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Washoe Lodge , located in Washoe City, NV halfway between present-day Carson City and Reno , at its stated communication of July, , appointed a committee to confer with the other lodges in the area, as to the expediency of organizing a Grand Lodge for the Territory of Nevada. From some cause, the subject was dropped at that time. In November, , Virginia City Lodge and Escurial Lodge located in the City of Virginia appointed a joint committee to correspond with the lodges in the state, as to the expediency of organizing a Grand Lodge for the State.

The appointment was responded to by the appointment of like committees from all the lodges. After a careful and deliberate consideration of the subject, the following resolutions were reported, and adopted by five lodges, there then being eight chartered lodges in the State:. Joseph De Bell, chairman of the joint committee and B.

Bloomer, of the committee, acting as Secretary. The Convention resolved to appoint a committee on credentials, which reported on the brethren present.

The committee on credentials then reported that the above-named lodges are indeed legally chartered and constituted lodges of Free and Accepted Masons, and that the officers of said lodges there present were duly authorized and qualified to organize and constitute a Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons for the State of Nevada, and further resolved that the work proceed toward that end.

Various housekeeping issues were then satisfied, and the Convention appointed a committee to draft a Constitution for the Grand Lodge of Nevada, after which the convention adjourned until the next morning, January 17, On the morning of January 17, , the committee on credentials reported that they had examined the charter of Silver City Lodge , Silver City NV, and found it to be legally chartered and entitled to be represented in the Convention, and its delegates were seated.

The committee on constitution then presented the proposed Constitution, which was discussed, amended, and adopted unanimously. On the afternoon of January 17, , the convention opened, discharged the committee on constitution, and opened as a Lodge of Master Masons, presided over by W.

Brady, Master of the oldest lodge represented by its Master, and proceeded to the work of election of Grand Officers as follows:. Grand Master — M. Bailey Senior Grand Warden — R. Brady Junior Grand Warden — R. Mullard Grand Treasurer — V. Olney Grand Secretary — V. Those elected officers, along with other appointed officers, were installed into their offices at 7: Fish, Secretary of the Convention. Grand Master, and countersigned by the V.

And thus began the official history of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Nevada — and a long and proud tradition which continues today.

Torrence was born in St. From the latter of which he was graduated May 18th, standing second in his class. In he moved with his family to Wapakoneta, Ohio. There followed a five years service in the Peoples National Bank of Wapakoneta, as Teller and confidential advisor to the President of that institution. He severed his connection with the bank two years later, to accept a position with the Union Pacific Coal Company in Hanna, Wyoming, as cashier and pay master of that institution, which position he filled for three years.

During the time he was employed by that company, he met and married Eva R. Bostwick, making his home in Hanna, Wyoming. To this union one child, whom they named Koneta, was born. Two years later he was called to Cincinnati, Ohio, to fill a position in the offices of the Breese Bros. He entered the Masonic fraternity during the year , joining Hamer Lodge No. Amens, and at once started to gather data for the history of the constituent lodges of the Jurisdiction of Nevada.

The task was finished in David who kindly loaned their volume of views collected during their terms as Grand Masters. Other views were taken by Chas. Gallagher or were furnished by the lodges as named.

Torrence joined Reno Consistory No. In he was elected Worthy Grand Patron O. In he joined Kerak Temple A. He is also a member of St. Marys Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, which he joined in Always interested in writing, and a profound student of Masonic lore, his devotion to the cause of Masonry makes him an outstanding member of the Craft, and a logical person to write the History of the constituent lodges of Nevada, which is hereby submitted for your criticism. Remains of a long forgotten people have been uncovered by the geologist or their activities traced in pictured writings on bluffs, which ages ago were smoothed by erosive action of wind and sand.

A race of beings who may have been strong and powerful, long before Noah launched his ark, long before the pyramids were built, or before the Ming dynasty of the flowery kingdom laid claim to power and prestige.

Down her dim trails, first came the pioneer; the rumble of his prairie schooner disturbing the primeval silence of a rock bound wilderness, and widening the trail made by the hurrying fret of countless red men. For years, in an unbroken stream, this tide swept on, into the golden west, or, loitering by the side of trickling streams, gambled with the elements or diced with mother nature in quest of fickle fortune.

Then came the locomotive, its shrieking whistle and clanging bell issuing a challenge to the howling defiance of the wolf and coyote, bearings its burden of humanity to distant fields, lured by the hope or promise of a golden hoard. Today, motor cars and rumbling trucks flash over broad smooth roads, which were once dangerous wagon trails infested by prowling denizens of the mountains and plains, where traveling caravans were beset and harassed by cunning, blood thirsty Indians.

From its dizzy height, it passes over mute evidences of decay, a deserted mining shaft, a decaying mill, where once the tide of golden fortune ebbed and flowed.

It passes high above a town, whose once populous streets are overgrown with sage or mesquite bush, whose sagging roofs and battered walls are mute attestants to the remorseless hand of time, and the fickle tide of fortune. A town whose grandeur is gone, whose hum of industry has long since been silenced, and whose treasure is seemingly exhausted. And there are many such in Nevada.

And yet, Nevada remains, and probably always will remain, a land of mystery and magic. Man may dynamite her mountains, he may pan her streams and rivers for its gold, he may bridge her chasms and build his cities, but he cannot chain that charm which lies in her mountains and hills; he cannot overcome the lure that haunts her ancient trails, nor can he silence the ceaseless echo of those spirit voices which sigh among the pine and balsam, and whisper her derision and contempt for his futile attempt to conquer her.

The following historical manuscript, prepared by D. Williamson, was presented and read before the sixty-sixth annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Nevada, Free and Accepted Masons of Nevada, convened in the city of Reno, in the Masonic Temple, on the 12th day of June, It was published in the Annual Proceedings of that year, and is produced here in full. In speaking of the old town of Genoa in this state several months ago, the editor of the Carson Appeal said that the first gathering of Masons ever held in Nevada took place there, but inquiry as to his sources of information led to nothing definite, because the man who had told him, a former postmaster of Carson City, had long been dead.

If any meeting of so-called Masons occurred at Genoa, it must have been a gathering of those who first saw the light in Illinois in lodges that on October 7, , were declared by the Grand Lodge of Illinois to be clandestine. The first known informal meeting of Masons in Nevada of which there is any note took place in Virginia City in But the fact that a meeting of clandestine Masons may have taken place at Genoa, which prior to the survey of Orson Hyde in was known as Mormon Station and was settled by Mormons almost exclusively, makes the relations of Mormons to Masonry in general and the attitude of Masonry in Nevada toward Mormons of especial interest to the Fraternity.

Some of those Mormons, under a ruling of the Grand Lodge of Illinois in , may even have been Masons in good standing, since little attention was then paid to non-payment of dues, and few if any jurisdictions required documentary evidence or a card such as now is demanded. There is no denying that most of the Mormons who came West from Nauvoo in had been made Masons in what were at the time regularly constituted lodges.

Quite a number of the Mormons had been raised in New York and Ohio. The dispensation was suspended on August 11, , but was restored in November, , on the recommendation of a Grand Lodge Committee which found that the chief irregularity had been collective balloting, and two more lodges were granted dispensations in Nauvoo, while one at Montrose, Ill. All these were strictly Mormon lodges and they continued to work, virtually unchallenged, until the Grand Lodge convened in October, , when the charter of Rising Sun Lodge, No.

The lodges involved paid not the slightest attention to Grand Lodge orders, but continued to work as before, refusing to surrender their books and papers. They even went so far as officially to dedicate the Masonic Hall at Nauvoo on April 5, , with Masonic ceremonies, although at that time they really had no existence as lodges, whatever, under the ruling of the Grand Lodge.

Five hundred and fifty men, called Masons in the report of the proceedings, attended. The Grand Lodge of Illinois apparently did not know what to do about such behavior and it was not until its annual communication in that it at last took drastic action.

It adopted a resolution declaring that the suspension of a subordinate Lodge by the Grand Lodge only affects the standing of its individual members so far as they participate in disregarding the edicts of the Grand Lodge after the first information thereof coming to their knowledge and providing such individuals by their act shall not have been the cause of the action of the Grand Lodge declaring such lodge suspended or clandestine.

It is said that Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism, was still claimed to be a Mason at the time of his murder by a mob, and it is quite possible to believe that many Mormons, who took little active part in the lodges, imagined that they were still Masons three years later on coming West. Even John Doyle Lee, the leader of the Danites, who conducted the Mountain Meadow massacre in , when he and his men murdered a band of emigrants from Arkansas, laid claim to being a Mason and seemed quite sincere about it.

I made a Masonic sign of distress, when to my relief and yet to my surprise, a planter pushed to my aid. He took the drunken men and led them out of the crowd and then sat by me during the rest of the sermon, thus giving me full protection. That man was a stranger to me but he was a good man and a true Mason.

After the killing of Joseph Smith the Mormons remained on at Nauvoo until March, , when they began the westward march that led to the settlement of Utah and the establishment of Salt Lake City. Returning to the subject of Genoa, Mormon Station was founded by a small party of Mormons in June, , who had a band of cattle and in addition sold supplies to the emigrants to California who passed along the Carson Valley on their way West, but these people did not remain and in the spring of John Reese and Stephen Kinsey with a larger number of Mormons, reoccupied the station, taking formal possession on July 4 of that year.

They formed quite a settlement and established fine farms in the neighborhood. Three years later, Orson Hyde, president of the apostles of the Mormon Church at Salt Lake City, was appointed probate judge of the newly formed Carson County, of which Genoa was the principal settlement, and led a party of seventy families who settled in and around Genoa and in the southern part of what is now Washoe county. Hyde, who was a close friend of Joseph Smith in Nauvoo and who had acted as missionary in England successfully, was one of the leaders in Mormonism and there cannot be the slightest doubt that he was a member of one of the Masonic Lodges at Nauvoo, for nearly every able-bodied Mormon belonged.

At the first election the county officers were all Mormons. It was not altogether a bed of roses for them and Orson Hyde was busy with fulminations against the Gentiles from time to time.

By there were as many Gentiles as there were Mormons and at one time there was almost a pitched battle between Gentiles and Mormons, but Orson Hyde called the latter off.

Properly to understand the feelings of Masons toward the Mormons in Nevada later, it is necessary to understand that this was only three years before the discovery of the Comstock Lode. The efforts to enforce Mormonism on Gentiles left their mark and about this time other causes increased the hostility of most Americans against the followers of Brigham Young.

They obeyed, sacrificing their property for whatever it would bring. Sessions led the first Mormon train of twenty-one families, which left Eagle Valley on July 16, , and on September 5 another urgent message came by express which was followed by an exodus of persons. Genoa was reduced to a small village, while the Washoe Valley was almost depopulated.

It is proper to say that some of the Mormon settlers refused to return to Utah and remained in Nevada, where they became fine citizens. Times have changed since then and last year the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Nevada approved a ruling of the Most Worshipful Grand Master that he could see no reason why a Mormon, otherwise qualified should not be made a Mason. But in the Mormons were distinctly regarded with suspicion by all with whom they came into contact.

Proof existed that Brigham Young was hostile in the early years of the Civil war to the Union side and that he hoped for the success of the Confederacy. Besides this, emigrants from the East and Middle West told many stories of the unpleasant way in which they were treated while crossing Utah.

In addition to these facts, disclosures of what occurred in the endowment house at Salt Lake City incensed Masons, who felt that the mysteries of Masonry were being profaned. For instance, in one of the grips of the so-called Melchizedek priesthood in the Mormon church, the colloquy is: These are foot to foot, breast to breast, hand to back, and mouth to ear.

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Mullard Grand Treasurer — V. Olney Grand Secretary — V. Those elected officers, along with other appointed officers, were installed into their offices at 7: Fish, Secretary of the Convention. Grand Master, and countersigned by the V. And thus began the official history of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Nevada — and a long and proud tradition which continues today.

Torrence was born in St. From the latter of which he was graduated May 18th, standing second in his class. In he moved with his family to Wapakoneta, Ohio.

There followed a five years service in the Peoples National Bank of Wapakoneta, as Teller and confidential advisor to the President of that institution. He severed his connection with the bank two years later, to accept a position with the Union Pacific Coal Company in Hanna, Wyoming, as cashier and pay master of that institution, which position he filled for three years.

During the time he was employed by that company, he met and married Eva R. Bostwick, making his home in Hanna, Wyoming. To this union one child, whom they named Koneta, was born. Two years later he was called to Cincinnati, Ohio, to fill a position in the offices of the Breese Bros.

He entered the Masonic fraternity during the year , joining Hamer Lodge No. Amens, and at once started to gather data for the history of the constituent lodges of the Jurisdiction of Nevada. The task was finished in David who kindly loaned their volume of views collected during their terms as Grand Masters.

Other views were taken by Chas. Gallagher or were furnished by the lodges as named. Torrence joined Reno Consistory No. In he was elected Worthy Grand Patron O. In he joined Kerak Temple A. He is also a member of St. Marys Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, which he joined in Always interested in writing, and a profound student of Masonic lore, his devotion to the cause of Masonry makes him an outstanding member of the Craft, and a logical person to write the History of the constituent lodges of Nevada, which is hereby submitted for your criticism.

Remains of a long forgotten people have been uncovered by the geologist or their activities traced in pictured writings on bluffs, which ages ago were smoothed by erosive action of wind and sand. A race of beings who may have been strong and powerful, long before Noah launched his ark, long before the pyramids were built, or before the Ming dynasty of the flowery kingdom laid claim to power and prestige. Down her dim trails, first came the pioneer; the rumble of his prairie schooner disturbing the primeval silence of a rock bound wilderness, and widening the trail made by the hurrying fret of countless red men.

For years, in an unbroken stream, this tide swept on, into the golden west, or, loitering by the side of trickling streams, gambled with the elements or diced with mother nature in quest of fickle fortune. Then came the locomotive, its shrieking whistle and clanging bell issuing a challenge to the howling defiance of the wolf and coyote, bearings its burden of humanity to distant fields, lured by the hope or promise of a golden hoard.

Today, motor cars and rumbling trucks flash over broad smooth roads, which were once dangerous wagon trails infested by prowling denizens of the mountains and plains, where traveling caravans were beset and harassed by cunning, blood thirsty Indians. From its dizzy height, it passes over mute evidences of decay, a deserted mining shaft, a decaying mill, where once the tide of golden fortune ebbed and flowed.

It passes high above a town, whose once populous streets are overgrown with sage or mesquite bush, whose sagging roofs and battered walls are mute attestants to the remorseless hand of time, and the fickle tide of fortune. A town whose grandeur is gone, whose hum of industry has long since been silenced, and whose treasure is seemingly exhausted.

And there are many such in Nevada. And yet, Nevada remains, and probably always will remain, a land of mystery and magic. Man may dynamite her mountains, he may pan her streams and rivers for its gold, he may bridge her chasms and build his cities, but he cannot chain that charm which lies in her mountains and hills; he cannot overcome the lure that haunts her ancient trails, nor can he silence the ceaseless echo of those spirit voices which sigh among the pine and balsam, and whisper her derision and contempt for his futile attempt to conquer her.

The following historical manuscript, prepared by D. Williamson, was presented and read before the sixty-sixth annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Nevada, Free and Accepted Masons of Nevada, convened in the city of Reno, in the Masonic Temple, on the 12th day of June, It was published in the Annual Proceedings of that year, and is produced here in full.

In speaking of the old town of Genoa in this state several months ago, the editor of the Carson Appeal said that the first gathering of Masons ever held in Nevada took place there, but inquiry as to his sources of information led to nothing definite, because the man who had told him, a former postmaster of Carson City, had long been dead.

If any meeting of so-called Masons occurred at Genoa, it must have been a gathering of those who first saw the light in Illinois in lodges that on October 7, , were declared by the Grand Lodge of Illinois to be clandestine.

The first known informal meeting of Masons in Nevada of which there is any note took place in Virginia City in But the fact that a meeting of clandestine Masons may have taken place at Genoa, which prior to the survey of Orson Hyde in was known as Mormon Station and was settled by Mormons almost exclusively, makes the relations of Mormons to Masonry in general and the attitude of Masonry in Nevada toward Mormons of especial interest to the Fraternity.

Some of those Mormons, under a ruling of the Grand Lodge of Illinois in , may even have been Masons in good standing, since little attention was then paid to non-payment of dues, and few if any jurisdictions required documentary evidence or a card such as now is demanded.

There is no denying that most of the Mormons who came West from Nauvoo in had been made Masons in what were at the time regularly constituted lodges. Quite a number of the Mormons had been raised in New York and Ohio. The dispensation was suspended on August 11, , but was restored in November, , on the recommendation of a Grand Lodge Committee which found that the chief irregularity had been collective balloting, and two more lodges were granted dispensations in Nauvoo, while one at Montrose, Ill.

All these were strictly Mormon lodges and they continued to work, virtually unchallenged, until the Grand Lodge convened in October, , when the charter of Rising Sun Lodge, No. The lodges involved paid not the slightest attention to Grand Lodge orders, but continued to work as before, refusing to surrender their books and papers. They even went so far as officially to dedicate the Masonic Hall at Nauvoo on April 5, , with Masonic ceremonies, although at that time they really had no existence as lodges, whatever, under the ruling of the Grand Lodge.

Five hundred and fifty men, called Masons in the report of the proceedings, attended. The Grand Lodge of Illinois apparently did not know what to do about such behavior and it was not until its annual communication in that it at last took drastic action. It adopted a resolution declaring that the suspension of a subordinate Lodge by the Grand Lodge only affects the standing of its individual members so far as they participate in disregarding the edicts of the Grand Lodge after the first information thereof coming to their knowledge and providing such individuals by their act shall not have been the cause of the action of the Grand Lodge declaring such lodge suspended or clandestine.

It is said that Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism, was still claimed to be a Mason at the time of his murder by a mob, and it is quite possible to believe that many Mormons, who took little active part in the lodges, imagined that they were still Masons three years later on coming West.

Even John Doyle Lee, the leader of the Danites, who conducted the Mountain Meadow massacre in , when he and his men murdered a band of emigrants from Arkansas, laid claim to being a Mason and seemed quite sincere about it. I made a Masonic sign of distress, when to my relief and yet to my surprise, a planter pushed to my aid. He took the drunken men and led them out of the crowd and then sat by me during the rest of the sermon, thus giving me full protection.

That man was a stranger to me but he was a good man and a true Mason. After the killing of Joseph Smith the Mormons remained on at Nauvoo until March, , when they began the westward march that led to the settlement of Utah and the establishment of Salt Lake City. Returning to the subject of Genoa, Mormon Station was founded by a small party of Mormons in June, , who had a band of cattle and in addition sold supplies to the emigrants to California who passed along the Carson Valley on their way West, but these people did not remain and in the spring of John Reese and Stephen Kinsey with a larger number of Mormons, reoccupied the station, taking formal possession on July 4 of that year.

They formed quite a settlement and established fine farms in the neighborhood. Three years later, Orson Hyde, president of the apostles of the Mormon Church at Salt Lake City, was appointed probate judge of the newly formed Carson County, of which Genoa was the principal settlement, and led a party of seventy families who settled in and around Genoa and in the southern part of what is now Washoe county. Hyde, who was a close friend of Joseph Smith in Nauvoo and who had acted as missionary in England successfully, was one of the leaders in Mormonism and there cannot be the slightest doubt that he was a member of one of the Masonic Lodges at Nauvoo, for nearly every able-bodied Mormon belonged.

At the first election the county officers were all Mormons. It was not altogether a bed of roses for them and Orson Hyde was busy with fulminations against the Gentiles from time to time. By there were as many Gentiles as there were Mormons and at one time there was almost a pitched battle between Gentiles and Mormons, but Orson Hyde called the latter off.

Properly to understand the feelings of Masons toward the Mormons in Nevada later, it is necessary to understand that this was only three years before the discovery of the Comstock Lode. The efforts to enforce Mormonism on Gentiles left their mark and about this time other causes increased the hostility of most Americans against the followers of Brigham Young.

They obeyed, sacrificing their property for whatever it would bring. Sessions led the first Mormon train of twenty-one families, which left Eagle Valley on July 16, , and on September 5 another urgent message came by express which was followed by an exodus of persons.

Genoa was reduced to a small village, while the Washoe Valley was almost depopulated. It is proper to say that some of the Mormon settlers refused to return to Utah and remained in Nevada, where they became fine citizens.

Times have changed since then and last year the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Nevada approved a ruling of the Most Worshipful Grand Master that he could see no reason why a Mormon, otherwise qualified should not be made a Mason. But in the Mormons were distinctly regarded with suspicion by all with whom they came into contact.

Proof existed that Brigham Young was hostile in the early years of the Civil war to the Union side and that he hoped for the success of the Confederacy. Besides this, emigrants from the East and Middle West told many stories of the unpleasant way in which they were treated while crossing Utah.

In addition to these facts, disclosures of what occurred in the endowment house at Salt Lake City incensed Masons, who felt that the mysteries of Masonry were being profaned. For instance, in one of the grips of the so-called Melchizedek priesthood in the Mormon church, the colloquy is: These are foot to foot, breast to breast, hand to back, and mouth to ear.

Understanding the ill regard in which Mormons and their faith were held, it is possible to comprehend the remarks of Grand Master Joseph DeBell, at the communication of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Nevada on September 18, Brother DeBell reported issuing a dispensation for the organization of Mount Moriah lodge in Salt Lake City and said that, when this lodge has been opened and had begun work, the question was submitted to him of how Mormons were to be created who claim to be Masons and ask the privilege of visiting.

In issuing the dispensation, he said, he had required a pledge that the petitioners should carefully exclude all persons of the Mormon faith. In answer to the question from Mount Moriah lodge, he replied: Therefore you will take notice that Mormons, claiming to be Masons, be excluded from the right of visiting; and also that petitions for the degrees of Masonry shall not be received from any person who is known to be a Mormon.

Mount Moriah lodge of Salt Lake objected to the ruling, holding that it should be the best judge of whom it should admit to the lodge as visitors or members. The communication of of the Grand Lodge, therefore, refused to grant a charter and directed that demits be sent to the members.

Mount Moriah lodge subsequently obtained a charter from Kansas, which for a time caused some friction between the Grand Lodge of Nevada and that of Kansas, but the Salt Lake lodge changed its views and in Utah now a Mormon is not regarded as eligible to become a Mason.

In practice a Mormon is not admitted to a lodge in several other jurisdictions, although they have no printed rules on the subject. The question of admission of Mormons to the Masonic bodies in Nevada remained without discussion in the form in which it had been decided by Brother DeBell until the communication of the Grand Lodge in , when it was again brought up by representatives from the eastern part of the state. At that time arguments for and against the views of Brother DeBell were offered but no action was taken and the ruling remained undisturbed until it was set aside last year.

It has been a much discussed question among the later generations of the fraternity, why Masonry in Nevada should have first found sanctuary in Carson City instead of Virginia City, which, by reason at that time of its greater population and its firmly established mining industry, as well as for its greater number of sojourning Masons, had outdistanced Carson City, and might on that account have been entitled to the honor of having in its midst, the first unit of Masonry to be established in the territory of Nevada, besides which, it is historically certain that the first meeting of a Masonic nature held in Nevada was held in Virginia City in the early summer of , on the occasion of the funeral of Brother Edw.

Paris Storey, a captain in the U. Army, who was killed in an engagement with the Pah-Ute Indians June 2, This information is corroborated in a letter received from Brother W.

VanBokkelen, who served as M. Grand Master of Nevada Masons in the year of , and who was thoroughly familiar with Masonic developments in the state. Just why the meeting in Virginia City referred to by Past Grand Master VanBokkelen did not culminate in the establishing of a lodge in Virginia City, Masonic records fail to disclose, for it is known to have been presided over by M.

This brother is said to have been an unusually zealous Mason, having performed active Masonic service in various sections of the United States. That he was held in high esteem by the brothers of Virginia City is evidenced by the fact that he was the leading spirit in the formation of the first Masonic lodge in Virginia City on January 15, , which was at first named in his honor but afterwards was changed to Virginia Lodge No. However, the zealous Mason, having performed active Masonic service in various sections of the United States.

That he was held in high esteem by the brothers of Virginia City is evidenced by the fact that he was the leading spirit in the formation of the first Masonic lodge in Virginia City on January 15, , which was at first named in his honor, but afterwards was changed to Virginia Lodge No.

Nevada at this time numbered among its population many Masons of unquestionable zeal who had come across the California border from sections where Masonry had been firmly established after order had been created from chaotic conditions which followed the Gold Rush of The Call went out at once, and immediate response was made by the brethren in Carson.

It is stated, that among the Masons living in the town were Brothers R. Wayman, both physicians, who attended the sick traveler, administering necessary medical aid, and arranged for other attention in the way of supplying food, clothing and medicine. The first authentic record made of the outcome of the determination of the brethren of Carson City to establish lodge in their midst, is reflected in the account of a meeting held on the evening of February 13, , when Brother M.

Larrow presented a dispensation signed by the M. Grand Master of California, granting authority to fifteen brethren to establish a lodge of F. The dispensation was officially granted by the Grand Lodge of California February 3, The records of Carson Lodge disclose the names of the following brethren named in the dispensation, viz; Brothers M.

Larrow, Phillip Stoner, F. Phillips, Seymour Pixley, D. Armer, Wellington Steward, W. It is said that the meeting called for the purpose of receiving the dispensation was held in the upper part of the T. For some unaccountable reason not readily understood at this remote time, a considerable period of time elapsed before mention is made on the records of the new lodge, of the installation of its first officers.

Unfortunately, the records of the California G. This charter named Marcus D. Larrow, Worshipful Master, Edward J. Arrangements were at once made to receive the charter and its distinguished bearer on May 29 of the same year, on which date the ceremony of constituting the lodge and installing its officers was performed by Brother John S. Belcher, Grand Master of the California Jurisdiction. At this meeting Brother M. Larrow, who was also named W. In the meantime, a new superstructure is said to have been added to the building in which the lodge met, and in this structure, conveniently and comfortably outfitted to accommodate the brethren, Carson lodge continued to expand, performing its work and spreading Masonic light.

It was in this hall too, that the first public installation of officers was held on the evening of December 27, , presided over by Past Grand Master William H. Howard, of the California jurisdiction. It is noted in the minutes of December 18, , that Brother Blasdel, afterward elected governor of Nevada, presented a petition to Carson lodge, signed by twenty-one brethren from Virginia City, asking permission to organize a lodge at that place.

Brother Blasdel vouched for the integrity, fitness, and qualification of the petitioners and the request was graciously granted, resulting in authority being granted by the Grand Lodge of California to organize Howard Lodge of Virginia City, U.

The year was a particularly busy one for Carson lodge. As an example of the work it was called upon to perform, the records of the meeting of February 20 of that year, state that seven petitions for the degrees were received besides three applications for affiliation.

There were fourteen members present upon the occasion besides twenty-seven visiting brethren. This condition continued throughout the entire year, with the result that at the beginning of , a splendid membership was enrolled upon the roster of the lodge, while peace and harmony prevailed among the brethren. The selection of Carson City as the location for the first Masonic lodge in Nevada created some unlooked for situations in Masonry on Nevada soil.

In the first place, Nevada had not yet been admitted to statehood. Masonically, it was under the jurisdiction of California, and so, with no Grand Lodge in the territory to direct its destinies, and the parent Grand body, while not inaccessible was, nevertheless, inconveniently placed to be hurriedly communicated with, and so the contention has been made, perhaps deservedly so, that Carson lodge exercised some of the prerogatives of a Grand lodge.

Reference is more particularly made to its tendency to exercise its prerogative in granting permission for other lodges to be organized in the Territory, in close proximity to its charter. For instance, Washoe Lodge No. The same was true of Silver Star Lodge No.

However, it is not to be assumed that in receiving these acknowledgments of its authority Carson lodge was assuming prerogatives not due it, nor levying tribute where tribute was not due.

Being the first lodge to be organized in the Territory of Nevada, it held certain territorial jurisdiction under its Charter, by reason of which it might if it chose, prevent the establishment of any other lodges aspiring to organize in the territory from which it drew its membership; and so the several lodges mentioned which asked permission to organize in its territory, were only observing an established precedent and extending Masonic courtesy to Carson lodge, at the same time obeying Masonic law by so doing.

And so, in seeming to adopt some of the prerogatives of a Grand Lodge, as it has been claimed, Carson lodge in no way usurped the authority of the parent Grand Lodge, nor assumed privileges belonging to that body. It posed, rather, in the capacity of an advisory institution, if at all, deferring to the Grand Lodge of California those questions of law and jurisprudence which might occasionally be brought up, and these occasions were remarkably rare, so on the whole there has never been any justification of the claim that Carson lodge took over some of the privileges of a Grand Lodge, for if it ever acted, even in an advisory manner, it was always with due deference to the Grand lodge under which it was chartered, and with no claim to authority as an individual unit of Masonry.

Repeated efforts were made to raise the money to liquidate this indebtedness but with no tangible results. Along with its financial troubles, Carson lodge is said to have experienced some difficulty in maintaining harmony among some of its members. The Civil War, then in progress between the North and South, was the agent of much bitter feeling between the supporters of both contending factions. In this part of the country were found many Southern sympathizers, who openly voiced their sentiments, antagonizing the citizens who came from north of the Mason and Dixon line.

This antagonism culminated at times in physical encounters, and apparently crept into Carson lodge, for we find in the minutes of July 17, , that a committee was appointed to investigate charges of secessionism which had been filed against certain members of the lodge; however, at a later meeting, held some time in August of the same year, the committee so appointed reported it was unable to sustain the charges, and they were withdrawn.

Subsequent differences the same year between some of the members were voluntarily aired in the lodge, but under the pacifying efforts of the W. In evidence whereof, it is recorded that at a later meeting that year, several petitions for membership were received, and all were referred for investigation to one committee.

Again, at the annual election of officers in December, , to serve for the ensuing year, the officers were declared elected unanimously, indicating that peace and harmony prevailed among the brethren.

Since a new building recently completed and owned by a brother named Kline was available and met their requirements,the lodge removed to the new location.

Several attempts were made to purchase this building, but without success. On October 24, , Carson lodge received an invitation from the brethren at Genoa, Nevada, to lay the corner stone of a proposed Masonic Temple at that place.

The records of the lodge however do not reveal that the lodge participated in these ceremonies. In this connection may we quote from an article written by Past Grand records says: We cannot reconcile the discrepancy as to time. It is to be assumed, however, that the brethren performed this service.

It must likewise be supposed that the Temple at Genoa was ready for occupancy when the lodge was granted its dispensation, and was duly instituted in that building. As the year drew to a close, it is recorded that during the two years and more that the lodge had been in existence, frequent discussion had come upon the floor of the lodge in reference to the advisability of organizing a Grand Lodge of Nevada, but no definite action had ever been taken, the movement lacking leadership.

But, in other sections of Nevada, notably at Virginia City, the project had been often discussed, and had been weighed from every angle. Accordingly, early in December, , a communication was framed by Virginia City lodge and sent out to the lodges in Nevada operating under a California charter, inviting them to meet in Virginia City on January 15, , and continue in session until the purpose of the meeting should be accomplished, namely, the formation of a Grand Lodge of Nevada.

This invitation was read in Carson lodge on the evening of December 15, , and finding no opposition, was approved and accepted, and arrangements were made to attend the meeting.

On January 17, the lodges represented at the communication, surrendered their California charters, and received new charters signed by the newly elected officers of the Grand Lodge of Nevada. As might be supposed, the creation of a Masonic lodge at Carson City, being so far removed from the parent jurisdiction, and denied the privilege of holding Masonic intercourse with brethren who were versed in recent rulings of Grand Lodge bodies, and alive to customary practices in vogue in other lodges, led to some unusual practices and developments in lodge procedure.

For instance, it is claimed, that following the death of President Lincoln, Carson City decided to pay tribute to his memory on the day of his burial, in Washington, D. To this end, factories were to be shut down for the day, business and public houses closed, private homes and business houses appropriately draped in mourning, a funeral procession to form and march through the town, and a funeral oration to be delivered.

In keeping with this decision, and in honor to the martyred President, the lodge called a meeting to arrange for proper representation upon this occasion, and decided to march in the funeral procession in full regalia, and in customary funeral formation.

Accordingly on the day set for the observances, the lodge met, and opened a Grand Lodge in ample form, with a representative attendance of duly deputized Grand Lodge officers. The procession was headed by the Grand Bible, and Grand standard bearers, and all station and altar emblems of the Grand Lodge were appropriately draped. This action of the lodge was duly reported and approved by the Grand Lodge at its next annual communication.

Reviewing the annals of Free Masonry in Nevada it becomes apparent that the greatest strides Carson lodge had made were between the years immediately following the close of the Civil War, and up to and including the Centennial year The mines of the Comstock were then at the peak of their fabulous production, and Carson City was the gateway through which passed a mighty throng to woo the fickle goddess of chance, or to engage in the more stable marts of industry, and in the passage of those whose ultimate Mecca was Virginia City, Carson City reaped its harvest, and prospered accordingly.

But it was more than a mere record of prosperity which brought wealth and industry to Carson, through which all classes, sects, denominations and societies benefited. It was a record of indomitable energy and perseverance which separated the dress from the gold, and in Masonic circles, built up a membership which not only had its influence upon the destinies of the little city, but manifested itself in the affairs and policies of the state as the years sped by.

At numerous times and places Carson lodge was called upon to participate in the activities of city, county and state. As a particular instance of this, mention is made of the laying of the corner stone of the State Capitol, this ceremony taking place on June 9, , under the supervision of the Grand Lodge of Nevada, presided over by Most Worshipful Grand Master George W.

De Witt Clinton Commandery, Knights Templar acted as escort to the Grand Lodge, and a large procession included civic, military and fraternal societies. The Grand Marshal of the procession was Bro. Tritle, while the principal speaker of the day was Robert H. The brethren met in the Senate Chamber of the Capitol, it having been graciously tendered by the State authorities, as the Masonic Hall was occupied by another fraternity. The brethren of the Rose Croix from Virginia City assisted in the ceremonies.

Prominent among the new membership appears the names of Chas. Laughton and Norris D. Trenmore Coffin, whose name ranks high on the roster of Masonry, became a member of the Carson Lodge of Perfection in February, Glancing through the rolls of Carson Lodge No.

One, we find the names of many Masons who took a leading part in the affairs of Nevada while it was still a territory, and continued their activities when it was admitted to statehood. Succeeding registrations reflect the names of many Masons who later became prominent in the social, religious, and political affairs.

To follow the lives of these substantial citizens, would be to uncover activities concerning which volumes might be written, and would reveal characters of sterling worth, and fixed integrity.

As a sanctuary for such individuals, Carson lodge has become famous in Masonic annals, and has established an enviable reputation among the brethren in Nevada. For when the great discovery was made on Mt.

Davidson, or Sun Peak Mountain, Washoe Valley leaped into prominence for it had fuel and timber for building, plenty of water and fine rich land for farming; and from it the Comstock could be and was supplied. It soon assumed importance and following the necessary location surveys made in the spring of , Washoe City came into being, began to grow and for the next five or six years, enjoyed a substantial and steady expansion.

In it became the county seat of Washoe county. With the coming of the V. Railway, the decline commenced. Reno wanted the county seat, and on August 5, , a petition signed by residents of Reno was sent to the County commissioners asking for the removal of the County seat to Reno.

This petition was denied, but another was framed and sent in February Hayden appeared for Reno. The petition was withdrawn, but another was soon presented. On June 14, , a special election was called to decide the issue. Reno won by a vote of to Washoe then applied to the courts for redress, resulting in a bill being sent to the legislature which was passed, declaring Reno to be the County seat on and after April 3, It was the doom of the valley city, an early exodus of many of the residents followed, business became stagnant and, while for the next 18 years or more, a settlement continued to exist on the old site of the town, yet its progressive spirit was broken, and one by one its citizens departed to other fields.

It was prior to this period that the urge for Masonic intercourse in Washoe City was felt by the sojourning brethren, resulting in the establishment of a lodge under California registry. It is inconceivable, but it is nevertheless true, that but small attention was paid by the officers of the Grand Lodge of California, to the organization of Washoe lodge, No. Two reasons have been assigned for this regrettable neglect.

One, Washoe lodge was far removed from the confines of California and the distance to be traveled to assist in its organization and institution led through undeveloped territory and across treacherous mountain trails with lurking danger ever present, and weary unmarked miles and hours demanding days of hardship and toil and privation ahead if the trip should be attempted.

Two, it was the second year of the Civil War, the country was in the throes of political and sectional excitement; the attention of the states was focused on the bitter contest, and the sympathies of a harassed people were centered on the faction whose cause and opinions they had espoused. It was natural therefore, that in the excitement of the moment, the importance of properly recording the events of the founding and final establishment of Washoe lodge, No.

The actual records are almost nil in reference to who was responsible for originating the movement and about the only reference obtainable is from the journal of proceedings of the Grand Lodge for the year it was authorized to organize under dispensation, the names of its first officers, and a list of its membership at the conclusion of its first year of existence.

A meagre record upon which to erect a historical structure, but nevertheless, a foundation upon which was constructed a unit of Masonry which flourished during the period of its existence, and grew to be a commanding agent in the fraternal affairs of the Sagebrush state, springing into existence, as previously stated at the time when the blood of the mining world was at red heat due to the discovery of fabulous ore deposits over on the slopes of Sun Peak Mountain, and the rush of excited men and women to this new El Dorado of Nevada.

It witnessed from afar all the romance and glamour incident to the development of a new mining district, and absorbed some of the benefits resulting from the creating of wealth, for the resources of Washoe City and surrounding territory were called upon to contribute to the building of the mining center on the Comstock, and in the resultant distribution of wealth, Washoe lodge profited, not so much financially, but rather because there was brought to Washoe city, through commercial and industrial relations, men of means, ability, and fraternal impulse, who eventually became associated with and finally enrolled on the roster of the lodge, and became a forceful part of its existence.

The incidents leading to the establishment of Masonry in Washoe city were similar to those noted in the organization of other Masonic units developed in Nevada at that time. Realization came in response to an urge for Masonic contact with the brethren in a home where the landmarks of the Order might be properly observed, and the practices of the craft might find indulgence in a hall of their own.

Unlike many of the early Nevada lodges, the intention to organize was productive of almost instant results, functioning in a series of gatherings called to formulate plans for an immediate organization of the brethren to operate under dispensation. The feasibility of forming a Masonic association to function until a larger charter list could be assembled was considered and is hinted at in a later journal of proceedings of the Grand Lodge, but this possibility of Masonic organization was discouraged, and a petition was framed to the Grand Lodge of California, asking permission to organize U.

Favorably considered, the prayer of the petitioners was answered, and on July 25, , the dispensation was granted by Wm. Johnson as Senior Warden, and Thomas B. Prince as Junior Warden. The following is a list of Master Masons of Washoe lodge, reflected in the proceedings of the Grand lodge of California of at the close of its first year of existence. Chillson, Horace Countryman, A. Lovejoy, Thomas Parker, T. Withdrew—David Lowe, and W. Quarters for housing the new lodge were obtained in the upper story of a building occupied by Mears and Knickhead as a mercantile establishment, which, having been appropriately furnished, were in readiness to welcome the distinguished Masons who assembled on the Saturday next preceding the full moon in July, , to open the new lodge, and witness the installation of its officers.

Brethren from Virginia City were present in large numbers to assist the distinguished officers and brethren. A fine banquet preceded the opening of the lodge, and the installing of officers. For the next ten months Washoe lodge continued to function agreeable to the wishes of its sponsors, and the desire of the Grand Lodge of California.

So well did it merit the approbation of that Grand Body, that on May 15, , it was moved to authorize a charter to be issued, naming D. Brown, Senior Warden; James H. Sturtevant, Junior Warden; P. Johnson, Senior Deacon; J. It is interesting to note, that at that time Washoe lodge had an enrollment of 36 members.

Not an unusual numerical list it is true, but among its number were those who were nevertheless sincere and devoted brethren, through whose instrumentalities the lodge grew and spread its Masonic light; men who figured prominently in municipal, county, and state affairs, and brought fame and honor to themselves and the section from which they hailed; some of whom afterward crossed over into California, becoming identified with its commercial, industrial, political, and social life, adding luster to the honor roll of that state.

For, the Masons who pioneered the way in Washoe lodge were men of outstanding merit and integrity; they took a leading part not only in Masonic affairs, but in public life as well; some of them attained not only public honor, but also became wealthy. Prominent among those who gained renown in the political field, was Thomas A. Read, elected first County Commissioner of Washoe county, serving with credit to his constituents, and honor to himself.

Prince was another member who earned the confidence of the voters of Washoe county, and served them through two different sessions of the legislature. Sturtevant, also prominent in Masonry, and said to have been one of the first to place farming on a secure and profitable basis in Washoe Valley, represented his county in the legislature, and made a name for himself, by reason of his honesty, fairness and forceful argument on the floor of the House.

He afterwards removed to California, where he is said to have become a leader, and whose son became a Justice of the Supreme Court of that state. Brady was another member of Washoe lodge who became prominent in Masonic circles. He served as Worshipful Master of Washoe lodge for three terms. He was Master of Washoe lodge when the lodges of Nevada met in Virginia City to organize the Grand Lodge of Nevada, and had the honor of presiding over the first lodge opened at the formation of the Grand Lodge of Nevada, and with the organization of that Grand Body became its first Senior Grand Warden, acting as installing officer of the first Grand Lodge officers.

Shannon, who served as Secretary of Washoe Lodge, was a man of recognized ability, not only in his lodge, but throughout Washoe County. He became Clerk of Washoe County, in which office he served with rare ability. Later he was elected County Recorder, where he once more demonstrated his ability and willingness to serve his constituents with that marked deference and good will which always characterized his association with the public. Shannon was for many years Secretary of Washoe Lodge.

He was also a veteran of the Mexican War, serving in the 2nd Regiment N. Volunteers, at the storming of the Castle Chapultepek at the City of Mexico. In this same company was David E. He died November 27, Gaston, a charter member,and active in the affairs of Washoe lodge, was likewise a distinguished attorney and prominent in the affairs of Washoe County, as was Fred D.

Stadtmuller, who joined the lodge in , afterwards withdrawing and affiliating with Carson Lodge at Carson City. Later he removed to San Francisco, and engaged in business where he died about George Robinson, then in the prime of an active business career, also affiliated with Washoe Lodge, filling the various chairs, and serving the lodge as a true and tried Mason. His efficiency and capability was soon recognized by the Grand Lodge of Nevada, with which he became actively associated, and which he served as Most Worshipful Grand Master for two terms These are but a few of the members of Washoe lodge who brought honor to that lodge and credit to the Order in Nevada.

It was truly a remarkable roll, still, they were only a part and parcel of those remarkable men and Masons who built largely and well in Nevada, and constructed a foundation upon which succeeding generations have continued to build a super-structure which shall endure as long as Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth shall be practiced.

The question of organizing a Grand Lodge of Nevada had long been considered, and attempts had been made upon various occasions to bring the question to issue; during the year Washoe lodge assumed the responsibility of bringing the constituent lodges of Nevada into convention for the purpose of effecting the long sought for organization and sent out invitations to the seven lodges of Nevada with that object in view.

An objection was raised that Nevada was not a state, and that it was not desirable nor provident to organize a Grand Lodge under territorial administration; also that as the number of lodges was small, the question should be held in abeyance. In November, , after Nevada had been admitted to statehood the subject was again renewed.

Referring to the minutes of Washoe lodge of December 10, ; a resolution from Virginia and Escurial lodges, inviting the lodge to send delegates to Virginia City to meet January 15, , to the organization of a Grand Lodge was read and the invitation unanimously accepted.

On January 17, , Washoe lodge withdrew from the California Jurisdiction, and united with seven other lodges to form the Grand Lodge of Nevada. Five Master Masons had withdrawn, and two had been suspended for non-payment of dues. Today, wild grass and sagebrush grow where once stood the Valley City of Washoe. The old Masonic meeting place, its weather-beaten and crumbling sides and curling shingles, mute evidence of the devastating hand of Time, is all that remain of a once thriving and industrious little city.

Derickson, who was later killed in a controversy by Horace F. The publication then passed into the hands of General Allen, an uncle of Derickson, who continued the publication during the affluent days of the town. Business men came to Washoe City from many points on the Coast, and the commercial affairs of the town multiplied rapidly, for Washoe City was also the center of a wealthy farming district, and the surrounding hills were covered with a growth of virgin balsam and pine. From a thousand mountain rills came a flow of crystal water to quench the thirsty and to water the soil; resources which contributed to the comforts of the city and the valley, but which also were commercialized and brought wealth and increase to the people.

The old building which housed the brethren of Washoe Lodge continued as a landmark for many years after the town had passed into decrepitude, but it too, finally went the way of all things perishable. Its decaying walls are all that is left of its one time stability.

The lodge surrendered its Charter in and the brethren drifted to other localities. During the years of affluence and prosperity, Washoe lodge became a favorite sanctuary at which the brethren of the lodges at Virginia City and Carson City would gather to exchange fraternal greetings, and enjoy the hospitality of the brethren of the Valley city lodge.

Stewart, and many others took an active and important part in Masonic affairs during the peak of Washoe lodge prosperity and are said to have been consistent visitors and attendants at Masonic gatherings held in the district. With the decline of commercial and industrial activities in Washoe City.

Masonry languished, and eventually it became impossible to hold meetings due to no quorum present. On several occasions Washoe lodge attempted to remove to Reno, but on each occasion, Grand Lodge denied the request, with the result that on March 25, , the brethren voted to surrender the charter and on June 12 of that year the lodge was declared extinct.

The history of Nevada mining begins with the invasion of territory by a band of Mormons sent out by Brigham Young in early months of the year to effect a settlement in the country adjacent to the Truckee river and on the Trail which wound its tortuous course across the rugged slopes of the Sierra mountains in California.

After days of harassing experiences and heartbreaking adventures they penetrated the Valley of the Truckee, and made camp, the location afterwards becoming known as Ragtown.

From this base they gradually extended their operations, some penetrating the adjacent hills and mountains in search of gold, others selecting promising locations along the grass-covered banks of the river where they eventually developed valuable agricultural tracts. Those who ventured into the mountains soon decided that the rocky slopes were barren of mineral values and turned their attention to the mountain streams in the hope that they might be successfully panned for gold.

The amount of gold panned was negligible, but with dogged persistency characteristic of their sect, they continued to pan only miserly returns, for months unmindful of the fabulous wealth which lay just ahead of them, beneath the windswept slopes of Sun Peak mountain, which, within the next decade was to astound the mining world with its richness, and from whose subterranean depths would issue a flow of wealth, compared to which the yield from the fabled mines of Solomon, King of Israel, would be a mere pittance.

The years passed by; occasionally the monotony of their existence was relieved by the arrival of other caravans, pushing westward. The little band of placer miners in Gold Canyon had been augmented by other arrivals and quite a settlement had now been established at that point.

Stewart, afterwards to become U. Senator, Philip Deidesheimer, who developed a method of timbering which came into universal use in western mines and made possible the working of soft ground in high stopes. Adolph Sutro was also a developed product of the Comstock whose bulldog persistency completed the Sutro tunnel in spite of financial and political antagonism, which project not only drained the mines of the district, but also became a means for their ventilation, and, upon one occasion, an agent through which food and supplies were conveyed to the starving inhabitants of Virginia City who were snowbound and buried in gigantic drifts and cut off from communication with the outside world.

To this district also came Wm. Mills and Alvinza Hayward, to become prominently allied with the commercial, industrial and financial activities of the camp. The Comstock was also responsible for the development of Jno.

Jones, shrewd politician and financier, who was later elected U. The list is long, and wealth, fame and honor came to many who cast their lot and fortune here. Later came John W. Mackay, James Graham Fair, Wm.

Flood, destined to rule the Comstock and become its Bonanza Kings; to coax fabulous riches from its depths, and establish immense fortunes, portions of which, as in the case of the Mackay riches, would be set aside for the purpose of contributing to the education of the youth of our state with the endowment of the Mackay School of Mines at the Nevada State University.

The wealth of the other bonanza kings found outlet in commercial enterprises, giving employment to thousands, and contributing to the convenience of professional and industrial pursuits. The romantic and glamorous story of the Comstock is replete with experiences, adventures and situations sufficient in themselves to induce thrills in the most sedate, arouse the interest and attention of the most taciturn and phlegmatic, and quicken the pulses of those who are susceptible to excitement.

Daggett and Bret Harte, contemporaneous with the growth and development of the Comstock lode, or compiled by authors who in after years devoted months and years to the collection of data for their manuscripts, yet the story of the Comstock has never been completely told, for there is left to the imagination, the real picture of hardship incident to the first months of promotion, the subsequent subjection of the elements, heat and cold, as during the first summer and hard winter when they threatened to depopulate the district, and almost succeeded; but when these forces were overcome, and the breast of Sun Peak yielded up its treasure, there remains to be sensed the thrill of amassing and helping to amass wealth; the departure from the old mode of living — and the resorting to metropolitan and cosmopolitan airs.

And, when the final touches had been given to the structural units which made the composite city, the canyon streets sounded to the din of commercial activity, the gulches echoed to the confusion incident to the mining of fabulously rich ore, and an era of prodigality was ushered in unparalleled in the history of any mining camp, and the world looked on in amazement — these are some of the things to be conjured with as we recall the story of the Comstock, for they give us a new slant on those times and people who promoted and developed what was preeminently the greatest mining district the world has ever known.

And so, as the mining history of Nevada was born in territory adjacent to the wind swept slopes of Sun Peak Mountain, and was developed in the fabulously rich bonanza mines of the Comstock, resulting in the founding of new mining camps in the adjoining district, so in like manner Masonry was cradled in the same district and found sanctuary in Gold Hill, Silver City, Dayton and Virginia City.

Keeping pace with the development of the metal industry of the district and eventually becoming a factor which aided in shaping the destiny of individuals, Masonry exerted its moral and refining influences on municipal, county and state affairs long before Nevada was admitted to statehood. Although the first unit of Masonry in the Territory of Nevada was not established in Virginia City, yet it is historically true that the first Masonic gathering in the state was held in that thriving camp in June, , and was called to observe Masonic funeral rites over the body of Capt.

Storey, killed in an engagement with hostile Indians, near Pyramid Lake, to which reference has been previously made. Many notables were present at this meeting, prominent among whom was Wm. Henry Howard, Past Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, and a Past Grand Master from California, who was selected to preside over the meeting, and who is said to have pronounced the funeral oration.

Although this after-meeting stimulated interest in Masonry in the district, it was nevertheless productive of no immediate results. In the meantime the brethren in Carson City had become active, resulting in the organization of Carson lodge No.

However, interest in Masonry in Virginia City had not languished. The organization of the lodge in Carson City served as a stimulus to further activity and not only aroused the resident Masons of Virginia City to action, but was the instrument whereby sojourning Masons living in Gold Hill and Silver City felt the urge to organize in their respective communities to spread Masonic light. The movement in Silver City was started in the early months of , meetings of sojourning brethren being called, to formulate plans for the purpose of organizing and to arrange for suitable quarters in which to perform their Masonic work.

The brethren at Gold Hill were led in their undertaking by Bro. Ollney and Duane L. Howard, a Past Grand Master from California, but at that time a resident of the premier mining camp in Nevada, was responsible for the inauguration of the movement to found a Masonic unit in that place. However sincere and anxious the brethren in this district may have been to spread Masonic light, a dissenting factor gradually intruded upon their plans, a factor born of sectional animosity induced by the Civil War then in progress between the North and the South, and represented in this section of Nevada by scores of sympathizers who had come from both sides of the Mason and Dixon line, to cast their lot and find pastime in this unique mining center.

From various publications dealing with the history of the Comstock lode, it appears that there was unusual bitterness manifested among the adherents of both the Northern and Southern factions in Virginia City at that time.

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