THE HISTORY OF SPOKANE LODGE No. 34
The year is 1879. Rutherford B. Hayes was President of the United States. The Washington territory was still over ten years from statehood, and legendary figures such as E.M. Forster, Nancy Astor, and Albert Einstein were just being born.
Spokane, then named "Spokan Falls" was a classic old west town with a population of about 300 people, and experiencing a growth surge.
During this year, sixteen local Master Masons, including Rev. S.G. Havermale, and Louis P. Ziegler, applied to the Grand Lodge of Washington for permission to open the first lodge in Spokan(e) County.
On January 8th, 1880, MW Oliver P. Lacey, Grand Master of Washington (territory), granted a dispensation to establish Spokan (later changed to Spokane) Lodge No. 34. On June 3rd of that same year, Spokane 34 was officially chartered, with Bro. Louis Zeigler as its first Master.
During these early years, Spokane 34 also experienced its share of setbacks, including having its charter briefly arrested during what became known as the and losing the entire lodge building and all it's property in the of 1889.
In 1903, ground was broken on a new Masonic Temple in downtown Spokane that came to be representative of the strength of fraternal and social organizations during the early 1900's and in 1912, the downtown Masonic Temple was visited by Bro. Theodore Roosevelt during his 1912 presidential campaign. The downtown Masonic Temple was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
Unfortunately, with the age of the building, the demand for upkeep of the building, and the downturn in Masonic membership, the expansive downtown Masonic Temple was sold in November 2013. Spokane Lodge No. 34 then, relocated to the Audubon Park Masonic Temple, and then to their current lodge on Second Avenue in downtown Spokane.
Pioneer Block, circa 1880. Owned by Bro. James Glover and believed to be an early meeting place for Spokane 34.
Wolverton Building, circa 1881. Home of the Spokane Lodge unit 1889. The building was destroyed in the Great Spokane Fire along with all lodge records with the exception of the charter and by-laws book.
The Masonic Temple Spokane, WA. Photograph owner: www.cardcow.com
Bro. Theodore Roosevelt, standing in the East of the Blue Room (see below) of the Masonic Temple, during his 1912 Presidential campaign. In 1903, Bro. Roosevelt participated in the ground breaking ceremony for the downtown Masonic Temple. Allegedly, Teddy strongly objected to this photo, as he had not previously sat in the East as Master of a Lodge, and felt that it misrepresented his station in the fraternity.
The Blue Room of the downtown Spokane Masonic Temple. Date unknown.