History

May 15, 1956: Master Masons of the area, able to attend, appeared at the Garden Canyon home of Verne Dale Hegge to develop plans designed to organize a Masonic Lodge of F. & A.M. to be located near the civilian community of Fry Township, Arizona and the Fry Masonic Club was born.

June 20, 1956: The Fry Masonic Club changed its name to Sierra Vista Masonic Trowel Club as the City Council adopted to change the name from Fry Township to Sierra Vista.

July 18, 1956: At the first general meeting of the Sierra Vista Masonic Trowel Club, the Club Officers were elected. As President, Robert L. Brigham; as First Vice President, Verne D. Hegge; as Second Vice President, Samuel N. Giacobbi; as Treasurer, Thomas E. Goodale; and as Secretary, Gerald J. Brown.

August 15, 1956: The Sierra Vista Masonic Trowel Club was informed by the Grand Lodge that policy in effect stated, “That an organization sovereign unto itself cannot use the word Masonic in a title.” Adopted a resolution to change the name to The Sierra Vista Trowel Club and the Treasurer was “handed all funds, assets, paraphernalia, and property and the sum of $214.96.

December 19, 1956: The first lodge meetings of the Sierra Vista Trowel Club, known as stated communications, continued being held at Carmichael Elementary School by Brother Jackson, President. It was during this meeting that the brethren approached President Jackson with the idea of becoming a Masonic Charter Lodge and building a Masonic Temple building.

April 22, 1957: The Sierra Vista Trowel Club, meeting at the Carmichael Elementary School building, seriously discusses the proposal of constituting a lodge for the first time as the construction of a Masonic Temple building continues.

April 29, 1957: The Sierra Vista Trowel Club meeting at the Carmichael Elementary School meets at 8:00 p.m. for the purpose of constituting a lodge, receiving its Charter, and installing its officers for the Masonic Year, A. L. 5957.

Mid-year 1957: Master Elect Verne D. Hegge noted some slowness in progress on the construction and at this meeting declared, “The next stated communication will be held in the new Temple” to the surprise of the brethren in attendance. Construction work resumed with vigor. The Temple was completed on December 18, 1957 at a total cost of $2,037.63 and on the following day, December 19, a stated communication was held in the Temple building for the first time.

November 28, 1957: The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Arizona, finding as being in proper order, accepted the Petition for Dispensation from The Sierra Vista Trowel Club; the Dispensation was approved and Huachuca Lodge U. D. (Under Dispensation) was born.

May/June 1958: At the Grand Lodge Communication, held in Winslow, Arizona, the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Arizona the Official Charter was signed designating Huachuca Lodge Number 53, F. & A. M. of Arizona.

January 1958: When elected Master of Huachuca Lodge No. 53, Brother Rudolph W. Steffen was Mayor of Sierra Vista and a Past Master of King Solomon Lodge No. 5, Tombstone, Arizona.

Mid-year 1959: The Gauge and Gavel Club of Benson, Arizona seeking to petition the Grand Lodge of Arizona to become a Masonic Charter Lodge and needing to waive jurisdiction, sought and obtained the assistance of the recently Chartered Huachuca Lodge No. 53.

In October 1961, the first Mason-Knight Banquet was proposed, approved, and held at the Masonic Temple; the first such social event between the Cochise County Masonic community and a Catholic-Fraternal organization. Around seventy-five people attended the dinner banquet prepared and served by the Masonic Community.

Forty-eight years have passed since the original foundation was poured for our Temple and we have watched it grow from a one-room lodge, with the addition of a kitchen, office space, and a second self-contained lodge room. Our earlier Brothers realized these accomplishments through sacrifice and personal expense. Today, we see and enjoy the results from a true Masonic labor of love. Improvements to our Temple and the enhancement of Freemasonry in this area have been greatly advanced by the many significant contributions and sacrifices of our dedicated Masonic brothers. As we continue the Masonic work today, and look toward the future, we are ever mindful and respectful of their great contribution to Freemasonry.

The Huachuca Lodge #53 banner was designed by Gil Moya in 1980. Meiko Wagoner, wife of Worshipful Brother Johnny Wagoner, handmade the actual banner in 1981 and was prominently displayed at the Grand Lodge of Arizona Free and Accepted Masons Communication that same year. The design was also struck on a coin commemorating the 25-year centennial of Huachuca Lodge #53 in 1982. The banner depicts the Huachuca Mountains with the infamous thunderclouds looming over them. It has a bear grass plant to represent the high desert area. On each side of the bear grass plant are military cavalry boots and saber on one side and Indian moccasins and bow and arrow on the other side representing the white man and Indians living as brothers.

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