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.
Sixty-four 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
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.