Masons a cornerstone of local community service

Willa Soncarty
Registrar, Frontier Historical Society and Museum

During the autumn of 1886, members of the Masonic Fraternity took the first steps toward forming a Masonic Lodge in Glenwood Springs. Headed by William H. Brandt, these men brought the Masonic message of charity, patriotism, religious belief and self-improvement to the community.

On Sept. 21, 1887, charter was granted to Glenwood Lodge #65 Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. Twenty-one of the community’s most prominent men formed this new lodge.

Meetings were originally held at 716 Grand Ave. In 1888, the meetings were moved to 822 Grand Ave. In 1894, the Lodge convened in quarters on the northeast corner of Eighth Street and Pitkin Avenue.

The community’s first Masonic funeral was held for Jasper Ward, founder of the town of New Castle, in 1887. Three months later, the first public Masonic procession was observed with the escort of the body of Isaac Cooper, developer of Glenwood Springs, to the train for transport to Denver.

With the oldest ritual in building, the Masons have set the cornerstones of many of our community’s buildings. The Federal Building at 900 Grand Ave., the Garfield County Courthouse, the Masonic Temple at 901 Colorado Ave., the Garfield County Courthouse Addition, and the Courthouse Plaza received cornerstones laid by the Grand Lodge of Colorado.

In a time when few government programs existed to aid public education, the aged, the orphaned or the widowed, the Masons provided an economic cushion to assist the less fortunate. The philanthropy that founded Glenwood Lodge #65 Ancient Free and Accepted Masons nearly 120 years ago continues to serve as a foundation to our community.

“Frontier Diary” is provided to the Glenwood Springs Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Summer hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.