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North Bank Lodge History

The construction of the railroad along the North Bank of the Columbia River brought many new families to the Washougal area, among whom were several members of the Masonic Fraternity.

Drawn together by a mutual bond of brotherly love and affection, these brothers were wont to gather at the little North Bank Railroad station, and after Brother Loren H. Freeland, the Station Agent, had cleared the last train of the day, they would form a circle around the pot-belly stove, and would enjoy an evening of fellowship and an exchange of Masonic Lore.

Brother Andrew J. Oakley, familiarly known as “Uncle Jack”, who had previously failed in an attempt to secure a charter for a Lodge at Camas, was soon attracted to the “Club”.

Recognizing in them the fulfillment of his hopes to establish a Lodge in the vicinity, he faithfully trudged the three miles from Camas to attend the gatherings, recruiting others from that community, until at last he had the required fifteen names on the Petition for Dispensation, and the recommendation of Mt. Hood Lodge #32 of Vancouver.

A Dispensation was granted by M.W. Brother Jeremiah Neterer, Grand Master of Masons in Washington on the 29th day of July, 1910, naming Brother Oakley as Worshipful Master; Brother Loren H. Freeland, Senior Warden; and Brother Henry H. Carpenter, Junior Warden.  Under their leadership the Lodge was formally organized on August 18, 1910.

Brother Oakley worked untiringly for the Lodge, building the Officers Pedestals and the Alter, and forming the first Officers Jewels or Emblems.  But he found it difficult to attain a suitable proficiency in the Esoteric Work of the Ritual, and with the welfare of the Lodge his prime thought, he prevailed upon the Grand Master to appoint Brother George W. Meyers in his stead.  Whereupon Brother Myers was installed as Master on March 23rd, 1911.

Under Brother Meyer’s leadership, a Charter was granted by the Grand Lodge of Washington on June 14, 1911, and on September 18, 1911, North Bank Lodge #182 was Duly Constituted by Grand Master, M.W. Brother David S. Prescott.

The Lodge met in the Odd Fellows Hall until March 27, 1913, when it moved to the Smith Building, which had been remodeled to meet the Lodge Requirements.  In 1918, a Building Fund was established by contributions from the members, and in 1944 the building was purchased from the Smith Estate, and after again being remodeled to meet the increasing demands of the Lodge, it was formally dedicated as a Masonic Temple by M.W. Brother Gustave H. Schultz, Grand Master, on November 2nd, 1946.

A new temple building site was purchased in 1962, and a Masonic Building Association Incorporation was approved on August 20, 1962  by Grand Master Charles F. Johnson, and Articles of Incorporation were approved and filed by Secretary of State of Washington on September 14, 1962.

Selection of plans for a new Temple, and means for financing construction, were undertaken by the first Board of Trustees as follows:

George W. Acker - President

Fred W. Paulson

Mordecai O. Sayles - V. President

Raymond E. Mikesell

Robert F. Clark - Secretary

William J. Chapman

Jess C. Matthews - Treasurer

Albert E. Gabriel

Donald M. Platt

Alvin M. Olson

The present Temple building is located at 888 17th St. Washougal, WA and was completed and dedicated on September 25, 1971 by M.W. Grand Master Milton Poe.