History of Cherrydale Lodge # 42 AF & AM
History of Cherrydale
On November 7, 1921 Columbia Lodge approved a petition for the formation of a new Lodge at Cherrydale. The petition was presented through the DDGM for the 54th Masonic District to the Grand Master of Masons in the Commonwealth of Virginia, MW John S. Bottimore, who on November 15, 1921 issued a dispensation to Cherrydale Lodge. The Lodge was instituted on December 1, 1921, at a meeting in Firemanís Hall, Cherrydale, with 138 brethren present and the Grand Master presiding. Subsequently, the Grand Lodge at its annual communication in February 1922 approved the petition for the charter and the Grand Master issued the lodge charter on February 15th, 1922. The new lodge was formally constituted on March 15, 1922 with WB John G. Dudley, Worshipful Master, Brother John H. Warner, Senior Warden and Brother Louis Bulicek, Junior Warden.
During the formative period from December 1921, to December 1922 twelve new members were gained by degrees and ten were gained by affiliation, these added to the 41 who were members upon dispensation brought the total membership to 63 at the close of 1922. Cherrydale Lodge continued to meet in Firemanís Hall until September 12, 1925, when it moved into a new building, constructed nearby by one of its own members, and rented the second floor Lodge room. To celebrate the new lodge room, MW Charles H. Callahan and a large gathering of distinguished masons visited Cherrydale Lodge on October 24, 1925, to participate in the house-warming ceremonies.
The lodge received a number of gifts during these early years. The framed picture of Brother George Washington at Valley Forge, which hangs behind the Senior Warden, was presented by Brother Edward Young on October 20th, 1927, and the Wardensí Columns, made from teak obtained from an American sailing vessel, were presented by Brother Hugh Reid.
As the Lodge membership continued to grow, in March 1936 a Temple Committee was appointed and assigned the task of building a new Lodge. The committee wasted no time and began negotiations with a builder who had recently purchased a lot across the highway from its present rented quarters. By the first meeting in May it was reported that the builder had previously entered into a three-year lease with a chain store for rental of a one-story building he would erect according to their specific needs. The builder was bound by the lease contract to provide certain floor-space and parking. He was free, however, to add a second floor, and sell the completed building and to assign the lease to the purchaser. The contractorís estimate for the finished two-story building and yard work was $24,500. The Lodge moved quickly to constitute a Bond Committee to handle the sale of bonds to provide a portion of the financing for the purchase of the new building. By the second meeting in May, articles of incorporation for the Cherrydale Temple Corporation had been officially recorded in Richmond. The Corporation thereafter assumed the full responsibility for all activities in connection with the completion of the funding and official purchase and maintenance of the Temple. Just two months later, on July 11, 1936 Cherrydale Lodge laid the cornerstone of the new Temple in full Masonic ceremonies. Despite the temperature of 99 degrees in the shade and high humidity, large numbers of Cherrydale members and Masons from all parts of the 54th Masonic District and neighboring jurisdictions attended. Prior to the opening of the ceremonies, two Brothers of Potomac Lodge No. 5, F. & A.M., of the District of Columbia were introduced and had in their care that revered instrument, the gavel used by Worshipful George Washington in the laying of the cornerstone of the United States Capitol. It was this gavel that was to perform similar duty in laying the cornerstone of Cherrydale Lodge. Incased in the cornerstone is a metal box containing a number of very interesting items of Masonic significance. The building was completed, and the first meeting in the new Lodge was held on August 6, 1936. At the second stated meeting on August 20th, the Temple Corporation reported that the title to the building had been received, the funding having been arranged, and the builder having been paid. In the short span of six months, the goal of a new Masonic Temple to house the work of Cherrydale Lodge was transformed from thought to taking title to the property. This is a testament to the determination and harmony of those who toiled to make the dream of a new permanent Lodge a reality.
The Lodge membership continued to grow from 63 at the close of 1922 to 144 by 1940, 315 by 1950, and 406 by 1960. In 1961, an addition to the building was proposed to provide a second floor dining room, and in April of that year a contract was awarded in the amount of $6,500 for the addition and repairs to the parking lot.
Although this brief history captures the physical growth of Cherrydale Lodge, rest assured that the extraordinary growth can be attributed to the leadership and conduct of its work both within the Lodge and in the community. Cherrydale Lodge has been the recipient of numerous Masonic awards, and has been privileged to have any number of distinguished visitors and guest speakers over the years. It is most proud, however, of having two of its memberís rise to become Grand Master of Masons in Virginia, MW Hugh M. Reid and MW Stewart W. Miner, in 1954 and 1978, respectively.
In tribute to our founders, Past Masters, members of the Craft, and Brethren of the 54th Masonic District, we wish to acknowledge their good works and pay them their wages. For it is they who have enabled us to carry on the traditions of Cherrydale Lodge and reach beyond ourselves to bring joy, inspiration and fulfillment to our Masonic families.
The Detailed History
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