Name: Laying the Masonic Lodge Cornerstone, 1914
Date: June 17, 1914
Image Number: B421cdB28
Comments: On June 17, 1914, Scottsville Masonic Lodge #45 laid the cornerstone for its current home at 137 Main Street. It was a stirring day in Scottsville with the town band marching down Valley Street, leading Lodge members from their meeting area at Beal's Hall to the new Lodge site. The first Lodge meeting was held in the upstairs meeting area after the building was completed in 1915 at a cost of $6000. The United States Government rented the building's first floor to serve as the Scottsville Post Office from 1915 until the post office moved in 1964 to a new location on West Main Street. In 2010, Coleman's Outdoors store occupied the old Post Office's first floor.
Masonic Lodge #45 began its history in Scottsville on December 7, 1851 and received its charter at their Valley Street meeting hall on the second floor of the Beal Building. James W. Mason opened and closed the charter night exercises as the first Worshipful Master. Members present for this historic meeting were William B. Brady, Sr.; John Hickok, Jr.; James Brady; Silas W. Dawson; Charles E. Little; J.L. Brady; J. M. Wade; W. F. Crawford; James A. Forbes; J.B. Dodd; W. Donoho; and James A. Leitch.
On December 7, 1951, the Scottsville Masons celebrated their 100th anniversary with a public ceremony in front of the Scottsville Masonic Lodge. Following the public program, a social hour was held in the Banquet Room of the Lodge for the members and visiting masons. At 6:30 pm, a banquet was held in the Auditorium of the Scottsville High School which was also ladies night; the guest speaker was Past Grand Master of Masons in Virginia and then the current Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Virginia.
The Scottsville centennial committee in charge of the arrangements for their 100th anniversary celebration was composed of Rt. Wor. A.R. Thacker, Chairman; Wor. W. A. and Ellis P. Jones. The History Committee was composed of Rt. Wor. F.P. Scott; Chairman Rt. Wor. J.H. Duncan; Wor. C.A. Whitted, John P. Dorrier, and T.H. Gillis. In honor of this Masonic anniversary, the History Committee authored a history of the lodge which was printed for distribution on December 7 and found records complete through the Civil War years. On the roster of members of Scottsville No. 45 were Peyton S. Coles, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Virginia in 1879 and 1880. There were also three Past District Deputy Grand Masters of the 17th Masonic District who were members of Lodge 45: J.H. Duncan, A.R. Thacker, and F. Pierson Sott.
In 1951 the officers of Lodge 45 were E.B. McCormick, Wor. Master; L. E. Baber, Senior Warden; Larkin Londeree, Junior Warden; J.W. Boggs, Senior Deacon; T.H. Gillis, Junior Deacon; T.A. Allison, Chaplain; C.R. Dorrier, Treasurer; C.A. Whitted Secretary; A.L. Thacker, Tiler; and J.E. Daniel, Chaplain emeritus.
History of Scottsville Lodge #45, AF&AM
GRANTING OF CHARTER
The Scottsville Lodge, No. 45, A.F. & A.M., received its charter from James Evans, Grand Master of Masons in the State of Virginia on December 7, 1851.
Lodge meetings were held in Scottsville prior to the year of 1851. It is impossible to determine when the first meetings were held since no minutes or records were kept. It is known, however, that a group of men in and around Scottsville formed themselves into a lodge and elected James A. Leitch as their Worshipful Master. It was through his efforts that the Grand Lodge of Virginia was petitioned in order to secure a charter for the Scottsville Lodge.
At this time, James Evans was Grand Master of Masons in the state, and it became his duty to examine the petition. After due investigations and with the consent of the Grand Lodge, he constituted and appointed on trusty the following brethren:
James W. Mason, Master
William B. Brady, Senior Warden
John Hickok, Junior Warden
These men along with those, who were admitted to work with them, were constituted into a lodge of Ancient, Free, and Accepted Masons by the name, title, and designation of Scottsville Lodge, No. 45.
With this granting of charter, the lodge received full power to receive and enter apprentices, to pass fellow crafts, to raise Master Masons, and to perform all other works of the craft according to the ordinances and regulations of the Grand Lodge of Virginia.
The Lodge was also instructed to regulate its own dues, adopt and record its own bylaws, and keep an accurate record of the minutes of all meetings.
The full account of the granting of the charter for the Scottsville Lodge can be found in Volume No. 1, of the Minutes, as recorded by John Dove, Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Virginia.
As Scottsville Lodge, No. 45, A.F. & A.M., marks its hundredth anniversary on December 7, 1951, the brotherhood can view with pride the accomplishment of having moved locations only three times over the century.
The accomplishment is even greater with the century recalled. It was one hundred years fraught with wars and depressions, and yet Scottsville Lodge has lived and prospered.
The fascinating story opens on December 7, 1851, in Beal's Hall, located in the center of Scottsville. The site today is the floor above Mathias' Store on Valley Street and State Route 20. Here the Lodge met for instruction, work, and refreshment for twenty-nine years, and here the Lodge received its charter.
Charter night was an inspiring meeting. James W. Mason opened and closed the charter night exercises as the first Worshipful Master. The records record that William B. Brady, Sr., was the Senior Warden, and John Hickok, Jr., was the Junior Warden. Members present for the historic meeting were: James Brady, Silas W. Dawson, Charles E. Little, J. L. Brady, J. M. Wade, W. F. Crawford, James A. Forbes, J. B. Dodd, W. Donoho, and Right Worshipful James A. Leitch.
Twenty-nine years later in 1880, the Lodge bought the upstairs floor of the present home of Mrs. John Mayo, of Scottsville, Virginia, and paid $229 for it. This move was unique in the annals of Virginia Masonry. Not many lodges have purchased only one floor of a building for a meeting place and that property a part of a private home. This arrangement held for fifteen years. In 1895, the Lodge bought the first floor for $300, and rented it to Dr. Anderson, D.D.S., from 1895 to 1913.
The second move came in 1913 when the Lodge sold the entire building to Dr. L. R. Stinson, of Scottsville, Virginia, for $1,250, and transferred back to Beal's Hall, the birthplace of the Lodge. This was the home of the Lodge until January 1, 1915. The first meeting in the new Lodge Hall was not held until January 29, 1915. During the occupancy of Beal's Hall, the Lodge paid a rent of $21 for a six-month period with the exception of June, 1914, to December, 1914, when the average rent was $20 for the six-months' period.
June 17, 1914, was a red-letter day in the life of the Lodge. On that date, the cornerstone was laid for a new building, and the present home of the fraternity. On the minutes of the Lodge is written, "The Worshipful Master informed the brethren that this special communication had been called for the purpose of laying the cornerstone in the erection of a Masonic Hall on Main Street of Scottsville, Albemarle County, Virginia. Right Worshipful H. G. Harris was called to preside in the East and filled the offices pro-tem as follows: Wor. T.E. Bruce, Sr., Warden; Wor. L. G. White, Junior Warden; S. R. Gault, Treasurer; T. M. Staples, Secretary; T. F. Robinson, Senior Deacon; Worshipful L. R. Stinson, Junior Deacon; L. H. Walton, Chaplain, and R. L Blackburn, Marshal."
It was a stirring day in Scottsville. The Lodge led by the Scottsville Band marched down the street to the site of the new building on Main Street. The cornerstone was laid in due and ancient form. Again the line of march was formed, and the brothers paraded behind the band to Moore's Hall. Here John B. Moon, a Past Master of Scottsville Lodge, was presented, and he in turn introduced Most Worshipful Brother R. T. W. Duke, Past Grand Master of Masons of the State of Virginia. The orator gave a forceful address.
Following the address, the brothers marched back to Beal's Hall. Due thanks were given to Brother Duke and the Scottsville Band.
Seven months later on January 29, 1915, the Lodge met at its third and present location. It was a new, two-story brick building and had been constructed at the cost of $6,000. The contractors for the new hall were Paulett and Grow. The lower floor of the Masonic building was rented to the United States government for use as a Post Office.
It is interesting to note that today there are four pieces of the original furniture still on hand in the Lodge. The Altar is the only one of the three pieces still in use at this time. New furniture for the station officers was purchased by the Lodge.
That is the record. It is indeed a stable one and gives assurance that the Lodge will live on into a bright future.
As we pass along through this sometimes difficult life, we find that a little humor spread along here and there will often help make the pathway a little more easy to tread and apparently some members of our Lodge thought the same thing a generation ago.
In the Town of Scottsville, a few years following the Civil War, there were two newspapers printed. One was known as the "James River Clarion," and the other one was the "Scottsville Courier."
These two papers were printed by two brethren who were members of the Scottsville Masonic Lodge, No. 45.
One was Major James C. Hill, and the other was Mr. William B. Brady. Major Hill was a devout Christian gentleman while Mr. Brady, being all the same a gentleman, did very frequently use the wine cup, and it was not infrequent that he was seen on the streets of our town under such influence.
At that time, there was only one printing press in Scottsville so it was that Mr. Hill would print his paper one week, and then Mr. Brady would print his paper the following week, and so on... Having seen Mr. Brady slightly under the influence one morning just before printing his paper, Mr. Hill thought that he would have some fun at the expense of Mr. Brady by printing a little poem.
No sooner said than done. Major Hill printed the following article in his paper:
Between Brady and brandy
There is the difference of a letter
When Brady is full of brandy
Times seem to be better.
No sooner than Major Hill's paper reached the street, someone had taken a copy to Mr. Brady, whereupon the gentleman literally hit the ceiling.
The following week when Mr. Brady printed his paper, he came back with a reply to Major Hill thus:
Between Hill and hell
There is the difference of a letter
When Hill is in HELL
Times will be better.
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