hundred dollars on December 9,1882.
On June 24, 1882, Brother C. C. Collins of Central Lodge No. 6 arose and advanced toward the W. M. Station, there in a neat and appropriate speech presented the Lodge with a handsome silver water pitcher and Goblet, as a present, from Brother W. E. Fullerton PM. It was received with appropriate remarks from the Worshipful Master and the members present and a vote of thanks with a raising ovation. The pitcher is presently in the bookcase at the entry to the Tilers room.
On motion, December 9,1882, a warrant was ordered drawn on the Treasury for the sum of forty five dollars and seventy five cents in favor of A. M. Jones. It being the last payment in full for the note of $1461.35 given this Lodge, January 24, 1880, due one year after date with interest at the rate of 1 1/4 percent per month.
On December 23, 1882 a dispensation from the Grand Master was read authorizing the Lodge to have a public installation. This appears to be the only public installation held in Nevada Lodge No. 4. Until Grand Lodge of Colorado approved open installation in the late 1970’s.
On motion, April 23, 1883, the Worshipful Master, Senior Warden and W. J. Lewis were appointed a committee to have a tin roof placed on the Masonic Block as early a date as possible. The bill of G. W. Ladd for putting a tin roof on the Masonic Block for $280.00 was read and allowed on June 9, 1883.
Be it resolved, on May 10, 1884, that David H. Hamor WM and John W. Ratliff Secretary of Nevada Lodge No. 4 A.F. & A. M. of Colorado, be authorized to make, execute and deliver, to raising Sun Tribe NO. 2 improved order of Redmen of Colorado, a good and sufficient warranty deed of the West twenty six feet of the lot now owned by said Nevada Lodge No. 4 A.F. & A.M. Together with the frame dwelling house thereon in the incorporated town of Nevadaville, Gilpin County, Col,orado upon the receipt to them or either of them the sum of five hundred dollars as the consideration paid therefore.
Be it further resolved that, David A. Hamor WM and John W. Ratliff Secretary of Nevada Lodge No. 4 A.F. & A.M. of Colorado be authorized and empowered to make execute and deliver to raising Sun Tribe No. 2 improved Order of Redmen of Colorado, a lease of so much of the lot owned by Nevada Lodge No. 4. That is now occupied and covered by the frame dwelling house and sold by Nevada Lodge No. 4 to raising Sun Tribe No. 2 Improved Order of Redmen, for a term equal in time to the time, said dwelling house shall stand on said lot. They shall make payment to the Lodge the sum of one cent per annum payment to be made annually.
On motion, July 12, 1884, the Secretary was instructed to write to the Sheriff of Grand County, Colorado and make inquiry as to the status of Brother Dennis O’Brian. The Brother now being held in that county suspected of the crime of murder and to write to Brother O’Brian himself in regard to his condition.
Regular communications were dispensed with by order of the Worshipful Master on account of small pox quarantine, on March 28 and April 11, 1885.
A motion was made and carried on June 13, 1885 that the Worshipful Master be authorized to rent the Lodge room to the Patriotic order Sons of America, to hold their meetings one night each week at the monthly rate of ten dollars.
On motion, November 14, 1885 the Worshipful Master was instructed to have iron shutters placed on the three windows on the West side of the Masonic Block provided the same could be done for $12 per window.
On motion April 24, 1886, a warrant was ordered drawn on the treasurer for the sum of $100.85 in favor of Brother A. M. Jones. This was in full payment, of interest and principal, on the $2000 note given to Brother Jones at the time of the erection of the Masonic Block in the year 1879.
On June 26, 1886 the Worshipful Master reported that he had an offer, from a Brother in the Lodge, to loan the Lodge the sum of $3000 at the rate of eight percent interest to take up the Jones note. On motion or Brother Finlay, the Worshipful Master was authorized to make the loan and execute the necessary papers to take up the $3000 note held by Brother Jones.
On July 24, 1886, the Worshipful Master reported that he and the Secretary had borrowed $3000 from Brother Alex Halsbrook at eight percent interest per annum. Whereupon they executed a trust deed on the Masonic Hall to secure the payment of the indebtedness evidenced by two promissory notes dated July 1, 1886. The first note for $1000 due one year after date and the other note for $2000 due two years after date in accordance with the authority conferred by a vote of the Lodge passed at its regular communication of June 26, 1886.
The First mention of the Past Masters Degree was 0n December 11, 1886 when an emergent Lodge of Past Masters was convened in the ante-room after which they conferred the Past Master Degree on Brother O. T. Sparks the Worshipful Master Elect.
Brother A. M. Jones applied for a demit on March 12, 1887, which was laid over until the next regular communication.
A communication from the Grand Secretary and the building committee of the Denver Masonic Temple Association, was received on March 23, 1889, inviting this Lodge to attend and participate in the ceremonies of laying the corner stone of the Masonic Temple in Denver, at 2:00 P.M. April 8, 1889.
An interesting note in the minutes of July 12, 1890 that, on motion, the Junior Warden was instructed to prefer charges against eight Brothers for unmasonic conduct in neglecting to pay Lodge dues.
On motion, July 26, 1890, Brother Alexander Aulsbrook was instructed to employ a person to watch or sit up with Brother Robert Williams, of Shelburn Lodge No. 369 of Shelburn Indiana, at night, for one week commencing tonight. To be paid by this Lodge and take the risk of being reimbursed by Shelburn Lodge.
A special communication of Nevada Lodge No. 4 was held at the Masonic Hall in Nevadaville, Colorado at 7:30 o’clock P.M. October 15, A. D. 1870 A. L. 5870. The Lodge was duly opened on the first, Second and Third degrees of Masonry for the purpose of receiving The Most Worshipful Grand Master, E. L. Foster.
Most Worshipful Brother E. L, Foster, was introduced to the Lodge by Brother M. G. Kobey WM and saluted with the Grand Honors of Masonry. Brother Foster entertained the Lodge with a few appropriate remarks touching on the objects, teachings and principles of Masonry and was followed by several members of the Lodge with remarks on the institution and early history of Nevada Lodge and of Masonry of Colorado. The Lodge then closed and partook of a scrumptious repast, which had been prepared by the Lodge for the purpose of entertaining the Grand Master.
Electricity was introduced into Central City in 1888 and on November 22,1890 a bill was received from The Gilpin County L. H. power Co. for $4.40 for wiring the hall and one half months light to November 1.
On motion on September 24, 1892, a warrant was ordered drawn for $107 in favor of Alex Aulsbrook in full payment of principle and interest on the loan note, made June 26, 1886, in full satisfaction of his claim against the property for money loaned.
A special communication of Nevada Lodge No. 4 A.F.& A.M. was held at the Masonic Hall Nevadaville, Colorado April 27, A. D.1893 A. L. 5893. The Lodge was duly opened on the first degree of Masonry for the purpose of instruction and practice in the work. Brother H. L. West DDGM presented his credentials, which were read, and on acceptance ordered on the Journal of records.
Brother West then occupied the attention of the members for some time in the esoteric work of the Entered Apprentice Degree, after which an hour or more was spent in the practice and exemplification of the work on the Entered Apprentice Degree. He also exemplified the correct manner of opening and closing a Lodge on the Entered Apprentice Degree. No further business appearing the Lodge was closed at 10:00 o’clock P.M. on the First Degree of Masonry to be opened again at 8:00 o’clock tomorrow night.
An interesting observation of the minutes since the inception of the Lodge June 10, 1883 was the first time that the Worshipful Master signed the minutes.
A communication was received from the Grand Secretary requesting the age of the members to be given in the annual report in answer to action of the Grand Lodge requiring the same, also a monthly report of suspensions, expulsions and reinstatements of members by the Lodge.
Apparently somebody had an abundance of peaches on September 22, 1894 as the Lodge was called from labor to refreshment to eat peaches and after some time spent in eating peaches and having social intercourse the Lodge was again called to order.
On November 10, 1894 it was resolved that article X of our by-laws be amended by striking out all that part fixing a stated salary for the Secretary. The above amendment offered to make the by-laws correspond to recent Grand Lodge legislation.
On motion, which was carried on December 8, 1894, the Secretary was constituted agent for the Masonic Block to rent and collect rents with a commission of ten percent on the amount of all monies collected by him for rents and dues of members.
Amending article 4 to reduce the fees, for the degrees, from $50.00 to $35.00 was considered and on motion indefinitely postponed on April 11, 1896. An amendment to article 8 reducing the dues of members, to two dollars per year and changing the time of charging up the same to fifty cents. At the first regular communication in January, April, July and October, was also taken up and adopted by a two-thirds majority vote of the Lodge.
A communication was received on April 25, 1896 from L. N. Greenleaf, editor of the square and compass, that an article of absorbing interest to Gilpin County Masons would appear in the April number and urged the Lodge to subscribe for a number of copies of the April Number. On motion, the Secretary was instructed to subscribe for five copies of the square and compass for one year commencing with April 1896. He was also instructed to request twenty five copies of the April Number for $1.75.
On July 25,1896 it was announced that Mr. Richards, who has been doing the work of cutting the grass and keeping the Masonic cemetery in order for a few years past, had agreed to do the same for $40 per year. Central Lodge No. 6 had agreed to accept the proposition and on motion this Lodge accepted the same.
A communication, November 14, 1896, from a committee appointed by Idaho Springs Lodge No. 26, in reference to arrange a district association to be composed of the Lodges of, Golden, Clear Creek and Gilpin County Counties was read. The Worshipful Master, Secretary and Brother Hamor were appointed a committee to act with a like committee from the other Lodges to consider the propriety of forming or organizing such an organization.
A communication from W. L. Bush, committee on District organization, was received on January 23, 1897, and placed on file. That a meeting of the committees of the several Lodges had been called to meet at Idaho Springs on Wednesday January 27, 1897 at 11:00 o’clock to elect officers, perfect the organization and appoint a time and place for the first meeting. Then on May 8, 1897 a communication was received from the committee on District organization, of the several Lodges of Golden, Clear creek and Gilpin Counties, asking Nevada Lodge No. 4 to name a Vice President for this Lodge and on motion Brother John Nicholson was elected.
A motion was made and passed on October 23, 1897, to convert a portion of the rooms over the Radchofsky store into a banquet room. Brothers O. J. Sparks, F. S. Bulsinger and John W. Cannon was appointed a committee to carry out the desire of the Lodge in having the necessary changes in the arrangement of the rooms and fit the same up at once. Then on November 13, 1897, the committee appointed to make changes and fit up a banquet room, reported that the work had been done. A banquet had been prepared and arranged, to which the Members and Visitors were invited to a very excellent supper, that had been prepared under the careful supervision of the committee.
On a motion that was made and carried January 8, 1898, the building agent was instructed to make the necessary repairs and improvements needed in the Radchofsky store and raise the rent to $30 a month. Also, to raise the rent on the barber shop to $12.50 a month and the post office to $15 a month.
A motion was made and carried unanimously March 25, 1899, to send a vote of thanks to Rob Morris Lodge N0. 92 A .F. & A. M. for their Brotherly love and respect shown to our late Brother J. W. Ratliff.
An item of interest on December 9,1899, the Lodge closed on the third and second degrees and resumed labor on the first degree for the purpose of examining Brother Charles Wagner. Whereupon no ballot was spread until December 23,1899.
On June 9, 1900 a bill for an organ of $40 was allowed and ordered paid. This is a pump organ and is still in the Lodge Building in Nevadaville at this writing.
Charges were preferred against Brother Azel D. Galbraith on April 9, 1904 and a trial was ordered for May 14,1904 for the murder of his wife and child. A motion was made and carried that the Brethren from Russell constitute A committee to look after the remains of Mrs. Galbraith and son. May 14,1904 a motion was made and carried to permit visiting Brethren to remain during the trial of Azel Galbraith. Charges as were previously preferred against A. D. Galbraith were read and a ballot ordered. Whereupon by a majority ballot he was duly expelled from all the rights and privileges of the Masonic Fraternity. The accused having admitted his guilt, a motion was made and carried to make the same publicly known.
A motion was made and carried on November 12, 1904 to send Brother Mills to a hospital in Denver for treatment. A motion was also made and carried instructing Brother Warren to secure a loan of $325 from the bank for the purpose of paying an insurance premium and defraying Brother Mills expenses at the hospital. Then on February 25, 1905 it was moved and carried that committee be Appointed, by the Master, to interview the county commissioners and if possible to get some assistance in caring for Brother Mills.
The low price of gold and the lack of sufficient water the town of Nevadaville began to decline appreciably. Requests for assistance were turned down for lack of funds. In 1905 they raised their dues to $4.00 per year in an effort to meet their responsibilities and in 1915 they lowered their dues back to $2.00 per year in an effort not to lose all their Members.
In 1917 a committee was appointed to confer with the county in regard to a reduction in taxes on the building. Also on December 8th at the annual meeting all officers simply retained their stations and places.
In 1921 only 4 meetings held for the entire year and there was no election or installation of officers. Again in 1923 there was no election or installation of Officers, all Officers simply remained in their same stations. The Lodge barely existed during the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s, after which Masons from Denver started to join the Lodge.
One highlight for Masonry in Gilpin County on June 17, 1933 a dedication ceremony was held, by the Grand Lodge, for the monument placed on the site where first Masonic building was erected at Mountain City. This site is located where the road forks going into Central City. Nevada Lodge No. 4, Central Lodge No. 6 and Blackhawk Lodge No. 11 hold an annual pilgrimage to the monument which began in 1942 with Most Worshipful Brother Benjamin C. Hilliard, Grand Master of Masons in Colorado, together with Grand Lodge Officers from Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and California. There were 262 Brethren registered from 49 Colorado Lodges and 21 Lodges from other States. This pilgrimage is still held annually in July, and at the time of this writing, after the ceremony at the monument at Mountain City lunch is served in Nevadaville. They then join with the Boulder Lodges for the tour to the monuments at Ward and Gold Hill, then, on to Halls ranch in Lyons for a barbecue dinner and open air meeting.
During the lean years of the 20’s 30’s and 40’s there was continued problems with vandalism and on October 10,1936, when they arrived at the Lodge building they found it had been broken into again and the Tilers sword, jewels, globes on the pedestals and many other articles were missing. In June of 1937 it was moved, seconded and carried that the windows and doors be boarded up. From June 1937 to March 8, 1941 seven meetings were held it was at that time they moved, seconded and was carried that the electricity be shut off and arrangements be made with Central Lodge No. 6 to meet in Central City. On July 18, 1942 they met in Central City for the first time after closing the Temple in Nevadaville. At this meeting the matter of moving the furniture to Central City was discussed, for the first time. It was moved, seconded and passed that the Secretary make arrangements to move the furniture. On May 26, 1944 it was again discussed and decided to move the furniture to Central City and stored in one of the spare rooms of the Masonic Temple. It was further moved, seconded and carried that a committee be appointed to inspect the building at Nevadaville and report as to the feasibility and cost of repairing the same.
On March 9, 1946 a motion was made, seconded and carried that the Worshipful Master contact the Grand Master in regard to the disposition of the Lodge Building in Nevadaville, Again on December 11, 1948 a discussion was had on what could be done with the building, also a motion was made seconded and carried that all chairs and furniture be moved to Central City and stored in Brother Russell’s warehouse.
A motion was made, seconded and carried, on January 22, 1949 that the Lodge hold one more meeting in the old building in Nevadaville. No date was designated and no further evidence was recorded that they held another meeting in Nevadaville.
April 22, 1950 Brother Wm. Russell Jr. stated that Mr. Sky Holman of Central City had made an offer to purchase the building in Nevadaville for $1000. The matter was thoroughly discussed and a motion was made, seconded and carried that the Trustees be authorized to make the deal with Mr. Holman, nothing but the building to be conveyed. All furniture, including the stone on the front of the building is to remain property of the Lodge. Because of the Price and the removal of the stone on the front of the building the deal fell through and the building was not sold. Later in the same year another discussion was had on the possibility of rehabilitating the building in Nevadaville and again no action was taken. The building was again broken into in May of 1952 and finally on October 11, 1952 Wm. Russell reported that the furniture was moved from Nevadaville and stored in his building on Spring Street in Central City. The resolution that was made, at some previous date, to dispose of some of the furniture was recinded.
The Lodge gave the Worshipful Master, Arthur Mayham, a vote of thanks for donating a triangle and railroad spike for use in the conferral of the third degree to designate low twelve in the second section. This triangle is still being used in the Lodge, at the present time, in the second section of the third degree.
All during the 1950’s many discussions was had on the possibility of rehabilitating the Temple in Nevadaville. Several committees were appointed and reports made as to what could be done. On September 13th 1958 Worshipful Master Turner reported that that an estimate was had to rehabilitate the Temple in Nevadaville for 8 to 10 thousand dollars. A motion was made, seconded and carried to summons all members for discussion. On September 10th Deputy Grand Master Leon Snyder gave a talk on the history of the Grand Lodge, the Grand Lodge Centennial and the restoration of the Temple in Nevadaville at which time he made an offer for financial assistance for this endeavor. At the next meeting, Brother Ken Dotson made a motion not to restore the Temple in Nevadaville and after three years it be torn down and a monument built at the sight. The motion was amended by Brother Cliff Parsons not to tear the building down and was carried.
At the regular meeting held on January 23rd 1965 a debate on the Lodge hall in Nevadaville ensued and after lengthy discussion a committee was appointed to explore the possibility of having a meeting in Nevadaville for the purpose of raising funds to preserve the building. March 13th the committee reported that the Grand Master John Wesch and the Grand Secretary Harry Bundy would visit the building in Nevadaville to approve the possibility of having a meeting in Nevadaville. Approval for the meeting was given, clean up and preparations began and on June 19th 1965 the first annual ghost town meeting was held with 14 members and 80 visitors. The largest attendance at a ghost town meeting was on June 15th 1968 when the Masters club of the Denver Area Masonic Officers association conferred the Master Mason degree. There were 160 Brothers in attendance at this meeting with 20 sitting Masters, 35 Colorado Lodges and 13 out of State Lodges represented. Preservation progressed so well that restoration began and is currently still in progress. The annual ghost town meeting is currently being held on the first Saturday of June each year.
All Colorado Lodges in existence one hundred years or more were invited to attend a joint meeting of Nevada Lodge No.4 and Union Lodge No. 7, to read excerpts from the minutes of their respective Lodges and to reminisce of old times. Six Lodges were present and a good time was enjoyed by all.
On April 22, 1972 it was reported that plans for Henry Ress night was finalized. Brother Ress was Master of Nevada Lodge no. 4 In 1938 and 1944 and served as Secretary for twenty five years. Brother Henry was probably the man and Mason most responsible for the continued existence of the Lodge during the lean years after gold mining diminished, during and after the depression and until after World war II when Masonry again began to increase. It was reported on that same night that Brother Henry suffered a stroke and on April 26th Brother Henry was buried on the 50th anniversary of his Masonic career.
On September 23, 1972 a vote was taken on the proposed changes to the by-laws to move the charter from Central City to Nevadaville during the months of May, June, July August and September without dispensation at the Masters pleasure. The change was approved by the Grand Master and to the best of our knowledge Nevada Lodge No. 4 is the only Colorado Lodge to ever have a floating charter.
The first heating system to be installed in the Temple after the restoration began was in May of 1973. Worshipful Master Don Lovell lauded the building committee for their excellent work in making the Lodge room very comfortable, even though the temperature was lower than usual for that time of year.
Three awards plaques were presented to the Lodge by Worshipful Brother Shaw on behalf of the Denver Area Masonic Officers Association for the most attendance at the Association meetings during 1970, 1971 and 1972. These plaques are to be kept by the Lodge in Lieu of the large plaque, which was to be presented to the Grand Lodge Museum at the end of ten years participation.
Brother Shaw announced that an Actual Past Masters degree was planned for January 19, 1974 at Central City. It was hoped that this would become an annual event rotating among the mountain Lodges in January and a summer meeting in Nevadaville to help raise funds for the Temple. This was the beginning of the Gold Country Actual Past Masters Association which meets twice a year with the summer meeting held in Nevadaville.
In March of that same year Brother Weingarten announced that 150 folding chairs were purchased from El Jebel Shrine at $1.00 each for use at Nevadaville and also several ten foot tables donated by the Shrine. Also, a piano was donated by Westminster Lodge No. 176, and at the present time is in the lower level on the East side of the building.
Two work parties were scheduled on September 29 and October 12 for the purpose of digging a trench and laying drain pipe along the West wall to keep the underground water from running under the floor when it is installed.
The pressure and storage system for the water supply was installed in April of 1975. All water that is used in the building has to be hauled in and renovations have been made several times on the storage capacity. Prior to installing the pressure system a gravity system was used from fifty gallon barrels on a truck behind the building.
A motion was made by Brother Weingarten and passed on January 10, 1976, that a Temple Association be formed so that Temple funds could be separated from Lodge funds and that the Temple Association have the authority to oversee the restoration of the Temple and the maintenance of Temple funds. In the year of 1983 the Grand Lodge required all Lodges with Buildings to form a Corporation for their Temple Associations. On October 6, 1983 The Nevadaville Masonic Temple Association Inc. was formed.
Brother Weingarten reported that a work party for the cemetery was scheduled for May 16, 1976. A breakfast of eggs, pancakes and sausage would be served to all that assisted in the cleanup at $1.00 per person at the Nevadaville Temple. Thus was born the pancake breakfast that is held in Nevadaville on the Sunday after the second Saturday in July. The breakfast was held on the Sunday after Mother’s day and because of inclement weather on several occasions it was moved to July in 1985. This breakfast has become the biggest fund raiser for the restoration of the Temple and is attended by Brethren and friends all over the State.
Brother Walt Harris installed the steel beam in the dining room on April 9, 1977 with the assistance of many of the men that he worked with in the steel business. This was the beginning of plans to replace the floor and install a fireplace in the dining room in an effort to hold a centennial celebration for the building. A centennial celebration was held on October 6, 1979 with a dinner dance at $25 a Couple. A duplicate dinner ticket, from the dedication of the Temple in 1879, was given to each person that attended the centennial dinner dance celebration. With the success of this celebration there was an attempt made to have an October fest each year, which didn’t pan out.
The metal ceiling in the Lodge room is not original and was installed in 1985. The wallpaper in the Lodge room is original and some touch up work was done to repair the bullet holes on the North wall.
The kitchen was enlarged and a commercial stove and hood, donated by Denver Chapter No. 2 Royal Arch Masons, was installed in the year 1990.
Nevada Lodge now meets, on a regular basis, in the Temple in Nevadaville on the second and fourth Saturday of the month. The Lodge is dark January, February and March and may move their charter to the Denver area in November and December because of inclement weather.
Restoration is still an ongoing endeavor and the present project is the restoration of the second floor, on the West side of the building, with a library, office and rest rooms.
The Annual ghost town meeting, breakfast and the Gold Country Actual Past Masters Association are the Main fund raisers. A great number of donations are made on a regular basis from Brethren and friends that are interested in seeing this valuable monument of antiquity restored.
Through the year 2002 there has been 3200 stated communications and 322 special communications. 712 petitions were received of which 103 were rejected. 452 Fellowcrafts were raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason and 3 Master Masons were expelled.
Credits for this history are as follows:
The minutes of Nevada Lodge No. 4
Colorado Masonic Centennial
One Hundred Years of Masonry: Nevada Lodge No. 4
Central City and Gilpin County Then and Now: Robert L Brown
Masonry came to Colorado 1858-1956: George Clark
Hand me down information from Brothers and friends that were born and raised in Nevadaville.
Personal participation over the last forty-two years.