DORIC LODGE NO. 92
Free & Accepted Masons
EX TENEBRIS LUX 1892 AD - 5892 AL
Below are excepts from a booklet prepared in honor of the centennial of Doric Lodge in 1993. It has been edited in places keep it current.
In anticipation of the centennial year, a committee was formed of Officers and Brothers to plan and chart the course of events leading to the celebration of this august occasion. One of the many things planned was the development of a summary of the history of Doric Lodge No. 92. A subcommittee of WB Loren Hansen, WB Clyde Cowan and Bro. Kirk Hinzen spent untold hours combing the minutes of the meetings of this past century. Those notes combined with over sixty years of personal knowledge of the Fremont area, were the basis of this history.
DORIC LODGE NO. 92 - THE FIRST ONE HUNDRED YEARS
Some three and one half miles north of Seattle, Washington, in the year 1892, lay Fremont, a village on the northwest shores of Lake Union. Its commerce consisted of lumber and shingle mills, a railroad, hotel, several stores and shops. The population was composed primarily of hard working, honest people, some of whom were Masonic Brothers.
It was in this setting that a new idea was about to bear fruit. History does not tell exactly when the idea to form a new Masonic Lodge in the area was conceived. The idea probably generated from the constituting in Ballard, of Occidental Lodge No. 72 in 1891. However, we do know that thirteen Brother Masons met in Fremont Hall on September 3, 1892, to commence cultivating the idea of a new Lodge.
The first meeting consisted of Brothers Thomas P. Storey, J. E Winningham, Charles A. Coming, Jacob A. Covington, M. Densmore, Fielding Smith, W. A. Dexter, George Grow, G. W. Carroll, Howard P. Miller, Hiram E. Keltner, Charles Overland, and R. E. Freeman. Jacob Covington was selected secretary and a dispensation petition was prepared and signed. Copies were sent to St. John's Lodge No.9, Eureka Lodge No. 20 and Arcana Lodge No. 87 for endorsement and recommendation to the Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of Washington to create a lodge to be known as Doric.
The Brothers in Fremont were not to be denied, for on November 30, 1892, dispensation was granted by the Grand Lodge and signed by MWB Alfred A. Plummer, Grand Master, and RWB Thomas M. Reed, Grand Secretary.
Masonry was very much alive, for within three weeks Timothy Brownell, Henry W. Barr and Charles G. Hoffman presented petitions for the Degrees of Masonry. Also received were three petitions for affiliation from Brothers R. E. Freeman (Skidmore Lodge No. 511, Missouri), G. W. Carroll (Medina Lodge No. 156, Minnesota), and S. H. Chase (Zerubbabel Lodge No. 240, Lake City, Iowa).
The next six months went by very fast, for on June 14, 1893, a charter was granted by the Grand Lodge to Doric Lodge No. 92, F&AM, and was again signed by MWB Alfred A. Plummer, Grand Master, and RWB Thomas M. Reed, Grand Secretary.
Charter members numbered sixteen. Brothers listed were: Thomas P. Storey, WM; Howard P. Miller, S.W.; Hiram E Keltner, J.W.; George Grow, Treasurer; Jack A. Covington, Secretary; (The station of Chaplain was not listed); Henry A. Barr, Marshall; John E. Blair, SD; Charles A Corning, JD; George W. Carroll, SS; Albert W. Dexter, JS; Fielding E. Smith, Tyler; and Brothers Charles Cleveland, S. H. Chase, J. E Winningham, and A M. Trigg.
Doric Lodge No. 92 has from its beginning been frugal, as depicted in the original dues structure of 24 cents a month ($2.88 per year), when the known expenses were $3.75 per meeting for rental of the Fremont Hall. The Fremont Hall Building is still standing in what is now the 3400 block of Fremont Avenue North.
Hard work and a love for the Fraternity brought the Brethren closer. The Lodge grew in members and Masonic paraphernalia. The Masonic charts for the degrees were purchased in February 1893, for $8.55. A beautiful altar was presented as a gift by Bro. George W. Carroll on April 1 1893, and a purchase order to buy two Masonic columns was approved November 2, 1895. Masonry continued to thrive in the community as the petitions for the degrees were received from Francis A. Berry and C. D. Denny along with petitions of affiliation from James Sheet (Union Lodge No. 291, Scranton, Pennsylvania) and J. C. Smith (Waitsburg No. 16. Waitsburg, Washington).
Masonry was practiced in many ways as the community grew. Doric Lodge united with St. John's Lodge No.9, Eureka Lodge No. 20 and Arcana Lodge No. 87 to form a Masonic Relief Association. Doric Lodge conducted its first Masonic funeral over the remains of a sojourning Brother, John Roberts, April 14, 1896, who died as a result of a railroad accident.
As the Lodge continued to grow and prosper, thoughts of owning their own Temple grew also. In December 1905, a committee was selected to investigate property on which to build. The committee recommended two lots, Nos. 6 and 7, Block 37, Denny and Hoyts addition to Seattle, at the original cost of $750.00.
The plans for a new Temple were completed in 1908 for a fee of $30.00 and a sum of $200.00 for the construction of the foundation was approved. The cornerstone was laid February 13, 1909.
The Temple was completed in 1909 and had two commercial tenants in addition to Lodge facilities. They were the Fremont Hardware Co., in existence until 1991, and the Fremont Undertaking Co., which continued operation under different names until the late 1970's.
The year 1910 also continued the hectic pace or Doric's growth. A mortgage loan in the amount of $8500.00 was signed at an annual interest rate of 7.50%. A piano was purchased and a committee formed to get an option on the lot next door to the west.
The lot was purchased in February 1911, for $500.00 and the purchase of additional footage from the city to straighten the lot lines as a result of extension and widening of Westlake Avenue (now known as Fremont Place) as well as the selling of odd footage strips allowed for the rectangular property the Temple now stands upon.
Doric Temple was to be a meeting place for community functions as the bylaws were changed in 1912 to allow dancing and other events to he held within the Temple.The financing of the Temple construction was at least in part funded by selling shares; for the minutes of July 13, 1913, show that a motion was made and carried to buy the ten shares of stock held by Peter A. Lassen and six shares belonging to Robert W. Bennett, which was accordingly done.
Doric's prudent financial management again was shown when on December 2, 1913, the Treasurer was ordered to pay Bro. John C. Smith the sum of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) of our Lodge debt and thus save the interest. The Fremont Undertaking Co., owned by Bro. J. J. Bleitz was allowed to build a crematory at its own expense in the building, December 1914. This was on provision that it would not interfere with the insurance coverage of Doric Temple.
The first twenty-five years of Doric Lodge No. 92 would come to be with the Lodge in good financial strength and an asset to the community or Fremont, which was also changing with the completion of the Lake Washington Ship Canal and the new Fremont Bridge over that canal.
The First World War found Doric Lodge still meeting twelve months or the year with dues now set at $3.00 per year. The Low Twelve Gong was donated to the Lodge and installed during the year 1919.
Doric Lodge was now growing very fast as 92 candidates were raised to the Third Degree in 1920. Records indicate that 24 petitions were rejected that same year. The December 1921, meeting had 122 Doric Brothers present and voting for the coming year's slate of officers.
Greenwood Lodge, U. D., became a tenant of Doric Temple in September, 1922, and remained until the construction of their own temple was completed approximately three miles north in the 7900 block of Greenwood Avenue North.
Doric Lodge continued to grow, not only in numbers, but in financial stability, as indicated by the August 22, 1923 burning of the mortgage on Doric Temple. It should be noted that this event was only 15 years from the start of construction and 30 years after chartering.
New growth brought new ideas, and on October 2, 1923, a resolution was adopted that a five-brother committee be organized to either plan for a new permanent home for Doric Lodge or to remodel and update the present Temple. This was not to be a quick and easy plan for the committee consisting of the following: Robert L. Saunders (5 years), Julius G. Day (4 years), John O. Miller (3 years), Watson Brown (2 years) and Fred A. Hill (1 year).
In July of 1924 Doric Lodge's dues were raised from $3.00 to $5.00 with the $2.00 increase to be set aside for a relief fund.
The year 1926 saw Doric Lodge reach its pinnacle of success as membership rose to a height of 545 Master Masons.
December 1927, Doric expanded its real property by acquiring the lot immediately west for $2,500.00, it being free and clear of all taxes, liens and assessments. This was accomplished with $650.00 down and payments of $500.00 per year. The interest in the organ and all other jointly owned property was donated to Doric Lodge by the fraternal tenants of the temple.
The bylaws of Doric were again changed in 1929, raising the dues to $7.50 per year, $2.00 of which were to go to the relief fund. The Master was allowed to draw on the treasury for a sum not to exceed $20.00 per draft for the relief of indigent Brothers or their families, reporting same to the Lodge at the next stated meeting. (This amendment is still in effect.)
In 1930 an offer of $3,000.00 was made by Fremont Tire Shop and Service Station to purchase the lot acquired in 1927 and was accepted. The Building Committee was also authorized to complete plans and specifications for the remodeling of Doric Temple.
The year 1930 also saw a long-term (15 year) lease of the basement level funeral parlor to Brother Clark of Clark, Rafferty Funeral Home. This year also saw the completion of the George Washington Memorial Bridge (Aurora Bridge) and the new route to Everett from Seattle.
It must be remembered that this was in the era now known as the Great Depression, the worst economic depression in the history of the United States.
Aurora Bridge (George Washington Memorial) Dedicated on February 22, 1932
By 1932, Doric Lodge Brothers, under the supervision of WM John Marion and Bro. George Knight had remodeled the Temple, moving the dining room to the N. 36th St. level and installing a hardwood floor that could and would be used for dancing and other community functions. Doric Lodge was still in the forefront of the community.
January 3, 1933, Doric bylaws again were changed, allowing a fee of $45.00 to be assessed for degrees conferred in the Lodge. This fee, along with a $5.00 annual dues fee were to he paid in advance.
Doric Lodge membership declined to 431 Brothers. An organ was donated for use in the dining room and several new tenants began calling Doric Temple their home. These were Bethlehem Shrine No. 1; Sunlight Court No. 14, Order of Amaranth; Heather Chapter 221, O. E. S.; Northern Lights Lodge 279; Friendship Chapter No. 40, RAM; Evergreen Court, Order of Amaranth; Angora Grotto; Wallingford Chapter, O. E. S. and Seattle Commandery No.3.
Perhaps because of the influx of new tenants, 1934 saw the first increase in membership in Doric Lodge since the peak in 1926, eight years earlier.
The heavy snow of 1935 caused severe damage to the roof of the Temple. This was repaired by WB Myrl C. Hickerson, who also beautified and adorned the Lodge room at the expense of approximately $1,000.00, leaving a cash balance on hand of $799.40.
August 1937, saw Totem Lodge, U. D., become a tenant of Doric Temple. Sixty-three 25-year members were honored September 15, 1938, in a function that was to be the first "Old Timers Night." This has been an ongoing event since that time.
Doric officers were beginning to feel the weight of responsibility with the many tenants in the Temple. A resolution was presented to form a permanent Temple Committee or board to manage the day-to-day business of the Temple. This resolution was rejected November 1, 1938.
Doric took an active role in helping the community celebrate Fleet Week and July 28, 1939, found over one hundred Brothers from the United States and Canadian navies present to confer a Third Degree in conjunction with Northern Light No. 279 and Totem No. 282. Brothers in attendance included personnel from the U. S. Battleships Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, and New Mexico, along with Brothers from two Canadian Destroyers: H. M. S. C. C. Frasier and St. Laurent.
Job's Daughters Bethel No.6 became a new tenant of Doric Temple on April 1941.
The desk now used by the Treasurer and Secretary was donated to the Lodge at Past Master's Night, November 8, 1941, as were a set of Working Tools made of acacia wood, which was presented by the WM of a Lodge in Oregon.
The first fifty years of Doric ended with the involvement of the United States and Japan at the bombing of Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, causing concern for Brothers actively fighting in what was now termed World War II, as it rapidly escalated from Europe to Asia, Africa, and the islands of the North and South Pacific.
A special communication was called June 12, 1943, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doric Lodge. Several Grand Lodge Officers were present, led by RWB Ford Q. Elvidge, Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Washington.
Following the Second World War, Doric continued to grow, having five special communications for the purpose of conferring degrees during the summer darkness of 1946. One hundred and thirteen members were added to the membership roster in the two years of 1945 and 1946.
Thinking very highly of the Ladies, the Lodge instituted a new program, which has since been carried out annually, honoring them with a special dinner and program. They also decided to honor the Past Masters in 1948 by providing them with special PM Aprons, a tribute that is ongoing at the present time.
Doric Lodge, still feeling the pressure of being a landlord with several fraternal tenants plus a major commercial tenant, and after several years of discussion and debate, decided to form the Doric Building Association, Inc., a separate legal entity, to take over and manage the affairs of the Temple Building. The bylaws were changed in 1948 allowing this to happen.
Doric Lodge, in an effort to expand Masonry, commenced exchange visitations with Mt. Herman Lodge No.7, AF& AM, of Vancouver, BC, in 1957 and elected WB Art Cook of that Lodge an Honorary Past Master of Doric, and presented a PM Apron to him October 1, 1966. Two other PM's of Mt. Herman, Harry Hansen and Gordon Phillips, have since been elected as affiliated Past Masters of Doric.
The seventy-fifth anniversary of Doric was celebrated June 8, 1968, with the attendance of a team from Grand Lodge led by MWB Audley McHaffey. A bronze plaque, donated by WB Charles (Tom) David, was installed in the northeast corner of the Temple, directly above the cornerstone which was buried in the re-grading of the street by the city in prior years.
Over the years Doric membership increased the number of Brothers from both the ranks of the firefighters and police officers. Both groups, having degree teams, assisted in the degree labors of Doric Lodge.
The last twenty-five years of Doric's centennial saw the membership drop off considerably as many of the Brothers reached that time in the labor of life, where they were called on to assist the Supreme Architect of the Universe. However, the shift in the labors within the community has not let up. Doric has not only continued in its regular Masonic duties but has increased its efforts in various charities including annual grants to the District Four Scholarship fund, the Masonic youth groups, and the Fremont Public Association, B.F. Day School and others.
Doric Lodge No. 92 is proud of over 118 years history in the Fremont community and it is hoped and even anticipated that the next 100 years will see it grow and be even more proud of its service to the Fremont neighborhood and the Masonic Fraternity.